Why would anyone pay more than they are required for something, especially their home?
Lucky for me, I married a man who also couldn’t fathom why it was common practice to pay the minimum payment while prolonging interest accumulation.
What we did understand were all the reasons why we should pay off our home early.
He and I were both in agreement that we wanted to be mortgage free.
But to break it down, here’s WHY?
- Our original plan was simply to pay extra; we wanted to shorten the length of our loan. But as we started down the path of paying off our home loan early we found ourselves accelerating our plan. We shortly thereafter came to realize that we wanted to be mortgage free as soon as possible. As a result we became home owners in 3.5 years.
- Paying less in interest was all too appealing to pass up, even if it did require some sacrifices on our part. I think this part was tough for my husband, but I was more than willing to put up with a less fun lifestyle.
- Our mortgage company didn’t penalize us for making extra payments toward principal. Some mortgage companies will charge a fee for any extra payments, which kind of defeats the purpose of this money saving method.
- Since we had already saved quite a bit in interest by year 3, we could have invested the rest of the money. We might have even had a better chance at higher returns had we chosen that path, but we decided that owning our house outright could be just as smart a move.
- To expand on that we knew we were guaranteed 4.25%, our interest rate, on our money. For us peace of mind was worth more than risking that same money in the stock market.
- Tax deductions meant nothing to us, since we never exceeded the standard tax deduction for our tax tier.
- We would not only be mortgage free, but completely debt free. There were no outstanding credit card balances, car loans,or student loans, since we didn’t borrow money to pay for our educations.
- We ensured that we had enough in our emergency fund to cover a 6 month period, if needed. Not to say that we wouldn’t have any issues, but they would be minimal. Especially, since we would no longer require so much for bills. That means even a temporary entry level fast food job would do, if it came to that.
- We strive to max out our annual contributions to our retirement plans, so it made sense to allocate extra income to paying down the mortgage.
- We’re not overly confident (me more so than my husband) in the investing world. We see owning our home as diversification. For us it’s an opportunity to have an asset.
Now, my husband and I could have owned newer vehicles, frequented sit down restaurants, and gone on lavish vacations during the years we were working toward being debt free. Instead we chose to forgo all these things and get by with our modest vehicles (which by the way means we pay less on car insurance), fast casual restaurants, and cheap vacations.
And as you can imagine I don’t regret our decision to become mortgage free one bit. I don’t feel like I missed out, though my husband might feel differently. But I think we both can agree that it feels nice having lifted such a large debt off our shoulders. (We even took a cheesy picture to commemorate the day we became mortgage free.)
If you’re finding yourself in shoes similar to ours, then maybe it’s time to discover your reason to become mortgage free.
Here’s how you can easily knock years off your own home loan.
Are you financially abnormal as well? What about being mortgage free appeals to you?
Tawnya is the founder of The Dancing Dollar, a blog about frugality & personal finance. She writes about how frugal living can help other individuals & families live [happily] below their means. She & her husband are on the path to pay off their home in less than half the time. Click here to learn more.