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Refinancing Your Home: What, When, How and Why

By Steven Threndyle

Published June 5, 2023 • 4 Min Read

Have you built up equity in your home over the years? If so, you may be able to get cash back for the difference between the current value of your home and your original mortgage amount. This cash difference can go a long way toward funding your goals.

What is refinancing?

Refinancing your home means paying off your existing mortgage and replacing it with a new one (up to 80 per cent of the appraised value of your home). It’s a move that can enable you to access the equity you’ve built in your home and take it out as cash.

When does it make sense to refinance?

Because your mortgage offers a low-interest borrowing option, it may be a smart way for you to access a large sum of money. Here’s when refinancing may make sense:

When mortgage rates are lower today

One of the most common reasons to refinance is to lower the interest rate on your existing mortgage. Reducing your interest rate may not only save you money over the life of your mortgage, but it may also potentially decrease the amount of your monthly payment and help you build equity faster over the years ahead.

When you have higher-interest-debt

Many homeowners choose to refinance in order to consolidate debt. Replacing high-interest debt with a low-interest mortgage can save you a lot of money on interest. An RBC advisor can help you use the equity in your home to pay off debt and help you create

a cash flow plan that may reduce the likelihood of incurring high-interest debt in the future.

When you’re eyeing other goals

Looking to make a large purchase or cover a major expense, such as paying for a child’s post-secondary education or renovating your home? As you know, these events typically require years of saving or the use of higher-interest-rate credit. But, if you have equity built in your home, refinancing your mortgage and accessing your home’s equity can help you achieve your goals much sooner.

How to assess the value in your Home

Not sure if you’ve built up the equity you need to make it worth refinancing? There are a few ways to assess the value of your home:

The RBC Home Value Estimator is a quick and helpful tool that can provide an on-the-spot estimate of your home’s value by answering a few quick questions.

Speak with a local realtor who can do a comparable market analysis and home assessment for you. If they’re familiar with the area (which they should be), they can give you an accurate reading of how much you could sell your home for today.

If you’re really serious about refinancing your home, it’s best to get a professional appraisal through the lender you’re considering refinancing with. An RBC Mortgage Specialist can help you get this appraisal done and let you know the amount in cash you can get back once you refinance.

Is refinancing your best option?

Refinancing your home can open up some great possibilities for you and your family. Considering all the factors — the value of your home today, how long you intend to keep your home and the importance of the goals you are thinking of funding — can help you make your decision.

If refinancing looks like the right move for you, talk to an RBC Mortgage Specialist to get started today.

Our dedicated Mortgage Specialists will guide you through the process while ensuring all your mortgage needs are met. They can help you weigh the pros and cons of different scenarios and choose the best home equity plan for you.

This article is intended as general information only and is not to be relied upon as constituting legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.

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