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December 18, 2018

Own a Home, Not a Mortgage

time for no mortgageOwning a home is one of the biggest dreams of almost every adult, especially when they have a family. Mortgage arrangements come in handy to make this desire a reality. Nevertheless, homeowners are left with another big question on their minds: What strategies can I employ to pay off my mortgage as quickly as possible? Well, it is natural to want to be free of any debt commitments, and to know that you own your home and that no one has a claim on it. This is because owning a home will allow you to work on other financial goals, like saving for retirement, saving for your children’s education, and so on.

Paying off your mortgage in a shorter period is not too difficult or unachievable, but it calls for slight adjustments in your payment plan, or changing a few things in your mortgage terms. Here are some things you can do:

Increase the frequency of your regular repayments

The normal terms are monthly payments, but you can choose bi-weekly or weekly payments. Such an arrangement will significantly enable you to save on interest and it will set you free from mortgage sooner than if you only do it monthly. The goal is to make more monthly payments each year without realizing it.

Go for the shortest amortization period and the biggest repayment amount you can afford

Opting for a larger monthly payment, which means it will be paid off quicker, will cause you to consider it as a budget item, thereby shaving several years off your mortgage. While still clearing out your mortgage, a good and consistent mortgage repayment history will enhance your credit score, because mortgage is one of the trade lines (credit accounts) that contributes to your score. You can work with experts to boost your credit score to access more credit at better rates. You need not look further than https://www.boostcredit101.com/ to boost your score and find more advice.

Increase your monthly payment amount when possible

If you have had a mortgage for some time, you have most likely set a plan to make uniform payments each month. It is time you consider increasing the amount, if you can manage. Additionally, if you have experienced an increase in your income, be it from a new job, a pay raise, or any other source, it would be prudent to increase your mortgage payment with the increased income.

Pay lump sum amounts

Mortgage arrangements come with some privileges or additional options that the borrower can use to their advantage. For example, any chance to make lump sum payments should be utilized, especially an annual lump sum payment, against the mortgage. Based on the options you choose for your mortgage, you can pay amounts equal to 10%, 15%, or 20% of the initial principal figure of your mortgage at any time for each year of the mortgage term.

Diversify your mortgage

You need to weigh the various options and choose the mortgage arrangement that offers savings and flexibility.


It is such a relief to pay off your mortgage as fast as possible; thus, you need to work out how to save on other things and repay your mortgage in larger, more frequent payments. Also, you should do lump sum payments when possible.

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September 27, 2011

Adding Value to Your Home

You may want to do some renovations, but you know this isn’t the house you are going to stay in forever. In fact, you might even be considering selling it in a few years time. All real estate agents would tell you not to overcapitalize on a home you are just going to sell anyway, so what are some renovations you can do that will actually add value to your home? If you had planned to do any of the changes that appear on this list, then you are heading in the right direction.

Knocking Out Walls

Removing non-structural walls from some rooms can really open up a house and make it appear larger than what it is. If you choose which walls need to be knocked down wisely, you should also find the natural light filters throughout the house better, giving it a larger, lighter and more airy feel. It also helps to take out any space barriers such as kitchen islands from a small kitchen.

Knocking out a back wall so the house flows easily into the garden area looks great and is perfect for entertaining too.

Don’t just knock down walls that will make two bedrooms into one, as two smaller bedrooms is still worth more on the market than one large one.

Kitchen and Bathroom

Updating your kitchen or redoing your bathroom to make it more modern will add quite a lot of value to your house. Again, it is possible to overcapitalize here if you renovate beyond the means of the house or neighborhood, but mostly just updating either will bring you more gain than harm. Consider where the house or unit is situated before you buy the gold plated tap handles or the imported Caesar stone bench top for the kitchen. If it is a unit in a building that doesn’t look great on the outside or is in a fairly low income area, then you may not want to buy the highest quality of everything as the people who will be looking to buy from you may not have the budget for top quality finishes.

Natural Light

Anything you decide to do that will brighten up the home or bring in more natural light will help add value to the house. This can be as easy as changing dark, heavy drapes to light blinds or blinds that are semi-transparent and still let in a lot of light. You can also replace external doors with ones that are partly made of glass panels. For something a bit more expensive, consider having a skylight installed into any rooms that do not have external windows or that are naturally dark, you will be surprised at the change it makes.

Fresh Paint

A fairly quick and easy way to improve the look of your house, while also adding value, is to repaint. New, fresh paint can have a big impact on how the house looks, both inside and out. It immediately makes the place appear brighter and newer and covers up any old stains or marks that may have appeared over the years. If you decide to do the painting yourself, it can be quite cheap too.

Other renovations that will improve the overall price range of the house include adding a second toilet, landscaping the backyard and the front-yard, upgrading floors that are old and worn and upgrading front entrances such as front doors and hallways.

And of course, last but not least is anything that improves on storage space. If you add additional cupboards or wardrobes around the house that can be used for linen closets or keep cleaning supplies out of the way, it will be much appreciated by potential buyers. If you don’t have the space to add cupboards, go up into your roof and see if you can build a storage area up there instead.

If you are unsure about any renovations you are about to take on, call your real estate agent in Melbourne or wherever your local one is based for a quick chat regarding your plans. They will be able to help you decide if you are moving in the right direction or not.

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