I refinanced my mortgage in November. I got the rate dropped from 3.75% to 2.99% by switching to a 15 year mortgage and since my loan-to-value ratio is now way under 80%, thanks to paying down the loan, and the appraised value of the house increasing.

Refinancing also comes with a bunch of fees, so if we end up moving in say, 3 years, the refinance would have barely been worth it.

My mortgage balance when I refinanced was at $110,238. After refinancing, with the fees (plus some padding in case they estimated the fees wrong), the principal balance went up to $115,000.

However, before refinancing, I was paying $1,126/mo (which included a prepayment of $100/mo), so the monthly principal paid down was about $370/mo. After financing, my payment is $1,053/mo, about $510 of which is principal payment. So the balance will be back down to $110,391 by September. Now, some of the savings comes from no longer having to pay MIP, which would have dropped off in a year anyway. (So I would have been paying only $1,000/mo for the same $370/mo in principal.) My main regret is that I didn’t refinance months earlier, since even though I had not quite paid down 20% of the home value, the house appraised for over $100,000 more than it did when I bought it, so I would have been able to refinance to a PMI-free loan anyway.

The way I calculate it, the net savings in interest and fees from the date of the refinance to 12/31/2018 is only $165. If we stay in the house through 12/31/2019, then we start to see more savings (about $596 more saved in interest). My S.O. is getting ready to graduate with his PhD sometime in the next couple of years, so it is unclear whether we will move then or not, or when exactly that will be.

The other benefit is less tangible, but right before I refinanced, my mortgage was transferred from Chase Bank to Carrington Mortgage, which was a pretty terrible experience. There’s no guarantee how long the company I refinanced with will keep my loan for, but for now at least I am not dealing with a mortgage servicer that makes everything horrible.