With our first house we didn’t put down 20% and had to pay PMI (big mistake), so we will definitely put down at least 20% on our next house.
Also, we are self-employed and I have heard that most self-employed people have to put around 25% to 30% down (and sometimes even 35%!) because banks want to see more upfront from small business owners.
Now, that’s a lot of money!
This has got us thinking. While we are aiming for 30% or more, at what point should we stop saving for our down payment and ramp up our retirement savings instead? Yes, we are still saving for retirement, but should we be saving more?
In the personal finance world, the decision seems to be split. Some are all about paying off a mortgage quickly, whereas others don’t think that’s a good idea. There is no right or wrong answer, which makes the decision a little more difficult.
Of course, I do realize that this is a good situation to be in, so I am not complaining. However, how do you decide what is best for you?
Below are positives and negatives of paying off your mortgage early or even buying your house upfront with cash.
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Positive – Your house will be paid off early!
Of course, this is the biggest positive.
Your house will be paid off, you will be able to free up some cash each month, and you won’t have to worry about paying for a roof over your head each month.
Not having that huge amount of debt hanging over your head would be a wonderful feeling. Life would probably be a little less stressful and you may feel more financially independent.
Negative – Your money may do better if it’s invested in a different way.
While paying off your mortgage early can feel great and be a big accomplishment, mortgage interest rates right now are low.
You may do better by investing your money in other ways and earning a higher return. This can mean investing in certain companies, paying off high interest rate debt, investing in passive income, and more.
Positive – You can earn a guaranteed return by paying off your mortgage early.
On the flip side, by paying off your mortgage early, you can earn a guaranteed return.
Other investments most likely will mean that a return is not guaranteed (unless we are talking about paying off other debt), whereas when paying off your mortgage early, you will be certain what your return is.
Negative – A lot of your money is in one place if you pay off your mortgage early.
This is one big reason why I’m not sure if paying off your mortgage early is a good idea. If you have other investments and are on track for retirement, then by all means go for paying off your mortgage early.
However, if you don’t have much saved, then having everything you own in one place may not be a good idea.
Also, since all of your money is tied up with your house, it might be hard to get money if you end up needing it. Having at least some liquid money is a good idea.
Positive – You don’t have to deal with the hassle of getting a mortgage if you pay in cash.
If you have enough cash, then you might be able to skip the whole process of getting a mortgage.
Skipping a mortgage can be a positive for many reasons. Sellers love cash buyers, as it makes the buying process easier on them since they don’t have to wait for a mortgage to go through. This means you may get a discount if you buy 100% in cash or your offer may be chosen over others.
Also, if you are self-employed, skipping the mortgage process can be a good thing. I’ve heard stories of self-employed people trying to get a mortgage and it sounds like it’s a very difficult thing to do.
Are you wanting to pay off your mortgage early? Why or why not?