Mortgage free - is it all it’s made out to be?

So the title isn’t meant to be a discussion, more of what those lucky enough to have reached this mega milestone think of it.

Reason for the question is we are looking to downsize and become mortgage free. We would have to leave a house we (I) love and spent 3 very hard years renovating and extending, in a lovely village, and move to somewhere which might end up being a semi (detached homes for last 15 years), but still in a nice area.

We have plenty of time to repay a mortgage (25 years till my state pension age 😱), but not sure we want to work full time for that long to pay it.
30th June 2021 completely debt free…. Downsized, reduced working hours and living the dream.

Comments

  • FtbDreaming
    FtbDreaming Posts: 1,118
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    I wouldn’t give up a home where you’re happy to downgrade, just to be mortgage free. Mortgage freedom is a longer term goal to enable people to work more flexibly or have financial security. We could all sell our houses tomorrow and move into a dive and be mortgage free but the loss of comfort/ happiness wouldn’t be worth it just to say you’re mortgage free. 
    Mortgage started August 2020 £69,700
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    MFW2021 #26 £1184.71
    MFW2022 #11 £197.87
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    Determined to make it! 
  • beanielou
    beanielou Posts: 89,263
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    It's a really personal thing & only you know the answer.
    A list of pro's & con's may be a good place to start  :)
    I am a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on Mortgage Free Wannabe & Local Money Saving Scotland & Disability Money Matters. If you need any help on those boards, do let me know.Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any post you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button , or by emailing [email protected]. All views are my own & not the official line of Money Saving Expert.

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  • davilown
    davilown Posts: 2,303
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    Totally understand your comments but a home to us is just that - somewhere we live. We could be anywhere and be happy 😃 

    Has being mortgage free be good for you all and what has it allowed you to do/not have to do?

    Thanks
    30th June 2021 completely debt free…. Downsized, reduced working hours and living the dream.
  • Ramouth
    Ramouth Posts: 648
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    I’m looking at this from the other way around.  We were mortgage free for a few years but decided to move and take on a mortgage again.  Initially there was a big sense of relief in having the mortgage paid off but this quickly faded.  We still lived our reasonably frugal life as after many years of overpaying we just couldn’t shake off the thought that so much stuff we could spend money on is just a waste.  

    I also started to feel guilty for having extra money and not giving it away.  People at work (who I wished I hadn’t told) would say “oh well you can afford it because you don’t have a mortgage” when it came to unequal splitting the bill etc despite me being one of the lowest paid members of staff.  

    Getting back on the mortgage bandwagon allows us to have a house in a nice village with parking which is only 1 hill from work for cycling - well worth it IMO!  We will probably look to overpay again (term is 22 years taking OH to 65) but probably a bit slower with more going into our pensions.

    Sorry that turned out a bit long!
  • eat_that_frog
    eat_that_frog Posts: 222
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    It depends on what are your priorities really and what suits you and your family, your day to day lives etc.

    Speaking personally I've been mortgage free before in my late twenties. At the time it was great - we put away lots in savings, had 3 or 4 amazing holidays a year, had a really full social life. We had a small starter pad but it worked for just me and my other half and we loved it.

    When planning a family we moved 2 years ago out of the city. We took on a whacking great £250k mortgage to take a big step up the ladder. But that debt has given us lots of outdoor space for our toddler, plenty of rooms for homeworking and a playroom for our child so we don't feel like we're tripping over each other all day, and a great base location for the things we enjoy as a family - e.g. walks with the dog. Plus the community we live in is excellent, really friendly and there's lots to do round here.

    I would not sacrifice all that to downgrade back to our starter home just to become mortgage free again. So for us, the debt is worth it for the benefits it gives us as a family in our day to day lives.

    However if we ran into financial trouble for whatever reason and we had to downgrade, we would do it and make it work for us.
    Original mortgage total: £250,000 (Feb 2019)   
    Current mortgage total: £88,000 (Jan 2024)
    Planned mortgage end date: Feb 2044
    Mortgage free start date: 13th July 2020


    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6168574/quest-for-mortgage-freedom#latest 
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    1. Health: increasing our fruit and vegetable intake and reducing our UPF intake as a family.
    2. Getting out and about: doing an 'activity' as a family, once a week to begin with, building up to 2 times a week in April '24 and 3 times a week in July '24.
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  • Mickey666
    Mickey666 Posts: 2,834
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    davilown said:
    Totally understand your comments but a home to us is just that - somewhere we live. We could be anywhere and be happy 😃 

    Has being mortgage free be good for you all and what has it allowed you to do/not have to do?

    Thanks
    I sincerely hope that's true for you but I have my doubts.  Would you be happy living in a semi with really noisy neighbours, for example?

    Our first house was a terrace, and while we didn't have problem neighbours, hearing them on both sides was very intrusive and unsettling knowing that they could equally hear us.   We moved to a detached house as soon as we could afford it and have never lived non-detached ever since.

    So while I would certainly downsize to become mortgage-free, I wouldn't compromise on the new property.  In our case, we downsized financially but upsized in terms of space by moving to a cheaper are of the country - half the price, more than twice the space :)

    What has being mortgage-free allowed us to do?  Well, very broadly - whatever we want (obviously within reason).  We were able to retire early so are no longer dependent on an employer for our income and we wake up every morning knowing that the whole day is ours to do with as we wish and we now fully understand the old cliche about not knowing how we previously found the time to go to work!

    I'm a definite advocate of striving to be mortgage-free (who wouldn't want to have no housing costs?), but think about it in the wider context of your own 'life plan' rather than being a target in its own right.  As @ftbDreaming rightly said above, most homeowners could become mortgage-free if they moved to a 'dive' somewhere . . . but that sort of thing would be a compromise too far, for me at least.
  • davilown
    davilown Posts: 2,303
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    Thanks, we wouldn’t be moving to a dive, just a smaller place with a smaller garden - we had kids as teenagers so left home already.

    We can also still buy detached in nice areas as well.

    I think the retire idea is our main goal but to do what is the question!
    30th June 2021 completely debt free…. Downsized, reduced working hours and living the dream.
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