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by CareyBot

DEAR BOB: I own a townhouse condo that I bought in 1993 with a 6.5 percent interest rate, 30-year FHA mortgage. My monthly FHA mortgage insurance fee is $47. My purchase price was $130,000. Today, the condo is worth around $380,000. I have never seriously considered refinancing, although my lender periodically sends me advertisements about no-closing-cost refinances for 15 or 30 years. The interest rate would be slightly lower than my current interest rate for 15 years with a slightly higher monthly payment, but I would avoid that unnecessary $47 FHA fee. One of the reasons I am holding back is because I would be paying less interest, thus having less to deduct on my income tax. However, I would be taking about five years off the mortgage. Is such a refinance a good idea? -- Susan P. DEAR...