Tuesday, July 29, 2008


When we moved to our current house, we were able to manage a 15 year mortgage. And now we get the reward. I just set up a home equity line of credit, because I don't want to take money out of the stock market right now to fill gaps and because we are going to do at least some, maybe a lot of renovation on the other house we own. The bank that set up the line of credit wanted to roll over the old mortgage into the line of credit (rather than set up the line of credit as a second mortgage). It turns out that the amount remaining to be paid in the old mortgage was $5,000. So I'm celebrating that we have paid off our mortgage. That isn't strictly true--I have set up a monthly payment on the line of credit. But that monthly payment is a lot more than the minimum payment due and still half what our mortgage used to be.

To me, the remarkable thing about the process is that by paying a monthly amount that was comparable to rent (at least in this town where house prices are low and rents are high), we ended up with the whole value of the house as wealth. It is a lot of money that we didn't have 15 years ago and now we have. And I am very thankful for the flexibility that gives us right now.

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