Saturday, August 14, 2010

Pay Off

On August 10, 2010, we paid off the mortgage on our home!

I've heard that in the 1950s, people used to have mortgage burning parties to celebrate the pay off date! We went to Baskin Robbins for hot fudge sundaes.

The moment was sweet and deserved a delicious acknowledgment. It had been a long haul though not the 30 years that are so often part of a home mortgage deal. We bought the place 10 years ago, in a moment of necessity AND impulsive enthusiasm. We planned to stay no more than 5 years. The interest was exorbitant--14.9%-- but in the moment we ignored the significance of that number. Soon however, we began trying to refinance. That proved impossible for a number of reason, the primary one being we had sneaked into our mortgage during a tiny window when getting financing to buy a mobile was relatively easy. But that window slammed shut quickly, and by the time we were ready to refinance, there was no one lending. It actually took us several tries to realize this was the case. We have 3 files labeled: refinance with the year we applied. Once we got so close we could taste the relief, but it bombed.

Three months ago, we knew we had to do something. We are on a fixed income with barely any discretionary money, and we were pouring money down the bottomless well of interest, getting no where fast. We came up with a plan to sell our house and use the equity to pay off the loan and buy a mobile of lesser value. It was that decision that launched us into a wild ride that included many side trips--talking with trusted advisers and researching a myriad of options. Once we started to think more creatively, the solution emerged. We took a giant leap that admittedly involves some scrabbling on the other side, but we are singing joyfully and hopefully.

The mortgage is paid, and in one year, we will have also paid off our credit card debt. We have to work hard for one more year to manage the choices we made, but we are not giving our money to the interest monster any more, and our house is OURS! We've fallen in love with it again and look forward to the rainbows that so often appear in our meadow.

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