I'm not interested in reverse mortgage. Also, are sites like Lending Tree safe?

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A lot of them are is why you do have to do your homework. Also, your present mortgage company will be the best since you already have a history with them. Mine didn't do refinances so they are the one that gave me a suggestion of who to talk to.
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Sandra, I used to notarize for one of these loan agencies. Believe me they are predators, You get 46 pages and only a few hours to read them before they are notarized. Miss one payment and they call in the whole loan. Avoid them.
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With advice from a friend in the business, I called
an appraiser first. Paid $325. But it was worth it.
Was right in line with my tax accesment so I knew
my numbers up front.
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A few years ago I refinanced my home to take out some cash
for up grades. Quicken Loans did everything online and phone.
Within 30 days everything was done and the Attorney came to
my home with an employee/notary. Easiest deal I ever made. I
had to set appt for apprisal and pay for that up front, but that was
all. My only income is social security. It was 43 pages and the agent
said he would go over each line until I understood. Check them out.
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Second the advice not to rely on web sites for market values; the house next door to me has been abandoned for 4 years with no heating or cooling, no cleanup after the flood we had last year, but it's valued more than my occupied dwelling.

Unfortunately you will have to shop around for rates, but be aware that some banks are reluctant to grant mortgages to seniors without significant assets to pay off the mortgage if it's defaulted.

I haven't tried this, but the AARP website may have some helpful information.
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Mortgage brokers/bankers are all competitive with their rates. You will need to shop around.

As for on-line financial companies, most are good.... but I think you would be more comfortable using a local lender in your area that you can talk to face to face.... someone where you can drive to their office with the paperwork or if you have a question, or they could come to your house.

One thing to watch out for, when it comes to refinancing some companies over value your home, thus allowing you to take out more equity. Be careful about that. The real estate market could change leaving you with a mortgage worth more than your house.

To get a value of your house before the lender calls in an appraiser, call a local realtor who doesn't mind giving you a market value on your house knowing up front you only want the information to get an idea when it comes to refinancing. In fact, that Realtor could recommend a lender or two for you to work with. Back when I was a Residential Realtor I didn't mind doing that because later down the road the homeowner would call me to sell his/her house :)

Be careful of on-line home estimate websites that are popular today. The information isn't very accurate.
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