I knew this moment would come, though it got here sooner than I could ever have imagined. Five years after taking out my mortgage it was suddenly gone.
It was such a weird feeling, knowing that the roof over my head, the floor beneath my feet - every bit of it belongs to me. It was kind of a scary thought actually, but it felt amazing too.
My monthly expenses had just plummeted by almost half, our savings rate was about to hit truly absurd levels and I’d never have to worry again about whether I’d be able to provide shelter for myself. It took a while to sink in, so I just sat pinching myself and feeling tremendous waves of gratitude while I waited for that to happen.
So why did I pay it off so soon? Most people naturally lean one way or the other when it comes to paying off the mortgage or investing that money instead. For those who don’t mind debt or even think of it as leverage to use to their advantage, it’s a no-brainer to pay a low-rate mortgage on time and invest as much as possible instead. On paper, this is a smart way to go the majority of the time, unless you’re unlucky enough to be making that choice right before an extended bear market.
But for those who hate debt (Me!), it’s a no-brainer to pay off the mortgage as fast as possible. That interest we’re no longer paying is a guaranteed return, while there’s nothing guaranteed about market investments. And try getting a guaranteed return of 3.75 percent anywhere right now… outside of a mortgage, there’s nowhere that’s gonna happen. Plus, as I like to say: You can’t put a price tag on peace of mind.
At the end of last year, I was talking to my husband about putting our year-end bonus excess into investments instead of paying off the mortgage, but ultimately the coin flip went this way, and we’re really happy it did.
We’ve always said we wanted to have a permanent home base when we retire, even if we’re traveling a lot like we plan and for us that meant having the house paid off before we pull the plug by the end of this year. Not everyone wants that home base or wants to own property, and we totally understand that. But this felt like the right approach for us.
It turned out that the act of paying off our mortgage was both annoying and surprisingly easy. Here’s how it happened:
In December we decided that we’d pay off the house instead of investing our year-end funds, we logged into our mortgage servicer site, saw what our balance was and tried to put in the payment amount.
The computer kindly told us that some official federal rules prohibit us from paying off a mortgage online. No idea why. Instead, we could pay off 80 percent of the balance online, and then would have to request a payoff quote and wire transfer the balance.
At this point it was near the end of December, and we decided that we’d just push through the 80 percent payment online, let our normal January 1 payment credit, and then request our payoff quote. We received that quote late last week, and on Monday and I called our bank. It took about five minutes on the phone with them to push the wire through, they confirmed for me on the phone that the money had credited.

When the magical “£0.00” popped up, we both got big, stupid grins on our faces and our eyes got big and crazy.
We had really done it. We had paid off our house in just over five years.
More importantly, we’d just bought our freedom in a way more real than anything we’d ever done. This was the first time we could really look at something and think, “This is ours, even if times get rough.” No matter what the markets do — even if they crash tomorrow — we have this house. And if a natural disaster knocks down this house, then our insurance will build us a new one that we’ll own instead.

Author's Bio: 

Becky writes for Limetree Financial Services who were instrumental in securing her the best deal on her mortgage. She’s currently really busy enjoying the freedom that financial independence has brought to her and her family.