Most people don’t think about paying off their homes aggressively. We all grew up hearing how long it takes to finally own a home, and even the bank makes it seem like it should take decades (which is in their best interest, not yours).
Combined with all the economic doom and gloom floating around, aggressively working to own your home sounds a bit crazy.
The Truth About Accelerated Mortgage Payments
The fact is, if you make owning your home a priority, you can easily shave years and years off of your mortgage. It HAS to be a priority though. If you decide you can’t get to work in anything other than a Cadillac and that without those tri-annual trips to Australia you’d go crazy, then this plan probably won’t work for you.
#1 – The fastest and easiest way to shave years off your mortgage is to opt in for bi-weekly payments. By making payments every two weeks instead of once a month, you’re actually going to end up making an extra month’s worth of payments every year. This is because there are 26 two-week periods during the year, and since each one of these periods would be a half-payment, you’re really making 13 total payments, rather than the 12 you’d make if you were going monthly.
It doesn’t sound like that much, but it can actually cut 3-8 years off of your mortgage.
#2 – Finding the lowest interest rate when you first buy your home is extremely important. Mortgage rates are constantly changing, but locking into the lowest rate you can find means a greater percentage of every payment goes towards the principle rather than the interest.
To find the absolute lowest rates you could try working with a mortgage broker, but the best way to see ALL of your options is to use an online tool like MortgageRates.ca.
Getting REALLY Aggressive
#3 – Renting out your basement isn’t for everybody, but it’s also not nearly as bad as many people think. By dropping a few thousand dollars in renovations to your home, you have the potential to bring in an extra $700-$1,200 per month (depending on your home and where you live, obviously). This can almost double your monthly mortgage payment.
There’s the added bonus of having way less storage space, which means you won’t be able to waste your money on junk you don’t have room to store. It’s a win-win!
#4 – To really win at this you have to give every dollar a purpose. Paying off your home should feel like a game. Instead of dropping $30 for a bottle of wine, learn how to make your own and put the savings towards your home. Your annual bonus? Don’t tell yourself you deserve a vacation or that new TV. Pretend you never saw it and drop the whole thing into your home.
The more aggressive you are, the easier these choices become, and the faster you’ll own your home.