Paying off the mortgage in 3 years is not impossibleMortgage, Real Estate | December 20, 2010 at 3:52 am
When I told everyone who was willing to hear me that I planned on paying off the mortgage in 3 years, they laughed at me and said it was impossible. It was only my deadpan expression that then told them this was no joke on my part. Some years on, I am mortgage free and I have the last laugh. That happened this November, and it is a monumental achievement for me in a financial sense.
The year was 2005, and I had just graduated. In a fit of youthful exuberance and positivity, I bought my first home in the summer of that year. My plan was simple; to keep costs as low as I could and so I bought a two room home that I could comfortably live in upstairs while renting out the basement of the home to someone else. I waded into my savings and made the down payment. Paying off the mortgage was obviously a different story and so I made the dive and pledged to be mortgage free in 3 years. It was an ambitious target, but I didn’t want to be made a slave to my mortgage like other people I had. I wanted my home to work for me and not me for my home.
Home prices were more reasonable at that time, it hadn’t yet taken off and since the rental income was reasonable, I was making major inroads into the mortgage. Some years on, I found a great deal on another property and thus made a 10% down payment on that and thus owned a second home. Half of the interest was tax deductible on the first home, so I admittedly slowed down and slowed down my efforts at paying off the mortgage, delighted that the home is working for me. I did make monthly payments, but made nothing by way of extra contributions in a lump sum annually (which I would have normally). A few years on, I sold the home for $55k after fees and everything was done with. The location of the home was just not that great for a family and space was a constraint.
And so, we moved into a zone with better schools and fit for kids. The sales for the first home went straight into the mortgage and so with that massive down payment I kicked off a 3-year open discounted variable mortgage with an outstanding balance of just $150k. Our earnings were growing rapidly and we were making lump sum payments where possible and also extra payments monthly. Our frugality and graft paid off and we paid off that mortgage in about 3 years, give or take. It’s vital to set goals and saving habits and stick to it. No point in making a plan and then veering from it, right? It worked for us, and with some luck and planning it can work for you too.