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Wish me luck. I called the Credit Union Real Estate Officer today and started the process to refinance my house. If successful, the monthly mortgage payments will be a lot less.

He (the agent) said that if all the numbers I gave him worked out, and the appraisal was OK, it looked like we would have a deal. I could sure use the extra cash flow (couldn't we all).

He wanted to know what my house was worth and what comparable houses had sold for in my neighborhood. They no longer have access to those listings (something to do with liability issues of implied promise or whatever). I went to zillow.com -- the numbers there are pretty conservative and stable -- and read them off to him.

The last time I tried to refinance was a disaster (I lost $800 on the application with B of A/Countrywide), so I'm keeping my fingers crossed (or, as Sue would say, keeping the beads hot). I hadn't done my homework. I'm better prepared now.

I know it's not really a matter of luck, more a matter of number crunching and financial rules, but it feels that way, because I know next to nothing about finance and real estate. So I'm being as careful and conservative as I can. And, in addition, I'm working with an institution that has proven itself reliable for the last 40 years or so that I've had accounts with them.

Best I can do.

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