10 years sooner

May marked our 5th year in fixer-upperhood. We smiled to recall how, 5 years ago, we moved in one day and went on vacation for a week the next. It was chaotic. Coming home to a houseful of boxes and junk is not something I recommend.

But we’ve come a long way baby, I think. Too many home projects finished and in the works to recount. Too many dollars spent. Too much darn hard work. But to celebrate, we decided to make all this (raise hands and twirl around) all ours 10 years sooner.

We’d been watching interest rates for a while, and finally jumped on a 15-year refi at 4.25% from the same lender who holds our current mortgage. Our 5.5% 10/1 ARM wasn’t bad, but would need to be refinanced in 5 years anyway (unless we were willing to put up with annual adjustments). So, we’ve done the “smart thing” and cut 10 years and more than $60,000 off our mortgage (and paid $2800 in closing costs and $111.76 more a month for the privilege). Whoopee. The worst part: enduring, again, the blood-sucking crock that is the home-buying biz — all those fees we just paid 5 years ago had to be paid again (Flood certification — HA! An appraisal — HA! [don’t get me started on appraisals] Title insurance — HA! An extra 1/4 pt. because we don’t want to escrow — HA!)

Oh, and did I mention our smalltown lender would immediately sell the mortgage? To Wells Fargo — a Fannie Mae thing. The same Fannie Mae already bailed out at taxpayers’ expense. Is this my payback? Maybe.

But hey, at least we’re paying our mortgage. At least we didn’t buy more house than we could afford. At least, God willing, in 15 years, this will all be ours (except for those pesky taxes every year).

I’ve never been this close to owning my home. I’m praying for good luck and good health in the next 15 years…and beyond, of course.

Home is a shelter from storms — all sorts of storms.
~ William J. Bennett