Paul and Elizabeth W. | Alexandria, VA |Refinance
Those familiar with military life know the challenges of a PCS move — transferring kids to new schools, finding new doctors and dentists, and deciding to rent or buy a home.
When PCS moves are a way of life, Paul and Elizabeth Weyrauch, were especially sensitive to how often they wanted to move their children as they grew up. When they moved to Alexandria, Virginia, they wanted to try and make it a permanent stay, or at least until their kids were out of school.
Just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., Alexandria is famous for its Old Town, with brick sidewalks and well-preserved 18th- and 19th-century buildings and family-friendly amenities.
Paul is planning to retire this summer after serving 26 years in the Army and stay “for a while” in Alexandria, where his daughters currently attend a local elementary and middle school.
Buying Their First Home
The Weyrauchs rented homes in the area for two years before deciding to buy. “We wanted to put down some permanent roots and this area is just what we like,” says Paul.
In 2017, the family bought a 2,300-square-foot, four-bedroom, three-bath home with a large yard just down the street from their community park and pool. They financed the purchase with a VA Home Loan at an interest rate of 3.75%. “At the time, that was a pretty good rate, and we were so happy to finally buy a home,” says Paul.
They immediately got to work renovating the home to be exactly what they wanted, updating the kitchen and adding a bath upstairs.
Why They Refinanced
In 2019, interest rates hovered near historic lows, and Paul decided to ask AAMFMA Mortgage Services LLC (AMS) about refinancing his VA Home Loan. Paul’s father, who also served in the Army, had recommended Paul become an AAFMAA Member in 1994, as soon as he commissioned. “I started with just a small life insurance policy and since have gone back to AAFMAA to help plan our financial future and now refinance our home,” he says.
Paul called AMS in August 2019 and was connected with Dale Poe, a Military Mortgage Advisor based in Virginia Beach, Virginia. “Dale was very patient in explaining how we could refinance our VA Home Loan and how much we could save each month,” Paul says.
The Weyrauchs were able to refinance their loan using a VA IRRRL (Interest Rate Reduction Loan) mortgage, which can help keep closing costs to a minimum. “Generally speaking, a refinance makes sense if the military family can lower their interest rate by .25% to .50% and plans to stay in the home for at least three years,” says Poe.
The interest rate on their IRRRL is 3.25%, helping the Weyrauchs save nearly $300 a month. “The whole process, from my first call to AMS to the close, took about six weeks,” says Paul.
These days, everyone’s watching interest rates and wondering when (or if) it’s a good time to refinance. “We’re keeping our eyes on the rates and if they drop into territory where it makes sense for us to refinance again, we’ll be on the phone with AMS right away,” says Paul.
Use our calculators to help determine if refinancing is the best option for you.
We’re Here to Help
Established in 1879, the American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association (AAFMAA) is the longest-standing, not-for-profit financial solutions provider supporting military families and Veterans with advice, information, insurance, financial planning, investments, mortgages, survivor assistance, and other benefits.
If you’re interested in purchasing a home, or refinancing your current mortgage, call us at (888) 495-4813 or contact us for current rates and additional details.
Please note: The borrower story above is an actual customer's experience working with AAFMAA Mortgage Services LLC (AMS). Your actual loan experience may differ, and all loans are subject to credit approval and interest rates, terms, and fees will vary based on your credit, state, and type of loan. Please check with us for details.