Refinancing and the Dream of the Mortgage-Free Life

Refinancing and the Dream of the Mortgage-Free Life

I bought my house on Friday.  Again. I have owned it for eleven years this month. And I have refinanced, by my count, five times.

Why? Because I want to pay it off. I want to be that cash buyer who goes to the head of the multiple bids. I want to bypass that mortgage payment every month, and write a nice check to some deserving charity instead.

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The Saga of Sisters Seller and Cousin Realtor

The Saga of Sisters Seller and Cousin Realtor

So here I am at 35,000 feet, watching a People's Court marathon on my iPad.  Things have sure changed from the days of my full-time travel. Back in my day, we had nothing but bad food and in-flight magazines to keep us occupied. But now, thanks to the miracles of modern internet technology, I can watch a parade of disaffected roommates and former lovers hash out their differences on national television.

The last case caught my attention, though -- enough to motivate me to turn off the streaming and start writing.

It was the case of a young couple who were new homeowners. After they bought the house, they discovered that the fireplace was in dangerous condition and needed extensive work. The couple were irate.  The sellers had told them the fireplace was fine.  And instead it was very not-fine.  They had children -- children -- living in a house with a dangerous fireplace.  Someone had to pay.

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Of Shake Roofs and Shady Vendors

I’m sorry you haven’t heard from me in a while. I’ve been busy — selling houses, of course. And trying to find houses for buyers. And moving my parents, which has served as ongoing reminder to me of what you all go through when you move. God bless you all!!

Today my office hosted a “round table” where we agents had the opportunity to spend a couple of hours firing questions at a panel of experts — plumbers, electricians, roofers, HVAC techs, etc. It was fascinating. And I learned a couple of things that I thought were worth passing on to you.

First: wood shake roofs. Anybody remember these? They were the bomb in the 1970’s. You saw them in all of the upscale neighborhoods. Having a shake roof became a status symbol.

Today, not so much. Turns out those wooden shingles are prone to catching fire. Who knew? Hence, they have been rapidly declining in popularity. In the past few years, I have been advising sellers with shake shingles that the roof will need to be replaced before closing, as more and more insurers are refusing to cover them, or insuring them only for their current value.  Which, given their age, generally comes to about a buck eighty nine.

 

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Stay Warm . . . And Avoid Furnace Scams

Baby, it’s cold outside!

As I write this, the temperature outside is -5.  That’s five degrees below zero.  Last night, the low got down to -15.  I’m thanking God for a functioning furnace, and wondering what people did before the advent of modern home heating.

I’m also thinking about the people whose furnaces aren’t working.  Right now would be a terribletime to lose the ability to heat your house.  In the winter, it’s hard to imagine a more important system in your home than the heating system.

And, unfortunately, there are people out there who know that, and who are looking to make a buck off of your fear of freezing.

Last month, Channel 31 News here in Denver ran an investigative report on furnace scams in the Denver area.  I watched it with interest, because I’ve seen these kinds of scams first hand.  Recently.

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