Between Re-Fi's and Foreclosures...
Another thread on refinancing got me prompted to post this. Between all the foreclosures and refinancing opportunities with lower rates, does anyone pay off their mortgage anymore? Obviously the foreclosures put some people out of the game for the time being. And the re-fi's reset the 30 year clock if the purpose is to lower monthly payments to make them manageable or to just have more money in your pocket. Generally speaking, how many here are free and clear owners?
I'm 4 years into a mortgage on which I have been paying ahead. I'm refinancing from 5-7/8 to 4-1/2 to lower the obligated payment each month should anything happen to me or my spouse - job loss, disablement, death, etc. My intention is to keep paying the same amount each month but have more of it go to paying the principal. I should be able to payoff the loan in 10 years at the new rate. (We have a rule on home improvements that they're paid out-of-pocket. No home loans which will decrease our equity and put ownership further at risk.)
Many friends, as soon as they pay off their car, immediately buy a new one saying "I'll always have a car payment - It's just part of life!" Do many feel the same way about a mortgage? Is it either something that will always be there or will have to take the full 30 years to pay?