My husband thinks I’m crazy. My friends think I’m crazy. But I’m not crazy. What’s crazy is accepting that it should take 30 YEARS to buy a house. Who ever came up with that idea? 30 years is way too long. I think about paying off our mortgage ALL the time.
The Main Reason I Want to Pay Off My Mortgage: Peace of Mind
I know too many people who suddenly find themselves out of work or facing tremendous medical bills who constantly worry about losing their homes (okay, I really only know three people like that, but that’s three too many).
You hear horror stories about financial disaster all the time, and I know I never want to be facing the decision to pay the mortgage or put food on the table. I also never want to HAVE to sell the home to which all my children’s memories are tied simply because my husband and I find ourselves in a financial bind and need to downsize or move.
Becoming Mortgage Free Sooner: Is a 15 Year Mortgage Payoff the Solution?
You might ask, “Why don’t you just get a 15-year mortgage? I can see why some people go for a 15-year mortgage. We didn’t because our taste in homes was a little too expensive to allow us to afford payments on a 15-year mortgage. We qualified for our mortgage based on two incomes just before I quit to become a stay-at-home mom. But, because we knew we were about to cut our income in half, we figured there was no way we should go with a 15-year mortgage because we wouldn’t be able to afford the payments on one salary alone.
At the time, we qualified for a $350,000 mortgage (which can get you a nice 3,000+ square foot house in our area), but we chose a more reasonably priced 2,300 square-foot, $279,000 home on half an acre and put 10% down (equity from the sale of our starter home).
We can comfortably afford our mortgage payments exactly as they are, and I like knowing that our emergency fund would be able to cover many months of mortgage payments and other expenses if my husband were to ever lose his job. So I don’t see us refinancing to a 15-year mortgage in the foreseeable future.
Challenging Myself, Living with My Decisions, and Focusing on What Matters
Part of me wants to pay off this house just to see if we can do it. I don’t plan to downsizing in order to make this mortgage more affordable. I also don’t want to continue to upsize our lifestyle in the future simply because we are making more money. And I definitely don’t want to move to an equivalent home in a different neighborhood just because I changed my mind about the amenities I want.
I am a big believer in making a decision and sticking to it. Therefore, I want to live the way we currently do, accept that what we have is good enough, and spend my time worrying about things that matter.
30 Years is a Long Time – Can I Shorten That Significantly?
You also might ask, “Why don’t you just keep making payments and pay off that house in 30 years like a normal person?” Valid question. Basically, I like a good challenge, and I really dislike accepting conventional wisdom just ’cause. Beyond being able to rest easier knowing our biggest obligations is taken care of, I know that if we can manage to pay off our mortgage, we can do anything money-wise.
So there it is. I’ve officially challenged myself to pay off my mortgage sooner than the conventional 30 years, and I’ve announced this personal challenge publicly. What better way to make sure I stay accountable?!