Monday, March 09, 2009

Good news, we saved a bunch on our refinance.

Well, we did it. After a 2 month long wait, we finally went and closed on the refinance on our house. Managed to get the rate dropped from 6.125% to 5%, which doesn't seem like much at first. However, after we factored in the existing balance and interest into a new loan, we managed to drop the mortgage payment by about $500 per month. Actually, the main reason we were doing it wasn't so much to get the payment down, the real reason was to get the remaining interest down!
Here's an interesting back-of-the-envelope fact, most people pay at least the same amount of interest on your mortgage. So, instead of thinking how much you need to pay per month, we should be thinking, how much of our money is going into interest. So with this refinance, the monthly minimum payment dropped, but we took advantage of the payment cushion by paying up with extra principal on the loan. Long story short, saved a bunch of (total) interest, to the tune of 70K on our refinance! Plus, we gain the additional flexibility (if we have to) of not prepaying and dropping to a regular payment in cash conservation scenarios...

DIY for the people that are interested Below....

For the Calculator savvy folks out there, check out these free link to see if you can do the same on your own refi's too!

Refinance Interest Savings Calculator
Prepayment Interest Savings Calculator

Friday, March 06, 2009

Postcards from our M'sia Vacation (Penang)

Just arrived in Penang after flying in on the regional Fireflyz propeller plane. Grandpa really proud of his new granddaughter. Our little one decided that she wanted to follow in her mom's footsteps, and be a motorcycle-ahmoi! Went to Bali-Hai on Gurney Drive, met up with Yeesin's Cousin's family and Marvin from the US joined us too! Check out the delicious seafood in the huge fishtanks behind us! Jaz decided to use the plastic chairs there as walker toys... Cheaper than buying a brand new one! Grandpa's neighborhood closed up the whole street and had dragon dances, dragon-snake dances and fireworks and not to forget food to celebrate CNY! Jaz finally learned how to eat porridge in Canton-I at Queensbay mall. Before this, she won't even want to touch that stuff! Mom and Jaz at Seafood place at Raja Uda. Long drive across Penang Bridge to get there, but YUM!!!!