Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Year's resolution: pre-paying mortgage--a strategy that might work

After reading all the pros and cons concerning prepaying mortgages, I've decided to go ahead and prepay. It's true that it's a very low interest rate (5.125) and it will be paid off before my husband retires anyway, but we both agree that we'd like to see it gone. It's our only debt besides a tiny HELOC which will be paid off in the next two months.

In deference to the naysayers about mortgage prepayment, however, I think I'm going to take the extra $400 I was intending to use to prepay and put it into a high yield savings account of some type, which will probably earn about the same as the mortgage interest rate.

In the next two years there may be real estate opportunities in my area and we could use it for a down payment for a second home (retirement) if that presents itself. I don't want to get caught flat-footed if something great comes up. If we decide against this course of action, we can always take the lump sum and apply it toward the mortgage.

The problem: do we have the discipline to keep the money for that purpose only and not use it for any other family emergency?

Also, if my husband decides not to work summers (he's faculty on a 9-month salary) will we be able to save the extra money during the summer months?

But so far this is my New Year's financial resolution.

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