Wow, it’s been one month since my last posting! Things have been really busy at work. I had two weeks of overnight work and had two decent snowstorms that made travel treacherous and time consuming. This left me with minimal time for myself and blogging. I’m going to realign my schedule to allow more time for writing quality blog content.
It’s been one year since I closed on my first home and I cannot believe how time flies! I only have about 28 years left on the mortgage! Paying down the principle helped. The house has come a long way since we first moved in:
- Removed all the carpet upstairs and restored the hardwood floors
- Planted a plentiful vegetable garden
- Landscaped the front yard
- Removed carpet on the enclosed porch; cleaned and primed all the walls
These are only a few of the larger projects we have done around in the first year. Not bad for working full-time on a rotating schedule!
Some of the projects lined up this year include:
- Install a new fence while expanding the flower and vegetable gardens
- Complete the porch by sealing up all leaks, installing electric radiant floor heating, tiling, and possibly a small wood/pellet stove
- Complete the office with furniture and other items.
On another note, I received a letter from my mortgage broker advising me that the escrow is underfunded. To correct this, I can pay the $604 up front and keep a smaller, almost similar monthly payment. The other option is to divide the $604 into 12 months to fund the escrow; essentially increasing my payment by roughly $50 per month. Whether I pay in full or in increments, it all comes out to the same amount in the end. There are no fees or additional charges if I choose one or the other. So now the big question: Do I pay it all up front or keep my money and pay more per month?
After talking with a few people, they seem to go with the option of making the larger monthly payments as this gets reevaluated every year. One person also had an experience where he paid it in full, to only have it all returned one year later. This was because they over-projected the taxes and insurance.
Since I over allocate for my mortgage every month, this increase will not affect my current goals. So I’ve decided I will be paying the increased mortgage payment, while continuing to pay down the principle.
I set aside biweekly for my mortgage so I can accumulate one additional payment per year. Over the next year I want to try something new: Take the extra allocated money and make a monthly principal payment while still making one large principal payment every year. This will allow me to cut my mortgage down even faster. However, I am having remorse about paying the house down more when I have student loans that I want to pay down quickly.