Our Real Estate Blog
Paying off a mortgage early is a dream of many homeowners. By making larger payments on your home loan, you can cut years off of your loan term and save thousands of dollars in interest payments that you can use toward savings or investments. But in an economy that has seen decades of wage stagnation and increasing costs of living, it can often seem like an unattainable goal.
With some planning and initiative, however, there are ways to pay off your home loan before your term limit.
In today’s post, we’re going to talk about three of the ways you can start paying off your mortgage early to avoid high interest payments and save yourself money along the way.
1. Refinance your mortgage
If you’re considering making larger payments on your mortgage, it might make sense to look at refinancing options. Most Americans take out 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages.
If you can afford to significantly increase your mortgage payments each month, you could refinance to a 15-year mortgage. This will save you on the number of interest payments you’ll have to make over the years. But, it will also help you secure a lower interest rate since shorter term mortgages typically come with lower interest rates.
This option isn’t for everyone. First, refinancing comes with fees you’ll have to pay for upfront. You’ll have to apply for refinancing, get an appraisal of your home, and wait for the decision to be made.
But, you’ll also have to ensure that you can keep up with your higher monthly payments. If your income is variable or undependable, it might not be the safest option to refinance to a shorter term mortgage.
2. Make extra payments
An option that entails less risk than refinancing is to simply increase your monthly payments. If you recently got a raise or are just reallocating funds to try and tackle your mortgage, this is an excellent option.
Depending on your mortgage lender, you may be able to simple increase your auto-pay amounts each month, streamlining the process. Otherwise, it’s possible to set up bill-pay with most banks to automatically transfer funds to your lender.
3. Bi-weekly payments or one extra payment per year
Making bi-weekly instead of monthly payments is an option that many homeowners use to pay off their mortgages early. Bi-weekly payments work by paying half of your monthly payment once every two weeks.
The vast majority of homeowners make 12 monthly payments per year. But by switching to 26 bi-weekly payments, you can effectively make 13 full monthly payments in a year without seeing too much of a difference in your daily budget.
This doesn’t seem like much savings in the short term, but let’s take a look at how much you could save over the term of a 30-year mortgage.
On a 30-year fixed mortgage of $200,000 with a 4.03 annual interest rate, you would make a monthly payment of $958.00 and a bi-weekly payment of $479.
Over 30 years of an extra monthly payment, you could save nearly $20,000 on the total interest amount and pay off your mortgage almost 5 years early.
If you intend to sell your house, it generally helps to allocate time and resources to improve your home's condition. That way, you can impress potential buyers as soon as they see your residence.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to ensure you can bolster your house's condition before you list your home.
1. Install Energy-Efficient Fixtures
Updating fixtures usually is quick and easy. Plus, if you install energy-efficient fixtures, you may be able to reduce your home energy consumption while you sell your house.
Energy-efficient fixtures use a fraction of the energy of traditional fixtures. Meanwhile, energy-efficient fixtures may prove to be a key differentiator for your house, one that is sure to garner homebuyers' attention.
2. Revamp Your Bathroom
Believe it or not, the appearance of your bathroom can make a world of difference in the eyes of homebuyers. If your bathroom looks modern and beautiful, it may help your house stand out to potential buyers. Conversely, if your bathroom appears small and outdated, it is unlikely to do you any favors as you try to sell your house.
To renovate your bathroom, you may want to replace the vanity, old plumbing and lighting fixtures. In addition, it may be beneficial to install a new tile floor that will help you transform your bathroom from drab to fab.
It also is important to keep in mind that bathroom renovations may prove to be less expensive than renovations in other areas of your house. Thus, if you complete assorted bathroom renovations, you may be able to increase your house's value without a significant time and resource investment.
3. Enhance Your Lawn
If you've failed to maintain your lawn over the years, there is no need to worry. In fact, you can replace patchy weeds and grass with fresh new sod to improve your house's condition and curb appeal.
Oftentimes, you can perform lawn care and maintenance on your own. But if you want expert help, you can always hire a professional landscaping company. Because with a team of professional landscapers at your side, you can quickly and effortlessly enhance your lawn.
For home sellers who want extra assistance as they get ready to list their houses, real estate agents are available to provide expert support as well.
A real estate agent understands the challenges associated with selling a house and can help a seller identify and address such issues. Furthermore, a real estate agent will provide a home seller with recommendations and suggestions about how to improve a house's condition.
Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will offer assistance at each stage of the home selling journey. From the moment a house is listed to closing day, a real estate agent will do whatever it takes to guide a seller along the home selling process.
Ready to add your house to the real estate market? Use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble beating the home selling competition thanks to the condition of your house.
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Family members and friends are loved ones who play important roles in your life. However, when it comes to sharing the news that you've decided to sell your home, it sometimes can be difficult to prevent these loved from sabotaging your home sale.
Lucky for you, there are many simple ways to reduce the risk that loved ones can hinder your ability to sell your residence.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to keep family members and friends involved in the home selling process.
1. Meet with Family Members and Friends
Don't wait to inform family members and friends about your decision to sell your house. Instead, meet with loved ones so you can discuss your home selling plans with them.
Face-to-face meetings with family members and friends are ideal. These meetings will allow you to explain why you decided to sell your home, where you plan to move and much more.
In addition, meeting with family members and friends shows loved ones that you care about their thoughts and feelings. It also sets the stage to involve your loved ones in the home selling process – something that may help you get the best results possible.
2. Respond to Loved Ones' Home Selling Questions
In all likelihood, family members and friends will have lots of questions about your decision to sell your home. If you plan ahead for potential questions, you should have no trouble responding to loved ones' queries accordingly.
It may be tough to move further away from loved ones. But if you prepare before you meet with family members and friends, you can improve your chances of remaining calm, cool and collected as you share your home selling news.
Furthermore, it is important to remember that loved ones might not always agree with your home selling decision.
On the other hand, family members and friends should be ready to stick with you and support your decision, regardless of whether they agree with it. By doing so, your loved ones can provide you with the assistance you need to streamline the home selling process.
3. Discuss Your Options with a Real Estate Agent
For those who want to get their loved ones involved the home selling cycle, meeting with a real estate agent may prove to be a great first step.
A real estate agent can provide recommendations and suggestions about how to share your home selling news with family members and friends. Plus, this housing market professional can respond to your home selling concerns and queries at any time.
Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will serve as a great guide throughout the home selling process. He or she will help you add your residence to the real estate market, promote your house to potential property buyers and negotiate with homebuyers on your behalf.
Don't worry about telling family members and friends about your decision to sell your house. Conversely, use these tips, and you can prevent your loved ones from sabotaging your home sale.