Author Topic: Mortgage paid off - what a let down...  (Read 2081 times)

aperture

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Mortgage paid off - what a let down...
« on: May 05, 2018, 09:31:47 AM »
We had a bit of windfall that allowed us to pay off the mortgage last month.  We have loved the house and location since we moved here in 2003 an have paid in a sacrificial way since then to get this thing paid off.  Now that it is paid off, I look around and can only feel like the amount of $s spent, and years to accumulate that wealth and etc. should buy more.  It is a 23 year old house that has mostly not been updated, and there is some deferred maintenance but at the end of the day, it is hard not to look around and feel like for all the $s spent: it should be more.

It is a weird, hopefully transient thought, but it was my first honest feeling the afternoon I came home from transferring the last payment from our bank.  Of course, a paid off mortgage now means that the $s needed to maintain our lifestyle is cut by 1/2 which is extra cushion on the FIRE plan (which launches Saturday June 30 - yippee!).  I am sure the future accelerated accumulation of wealth and the opportunity to kick back in a hammock in the back yard or rebuild a door or room with $s that I am used to throwing at the mortgage will lift my spirits and help me feel better about our home. 

TL;DR: First feeling on paying off the mortgage: there has been too much deferred living that went into the purchase of this house and the building just isn't worth all the sacrifice. I am looking forward to having this feeling pass as new months come and go with no new payments to Chase.

PizzaSteve

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Re: Mortgage paid off - what a let down...
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2018, 10:07:09 AM »
Sorry you are feeling sad.

Maybe you are having a deeper insight about 'the american dream of home ownership', that to some extent is also a marketing idea, one of consumption, that is not necessarily a key to happiness for all.

My view is that this site allows each of us to think independently and realize our spending is not the key to a happy life.  A home is shelter and a set of financial choices about how we pay for shelter.  IMHO the paid off value of a home should not be seen as either an investment or a dream to be realized.  It is important to be comfortable, to manage costs, etc.  However a traveling van, rented apartment, or tent might just be a better fit to some lifestyles and not everyone needs a paid off suburban home to enjoy life.

So, in summary, maybe it is good that you are being reflective and thinking deeply about your happiness at this moment.  It may help you to plan a better future life plan.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2018, 01:17:35 PM by PizzaSteve »

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: Mortgage paid off - what a let down...
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2018, 11:27:19 AM »
That really sucks, aperture. I'm sorry that's what's come up for you so far. Totally understandable to me. The price for so many houses is so overblown, and so high in relation to median wages, etc, it would be hard to see otherwise.

It's never too late to start again. You could sell, get into cheaper housing, and invest the net. Or yes, if you decide to keep it regardless of the overall cost, hopefully as you make those little improvements to it, it ultimately feels like a wonderful thing.

aperture

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Re: Mortgage paid off - what a let down...
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2018, 12:07:13 PM »
Thanks for the kind reflections and well wishes Pizza Steve and jooniFLORisploo.

Agree with you both that at the end of 15 years of paying off this house, the disappointment I feel is more with the high cost of the "American Dream" of suburban home ownership than with this or that about this specific house.  If I were on my own without teen-age kids in school and a wife in a high paying part time job she loves, I would be selling this house and getting on the road in a stealth RV.  As it is, I am going to kit out my mini-van as a mini-stealth RV and hit the road this summer anyway, but with the suburban home and kids and wife to return to.

I am at the end of my working career and I feel the same way about my "career" that I feel about the house.  "Career" now seems to me like another piece of marketing to help the young sacrifice without actually getting compensated for that sacrifice.  I have a new co-worker in the 2nd year of her post-graduation career and she is working 55 hours/week --> 15 hours extra per week on her own steam.  She will get a pat on the back and a that-a-girl from the leadership, but her lifetime salary will not stray more than 10% from people hired the same year that put in average to marginal effort.  I know because I am her boss and the boss of some marginal to average coworkers.

Anyway - I have no wisdom to impart except to watch your green soldiers and make sure they are working hard for you.  Happiness and freedom, aperture. 

Gronnie

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Re: Mortgage paid off - what a let down...
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2018, 01:28:32 PM »
Not quite there on the house part yet, but I definitely understand your point on the career side.

I have so many coworkers that put in tons of what I like to call "butt in seat" time, but I get more done in 40 hours at work than they do in the 55-60 they are "working". We all get paid fairly similar I am pretty sure (within a fairly narrow band for each pay grade at least).

Dicey

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Re: Mortgage paid off - what a let down...
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2018, 12:48:24 PM »
That really sucks, aperture. I'm sorry that's what's come up for you so far. Totally understandable to me. The price for so many houses is so overblown, and so high in relation to median wages, etc, it would be hard to see otherwise.

It's never too late to start again. You could sell, get into cheaper housing, and invest the net. Or yes, if you decide to keep it regardless of the overall cost, hopefully as you make those little improvements to it, it ultimately feels like a wonderful thing.
I'm with jooni. I can also completely relate. I worry when people think their life is going to be so wonderful when the CCs/SLs/Mortgage/Whatever are paid off. Mostly, life is the same, which can readily lead to a feeling of ennui. It will pass. You did a good thing, even if you can't see or hear a big brass band playing.