Which is really the better option - Should I pay off my mortgage early, or look for higher yielding ways to use my money responsibly (like investing it, paying down down debt, etc.)? It's a financially responsible question I believe most people ask themselves at some point; especially when they find themselves with some extra cash that they'd like to put to good use. More than once after my wife and I have found ourselves with a new raise or bonus, we've questioned whether it would smart to use that extra cash to pay off some additional mortgage principal every month. Why is that? Because eliminating your monthly mortgage payment has classically been accepted as almost a sort of "pre-requirement" to achieving financial independence. … [Read more...] about Should I Pay Off My Mortgage Early or Not?
Mortgage & Refinance
How I Got My Property Taxes Lowered (And You Can Too!)
I'm all about challenging your bills and saving some money on your everyday expenses like your phone, cable, and insurance. But have you ever considered that learning how to get your property taxes lowered might be the mother-load in savings? That's what I did. And in one sweeping move, I was able to save $1,084! That's right! By protesting my county tax assessment, I was able to change the opinion of the value of the dirt beneath my feet and won! Here's how I was able to do this successfully, and how you can , and hopefully how you can too! The Back-Story: About 8 months after moving into our new house, I received my first county tax assessment notice for this house. According to them, the taxable valuable of my house had … [Read more...] about How I Got My Property Taxes Lowered (And You Can Too!)
Should I Pay Off My Car Loan Early or My Mortgage?
Question: If I've got a little extra money that I'd like to use responsibly to pay off one of my debts, which is the better one to put it towards: Should I pay off my car loan early or my mortgage? Ahhh … the old “which of my debts do I pay down first” debate … We tend to carry a lot of them in our society. According to a 2017 report from GoBankingRates, the top three forms of debt for most people are their mortgage (65%), credit cards (50%), and auto loans (32%). Usually questions like this are a no-brainer. Simply look to your loans with the highest interest rate and pay those off first. That means tackling your high-interest debt like credit cards and student loans. But what about our auto loans and mortgages? When it … [Read more...] about Should I Pay Off My Car Loan Early or My Mortgage?
How Soon Can I Refinance My Home Mortgage? I Just Did Within the First Year!
It’s something every new home owner thinks about the minute they sign on the dotted line… If mortgage rates go down, how long do I have to wait to take advantage of that opportunity? How soon can I refinance my home and lower my monthly payment? When you’re a frugal son-of-a-gun like me who’s heading towards financial freedom like a locomotive that’s full steam ahead, the answer is: As soon as it makes financial sense to do so! More specifically: Right away! Yes, that’s right. After having moved less than a year ago, we’ve already successfully completed a refinance of our home mortgage. This is a move that will save us almost $70 per month! But the more appealing aspect: It cost us literally nothing out of pocket, and … [Read more...] about How Soon Can I Refinance My Home Mortgage? I Just Did Within the First Year!
Could Buying Your First House Be a Financial Mistake?
It’s official – we’ve moved! We’re finally all settled into our new house in our new city, and we’re loving every minute of it! This is only the second house my wife and I have purchased in our adult lives. Our first one was back when I was 24 years old. With our first house for sale on the market at almost the same price we paid for it back 11 years ago, this got me thinking: What if we hadn’t bought a house when we first got married, and did something else with our money? Would we be better off financially? Although this is a fun little question to ponder, it’s actually a very real and tough choice for lots of young working professionals today. Many of them are faced with the decision of whether to find a place to rent or … [Read more...] about Could Buying Your First House Be a Financial Mistake?
What Size Mortgage Can I Afford and How Can I Figure That Out?
How big is “too big” when you’re thinking price tag on a new house? That’s the question that’s on everyone’s mind when they first go new-home shopping: What size mortgage can I afford? It’s a prudent thing to ask and sensible when it comes to your finances. Part of the whole Great Recession in 2009 was an issue with home buyers taking on far too high of a mortgage value than they could afford. (That and getting themselves into mortgage products that were probably not the most ideal for their situation). So to avoid another house buying implosion, a smart consumer will first take a look at their financial situation in the mirror and see what makes the most sense for their situation. Here’s a few tips to help you decide how much … [Read more...] about What Size Mortgage Can I Afford and How Can I Figure That Out?
The Conventional Home Loan – Don’t Mess It Up This Time Around
Another one bites the dust …. It’s getting to be a sad site walking around our little neighborhood. All around us there are houses that have slipped into foreclosure. It’s obvious when it happens. First the house gets really quiet. Then the yard starts turning brown and overgrown. And then it becomes official - the bank comes along and posts a legal notice in the window letting everyone know that the people who used to live their let their conventional home loan slip into default. … [Read more...] about The Conventional Home Loan – Don’t Mess It Up This Time Around
Steps to Building a House You Can Love
The following post is a guest contribution. If you’d like to write for My Money Design, please feel free to contact me. So you've finally made it! You've worked and sweat, and you and your family are finally ready to purchase the house of your dreams. Building a new home can be a fun and exhilarating experience! But all the steps to building a house can also be a stressful process if they are done incorrectly. … [Read more...] about Steps to Building a House You Can Love