This is very creative, thanks for documenting the process!
We just completed a refi of an $800k 30 year fixed loan at 3.5% in MA, paying 0.93% of the loan in fees (of which 0.5% was prepaid interest paid as “points”). We got quotes from about six vendors, including various bank relationship rates, and our local mortgage broker matched the best quote.
So, gosh, should we instead have shopped for someone who would loan us $800k at 5.5% and would have paid all closing fees as a lender credit, then additionally put 2% of the loan amount into an escrow account? Raising the escrow amount by shopping for an extra expensive homeowner’s insurance policy? Then refinanced within a month with the same deal, taking a cash refund of the escrow payment?
That seems like it would have been a better deal by about 2% of the loan amount. Not doing that and just doing the straight refi when rates are low seems like making a bet that rates will not go down further, hmmm.
I find it very very hard to believe that we got the rock-bottom refi rate quote, but we did shop throughout the rate lock period until closing, and would have jumped ship for a lower rate, and couldn’t find one; extra 0.125% lower is about 2-3% of the loan total in interest over the life of the loan.