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April 3, 2010

Refinance Breakeven Spreadsheet

Filed under: Excel fun, Mortgage — Tags: , , , — thebalancedspreadsheet @ 8:55 am

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On the heels of releasing the mortgage amortization schedule, I thought it would be nice to follow that up with a refinance breakeven calculator.  With mortgage interest rates at 40 year lows most people are rushing to refinance before rates rise again.  There are several things to consider before you refinance and this spreadsheet will help determine two of them. 1.) How much interest you will save if you refinance and 2.) How long it will take you to recoup your closing costs.   All you need to do is input 6 numbers:

Refinance Breakeven calculator

1.)    Current Loan balance-In cell B1 input your current loan balance.  Note that this is your current balance not the original amount you paid for the house but rather how much is owed currently.

2.)    Current Interest rate-In cell B2 enter your current interest rate.  Enter as a percentage (IE 5.5% interest rate would be 5.5 not .055)

3.)    Current Payment-In cell B3 enter your current principal and interest payment per month only, not taxes or insurance.

4.)    Refinance Rate-In cell E1 enter your refinanced rate the same way you entered in your current interest rate in cell B2.

5.)    Length of New Loan-In cell E2 enter the length in years of your new loan.  If doing partial years divide the partial year’s months by 12 and enter that number in as a decimal. For example, a 17 years and 3 month amortization you would enter 17.25 (17 years and (3 months/12)).

6.)    Refinance Costs-In cell E4 enter the total refinance cost.

Notes: After entering all six figures cells B16 and E6 will give you your results.  B16 is the total interest savings over the entire length of the refinance and E16 is the number of months it will take until your interest saved is greater than your closing costs.  Also note that all these savings are pre-tax.  Like the mortgage amortization schedule you can plug-in extra principle payments in the ‘Current’ and “Refi’ tabs if you choose to determine how much faster they will help pay off your mortgage.

The most important number is the months to breakeven figure.  As mentioned before when we were considering a refinance, if you do not think you will be in the house after the breakeven point, refinancing will actually cost you more in the long run.

You can find this and other helpful spreadsheets that I have created and shared on the spreadsheet page.  So please come back soon as that page will be continually updated.

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