you own a Boston downtown condo, the thought of a mortgage hanging over your head for decades can be daunting — and it’s natural to want to pay off your mortgage as soon as possible.
But before you decide to use your inheritance, raise or savings to pay off your mortgage (or even before you decide to make extra payments), it’s important to take a step back and determine whether it really makes financial sense for you.
Here’s what you need to know as you decide whether to pay off your mortgage early.
Can you pay off your Boston Real Estate mortgage early?
If you’re considering paying off a mortgage early, first contact your mortgage lender or servicer. Based on the terms of your loan, you might be subject to a prepayment penalty if you pay off the mortgage sooner than the payment schedule spells out, or maybe required to make payments within certain parameters. Knowing this information upfront can help you map out a payoff plan that works for you and your lender or servicer. Paying off your mortgage early: What to consider
Will other investments beat paying off a mortgage early?
Your biggest consideration might be whether to pay off your mortgage or invest. What if, instead of putting money into getting rid of your mortgage early, you invested the cash elsewhere?
Before taking a large chunk of your wealth and using it to pay off a mortgage early, don’t forget to look at liquidity. Your home is considered a non-liquid asset because it can take months — or longer — to sell the property and access the capital.
How much do you value peace of mind?
Sometimes it’s less about the bottom line and more about peace of mind. If you own your home free and clear, that can provide benefits that can’t be measured in strictly financial terms. For many, eliminating a monthly mortgage payment ahead of retirement can provide mental relief when considering living on a fixed income.
Pros and cons of paying off your mortgage early
- Eliminates your monthly mortgage payment, freeing up cash flow that can be useful, especially during retirement
- Saves you money on interest, potentially thousands of dollars
- Can receive a predictable rate of return, equal to the interest rate on the balance you’re paying off
- Grants peace of mind knowing you own your home outright
- Can tap the equity in your home if you need money later
- Ties up a good chunk of your liquidity and net worth in your home, which might make it harder to access later
- No longer eligible for the federal mortgage interest tax deduction
- Could miss out on potential higher returns from other investments
- Might not realize as much from your home as you had hoped if the market drops and you have to sell quickly
Boston Real Estate and the Bottom line
When considering whether to pay off your Boston condo mortgage early, it’s important to figure out what works best for your situation and is most likely to help you reach your short- and long-term financial goals. Sometimes, with financial planning, it’s not a straight assessment of what’s best by the numbers. People want to feel good about where their money is going — no matter what the spreadsheet says.