personal finance

'It's never stopped us doing anything': How couple became mortgage free in their early 30s

For most people a mortgage is probably the biggest debt they will ever have, so to become mortgage-free and pay a huge loan back early is nothing short of admirable. For some British people, buying young has worked to their advantage as one young homeowner took to the website Reddit to explain.

The homeowner who goes by the name of Blottum on the website said they bought a house worth £200,000 with their partner when they were just 23-years-old.

“When we bought (age 23) it we had a combined salary of about £40k and now we’re up to £90k (age 31). The only reason we’ve paid it off is the growth in our salaries.”

They added: “If we’d not bought young and at the relative bottom of our careers, we’d be much more likely to have got a bigger mortgage on a bigger house which we’d have had for much longer if we’d already got to the fairly stagnant salary point we are at now.”

It’s a strong argument that not only buying young but also at the beginning of one’s career when people are less likely to choose a grand house could help people become mortgage free.

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Blottum replied: “Some people think we’ve done life wrong to have our mortgage paid off in our low 30s, but I don’t. We do have relatively well paid jobs for our area, but nothing too special.

“I think what did it, was being in a position to buy a house in our early 20s, we’ve since moved somewhere bigger but not really paying rent for years (and also being happy to move in together at a young age) really helped.

“We’re very sensible with money, by spending a little time researching the best value options, but have never let it stop us doing anything – we were going on two (UK) holidays a year and have a child.

“Knowing we only have maintenance and bills (likely less than 10 percent of our income) to have somewhere to live is great.”

Another website user Magurdrac said there’s no better feeling than being mortgage free at a young age and planning to retire early.

“I’m in my early 30s, and I have to say it feels brilliant – I could have been better off with different investments, but this way I just feel like I have a lot more flexibility, and like I’m less chained to my work.

“My happiness doesn’t really come from buying things, so I’m aiming to mostly retire in five years, and just work when I actually need to.”

Young homeowners should take advantage of current low interest rates as they will never get a better chance to knuckle down said an older Reddit user, Teapot1971.

They said: “Most of the people on here can not remember interest rates at 15.4 percent. I can – it was tough buying my first house. My advice is you will never get a better chance to pay your mortgage off quicker so get your head down and make life easier when you’re older.”

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For others inspired to become mortgage free, the best advice is to overpay the loan as it means they’ll pay thousands less in interest over the years. Most mortgage lenders have a limit on how much a person is able to overpay on their mortgage each year, which is usually capped at 10 percent of the current balance. 

To work out exactly how much this equates to, people can call their mortgage lender or have a look at their website – some of them have a mortgage overpayment calculator which is a really handy tool. And it’s good to know that although it’s not easy, it doesn’t mean missing out on life.


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