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Readers Respond: What are You Doing/Did You Do to Pay Off Your Mortgage?

Responses: 92


A paid off mortgage is the very best kind of mortgage. Tell us what you're doing/what you did to get yours paid off. Share Your Story

Best Birthday Present

Today, I paid off our mortgage at the age of 30. It is a huge relief as my wife and I are expected triplets. We only have a car payment, no student loans, and no credit card debt. I am excited for the future that I will be able to raise my children debt free.
—Guest Brian

paid off house

I always wanted to put down a large down payment for my house. I refused to buy a new car for 10 years after working and having a 60k starting salary. We used two used cars. Then in 2007 We bought our first house after being in appartments for 6 years after marriage. I sold every stock and mutual fund I owned. The timing was good. markets were high. We put down 40% towards the house. Then within a few years we paid off in full. we kept paying every $ of saving towards the principle. Living debt and rent free is just liberating. More americans should strive for that.
—Guest itconsultant

Light at end of tunnel

Having bought a derelict property four years ago my wife and I embarked on a major refurb project investing our savings to give us a 4 bed property finished to a high standard. We then set about clearing the mortgage debt as quickly as we could. We now have only 12 months left on our plan and then we will be debt free. We are currently 36 and looking forward to not having to pay interest to the bank after Dec 2014. The additional savings will be put straight our retirement portfolio. Simply having the debt clearance in sight is exciting in itself, never mind having it fully paid off! After reading a great deal on whether to invest or pay off mortgage debt I have concluded that if you have sufficient emergency funds (6 months salary) and savings in tax free investments, then paying off the mortgage is a sure fire way to make a guaranteed 'return' on your money. Why take any risk when you can get 6% tax free by paying down the mortgage?
—Guest John

Did it my way

This is not rocket science it comes from hard work and discipline. I paid off my first house at 30yrs old had a mortgage under Reaganomics at 12% interest. They asked me why i would want to pay it off when i went in on my 30th b-day to do so. It pretty much explains itself. I used my equity in that house and purchased several other rentals over time and fixed up and rented all-paid for. I built my existing home with no mortgage and am getting ready to list it for 850000 to 900000 . It is time to down size into a rambler and get ready for a comfortable retirement in 10 years or so. Life has been very good once again from a hard work ethic. Anyone can do this i am not smart nor highly educated by any means. Why others were making there mortgage payments i was investing what would have been my mortgage payment. Just knowing that someone cannot take your place away is security in itself.
—Guest woot

5 years and we are DONE

It was not always easy to transfer all of our pay checks to Wells Fargo but our final payment was made November 2013. At times I struggled with "I just want one paycheck for myself" but we stayed focus and it paid off. We purchased in May 2008. It is so nice to know that we have the freedom to leave our jobs if our health does not allow us to continue and not have the stress of debt. We are completely debt free and are completely enjoying the freedom.
—Guest Ginny

No mortgage at age 35, thanks Mom Dad

My folks paid off my mortage last year at age 35 and I've channeled all the former mortgage $ into our Roth IRAs. My wife and I are extremely lucky to have my parents and their generosity will make it a lot easier to achieve a confortable retirement. Thanks Mom and Dad
—Guest JP

Finally...perseverance and hard work

I have been married for 16 years and just turned 39. From the first year of our marriage, almost every month we put something extra against our principal. From our first house, we have now moved 4 times and have been in our current house for 8 years. Every house we continued to pay down principle every month. At times it became very difficult as my wife has not worked since our first child was born 14 years ago. I also believe in having a balanced life, so I did not want to become such a "cheapo" that our lives suffered...as you only live once and more importantly are only young once. So, in addition to my 9-5 job, about 7 years ago I started a side business. I ran the side business at night and on weekends when time would allow, usually after the kids went to bed. So it has been an extreme struggle to try and get our mortgage down, down, down, and eventually paid off. I almost can't believe it is finally done. We have paid down $600,000 through hard hard work and discipline!
—Guest Guest Chandler 2013

paid,started a new one

After lurking here for a while i am posting for the first time, it has been a difficult phase in my life while paying debt for more than 8 years now when it is completed your happiness new no bounds then suddenly an unwanted incident happen which would again make you take a debt though small but still making a huge impact on your future plan again the feel of being under pressure grows again you cut back your expenses this would give rise to depression. http://www.kevinbradleyrealtor.com/

43 and out

Paid off my house in Nov 2013. I've had 2 other houses that I bought and sold, but this is the first one that I've actually paid the entire mortgage on...and did it in 12 1/2 years. I've also been debt free (except the mortgage) for the entire time. I haven't had Credit Cards or car payments the whole time I've had my latest mortgage. Don't listen to articles that tell you that you need to have a mortgage, that's BS! I have an Accounting background and can run the numbers. Hardly anyone benefits from keeping a mortgage and paying interest. Buckle down and get your house paid off. Then you will only have to worry about the Property Taxes and Insurance on your home. If you lose your job after that, you still have a place to live.
—Guest Wil

mortgage free thanking GOD

We bought a fixer and my husband did all the work. I had the vision. We both lost 20+ lbs. But is worth it. No mortgage and the health to enjoy it all.
—Guest ms king

paid off the mortgage

My goal was always to pay off the mortgage. As a veteran of a traumatic divorce, I wanted the certainty of knowing I owned something. Lots of people talk about the tax benefits of having a mortgage. But the emotional benefit of knowing no one can take your home away from you far outweighs the piddly tax consequences. One financial adviser said I was going to miss out on a couple of thousand dollars of tax benefits. To which I responded, "You're going to take my dream away from me and give me a couple of thousand bucks? No way." Of course, none of the people who talk about the money you could make investing the money will guarantee that investment. It sure is nice to live in a home that is paid for. Call me old fashioned. Call me conservative. But most important of all, call me happy. I convinced my mother to pay off her home and she has never been happier. Not having to deal with the mortgage company is great. Pay off the house. Live simply. Be happy. I am.
—Guest jojo

Paying off my 4th House

1) Purchased a house for 405K in 2005, the height of the bubble. Put down a solid downpayment and only owed 240K. Paid it all by 2008, just under 3 years. It was a private joke that my overpayments is keeping WAMU afloat. Sure enough after I made my last payment, WAMU collapsed like a pack of cards. It was a tense affair for 2-3 weeks whether I would receive a check back for the tax overpayments. 2) Purchased a condo in Las Vegas Strip in 2011 paying by cash - rented it out 3) Purchased a fixer upper end 2011 in the best school district by cash. Fixed it and it took almost a year since I had time and got the best deals from contractors and material. Currently rented. 4) Purchased my current home in the same school district and paying off the mortgage. Interest rate 2.625% and the money from rental properties more than covers my mortgage payment. Still paying down my mortgage to 240K. Expect it to be 200K in 2-3 months, all things staying well, fingers crossed.

20% more helps a lot

Just paying an extra 20% above the minimum will take 11 years off a 30 year home loan.
—Guest Brad

Piece of mind

I paid mine off in 12 years by driving old beater cars, watching movies at home instead of the theater, taking vacations close to home instead of flying someplace, etc. etc. Now at 57 I'm retired, debt free and able to travel or sleep in and ignore the morning commute. It was hard sometimes but the payoff of security and piece of mind makes it worthwhile. Debt free is the best way to live. Don't try to keep up with the Jones'. The Jones'are deep in debt, stressed out and too often about to loose their home.
—Guest chris

Huge weight off our shoulders!

We had a 15-year mortgage on a house that originally cost us 164,000. After a few refinances, we finally paid off the house this year. How did we do it? We both have good incomes, but we never paid top dollar for anything, including vehicles or entertainment products. We kept our credit cards at 0, month to month, and paid extra on the mortgage whenever possible. We also stuck to having just one child and now that she's grown, we have few costs associated with her. We are completely debt free and the weight off our shoulders was an amazing feeling. I read in one article that the number 1 reason for paying off your mortgage is to reduce stress factors. There's truth to that!
—Guest Steve Bailey

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What are You Doing/Did You Do to Pay Off Your Mortgage?

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