Today it was announced that mortgage rates are at an all-time low of 4.9%! If you have equity in your home and are paying interest above this level you may want to consider refinancing. If you can lock in a historically low rate, you will likely be glad you did so when rates rise again.
What are the steps in analyzing whether it makes sense to refinance? Call your mortgage company, explain what you are considering and get rates for a new loan. Better yet, call a mortgage broker, as she will provide available interest rates from a variety of lenders.
Think big picture and long term. When rates eventually go back to more normal, higher levels, this means you should be able to earn a higher rate on your interest-bearing investments simply because interest rates are higher. If you are paying 5% on your mortgage and earning 9% on a safe bond, this would be a good thing from a big picture viewpoint. This is a situation that has come about because of the current financial crisis. Look for the ways that you can benefit instead of focusing on how much your portfolio may have gone down. When rates are low, be a borrower for appreciating assets. When rates are high, be a lender.