My Love/Hate Relationship With My Mortgage

My Love/Hate Relationship With My Mortgage

My mortgage and I didn’t always get along.  We had fights, and my mortgage often made me want to cry.  Recently, however, we came to a truce and decided to play nice with each other.  The following is our love story.

The mortgage – let’s call him Bob – and I met over a three-bedroom ranch in small-town Iowa.  We instantly fell in love.  Bob offered me the ability to own a home with the ease of an affordable down payment and low monthly payments, and I offered Bob hefty interest feedings…I mean payments. 

At first, the mortgage and I were in love.  I told Bob that I would pay above and beyond my minimum payment every month.  I reassured Bob that I wasn’t trying to get rid of him too quickly.  I just wanted to make sure he didn’t stay so fat.  You see, Bob came to me very overweight; the terms of my 30-year mortgage dictated that I pay $108,000 in interest over the course of my loan.  But, if I paid extra money toward my principal every month, I could skinny Bob up, or cut my interest payment and the length of the loan in half.

As hard as I tried to boost Bob’s weight loss, I could not force myself to pay extra to my principal each month.  I bought useless items with the money slated for Bob’s additional principal payments, and I was certain I could get by without my daily lattes eating up the cash.  However, I lacked self-discipline, and I knew it would take a payment set in stone to make me cut Bob’s fat.  Finally, I'd had enough.  Bob and I were not seeing eye to mortgage, so I decided to get him liposuction.  At a cost of only a few hundred extra dollars per month (goodbye lattes and new shoes!), new-improved Bob was a younger, fitter model, with only 15 years of wedded bliss and weighing in at only $40,000 in interest.

Bob and I skipped off into the sunset, hand in paper, and we have been happy ever since.  Bob doesn’t even mind that I am cheating him of a few years by making bi-monthly payments.  I will now pay him off in 13 years, while reducing his interest weight even more.  We couldn’t be happier, and we are thinking about having a baby mortgage for a vacation home in about ten years.  Ah, wedded bliss…

You, too, can cut the fat in your own mortgage by refinancing to a 15-year loan or paying extra in principal payments each month.  Also, if your bank offers a free, bi-monthly payment plan, simply switching plans will save you thousands in interest and years in repayment.  Be careful to read all of your terms and conditions, and enjoy your happy new mortgage marriage.

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retirebyforty's picture

retirebyforty wrote:

Fri, 12/03/2010 - 07:04 Comment #: 1

Congratulation! It is so difficult to make extra payment. We are putting an extra $300 toward principle every month. The 300 came from refinancing to a lower rate, it'll save us a few years. We'll try to put a bit more next year, it is so important to put extra at the beginning of the mortgage when we are mostly paying toward interest.

MoneyCone's picture

MoneyCone wrote:

Fri, 12/03/2010 - 12:55 Comment #: 2

" Be careful to read all of your terms and conditions" - that would be the pre-nup!

Great post Christa! Love your writing style!

Aloysa's picture

Aloysa wrote:

Sat, 12/04/2010 - 02:45 Comment #: 3

We paid extra for the first two years of our mortgage. Then I realized that I need to put this extra money in our other debt. Oh well... I hope one day to get rid off the consumer debt and focus on our mortgage. Great post!

Christa Palm's picture

Christa Palm wrote:

Mon, 12/06/2010 - 14:35 Comment #: 4

Retirebyforty, great job on your self-discipline to put extra toward principal! That $300 extra per month will make a huge dent in your interest. Thanks for the input about the higher interest payments in the beginning of the mortgage repayment -- great point!

LOL, MoneyCone, the pre-nup -- love it! Thanks for the compliment :)

Aloysa, great choice on paying down higher interest debt first -- the mortgage can always wait on getting your high-interest "children" (smaller loans like credit cards, auto loans, etc.) out the door first.

Carnival of Debt Reduction » This week’s's picture

Carnival of Debt Reduction » This week’s wrote:

Tue, 01/11/2011 - 05:01 Comment #: 5

[...] Momvesting details her love-hate relationship with her mortgage. [...]

Angela England's picture

Angela England wrote:

Thu, 12/29/2011 - 05:34 Comment #: 6

My husband and I got a 15 year note on our first home and then managed to snag a 12 year on our current home (it's a sweat equity piece! Lol!) so we're in really good shape to have both paid off in the next five-ten years even if we aren't able to pay too much extra.

Christa Palm's picture

Christa Palm wrote:

Thu, 12/29/2011 - 15:35 Comment #: 7

Angela, that's great! I wish you the best in your sweat equity home and paying off both in five to ten!