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On April 2, 2013 I wired $22,200 to Chase to pay off the mortgage on our first home – what is now our rent house.  I held off on writing the happy post about it since I wanted to receive something official that would confirm we indeed own our first home 100%.  Well, here is a letter we received yesterday:

We are writing to tell you about a change in your status in the Mortgage Cash Back Program.

We want to let you know that you are no longer enrolled in the program because your mortgage has been paid off prior to maturity.  You may be able to enroll in the program in the future if you decide to refinance your mortgage with Chase.

Note:  Any rewards that you may have earned before cancellation of the program have been forfeited.

If you have any questions, please call us at one of the telephone numbers listed below.

So I forfeited $48 in cash back to save $60 in interest for the rest of April.  I'm okay with that.  😀


So even though we don't have a deed in hand yet, I am super happy to say that we have officially PAID OFF the mortgage on our first home purchase ever!!!  We officially own a 1750 square foot, 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath home outright!!!  Woot!!!  And the $505 mortgage payment that was usually drafted from our account the 9th of every month didn't happen!  Yay to an extra $500 a month!!!

Okay, I'll lay off the exclamation points.  I'm just super happy.  🙂

Our Rent House is now 100% Ours!!!
We own this baby outright!!! Yay!!!


The Process

Just so you know, I was a little worried about the process of paying off the mortgage since I hadn't done it before.  It ended up being pretty easy:

  1. I called the number I found online to use an automated system to receive a mailed payoff quote.
  2. I moved the $22,200 over from CapitalOne 360 to Chase which also has some good short term cd rates (our brick and mortar bank and the one who had this mortgage).
  3. Once I received the quote a week later, I wired the payoff amount along with all of the info they asked me to include in the “Memo” section of the wire.
  4. I then saw that they charged me a $25 wiring fee (I was too excited to pay attention to that little note before).
  5. I emailed them asking them to waive the fee since I was a long-time customer and the money went from them to them.
  6. They waived the fee.

And there you have it – 3 steps to pay off a mortgage and 6 to do it and get a fee waived, lol.  😉

What This Means Now

Now we own one home outright that we use for rental income.  We still have a $205,000 mortgage left on our current home, so we are definitely not completely debt free yet, but that is the last debt left.  And we really love our current home and being landlords, so we are not regretting our decision to move last year at all.  Overall, we're exuberant.

Based on our last budget update, we needed about $8000 a month for just bills plus taxes.  Now that is at $7500.  Still way too high in my opinion, but $500 a month is $6000 a year.  I'll take it.  🙂


This also means that real estate has truly become a part of our current income and our future retirement plans.  Even taking into account annual property taxes, annual home insurance, and all repairs/maintenance items, we should be netting about $10,000 a year from our rent house.  We haven't had any super expensive repairs yet, but I am budgeting high for those since all appliances will break eventually and probably all at once since that is how it always happens, right?

The rest of our retirement plans are sort of up in the air.  We max out Roth IRA's every year and that's about it right now.  So now that the mortgage is paid off, we need to look into all of our options and make a plan.  We know we want to invest in the stock market and are leaning towards opening a SEP IRA since I can't contribute to my old 401k anymore.  We could even look into more rental property. I will say for those thinking about doing this you should definitely require that your tenants have renter insurance for some peace of mind. Most apartments require this so why shouldn't you.

When we hit our golden years, we'll need to look at how we will take distributions.  Really though, the more immediate decisions need to be figured out first.  We will probably start small with SEP IRA contributions and more stock market investments since they are some of the best ways to invest money.  It'll take a year or two before we will probably look any further into real estate…we'll see…

Mortgage Payoff Race

Finally, I am happy to say, we also won the mortgage payoff race!  Jason from Live Real, Now and I made a bet at the Financial Blogger Conference last year about who would pay off their mortgage first.  Sorry Jason, but you will be expected to visit “hell” (as you put it) sometime soon.  I'll provide the sunscreen.  🙂  And don't worry, we have air conditioning.  This may have worked out for the best since I forgot you owned a cat and I would have had asthma attacks the whole time I was in the frozen tundra that you call home, LOL.

Are you debt free or working on it?  Own a home outright?  On track to?  What do you think?

31 thoughts on “Annoying Letter Means WE PAID OFF OUR FIRST MORTGAGE!!!”

  1. eemusings

    WOOHOOOO! Congratulations you guys.

  2. Sovellicious

    Wow, that’s a great news! Congratulations on that! Anything special planned to celebrate it? 😉

  3. Laura S.


  4. Dianne @ Skinny Seahorse

    Congratulations! On both paying that bad boy off and seeing that $25 fee. That’s awesome!

  5. Money Beagle

    I don’t think I would be annoyed by that letter one bit! Congrats!

  6. Christine

    YAY!!! Congrats!

  7. Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies

    Congrats you guys! =)

  8. Call Me What You Want Even Cheap

    Whoo hoo! Congrats, congrats, congrats! I am so happy for you! I own a home outright as well, and it feels great! Hubby had a home before we got married with a mortgage, so we’re in the same boat, that’s the home we live in now. It still nice to have a paid for home.

  9. Ambi

    Congratulations! When hard work pays off, the world makes sense.

  10. Kevin @ RewardBoost

    My step mom owns a house (no mortgage) and last year she got in big trouble for not paying property taxes for five years. The property taxes in her case were rolled into the mortgage, and when she had the mortgage paid off she forgot about the taxes.

    Just remember that taxes don’t go away when you own the house! 🙂

  11. Denise @ The Single Saver

    CONGRATULATIONS! I paid off my house last fall and it was the best feeling EVER! Don’t you just feel like a giant rock has been lifted off your chest?

  12. Courtney @ FamilyGoneHealthy

    Congratulations! That must be a GREAT feeling!

  13. Adam - HireMeHigherEd

    That is awesome news! Congrats!

  14. William Cowie

    This is just waaaay awesome! Congratulations!


    Then think about the next investment. Because that’s what’s next. What’s wrong with another rental home? You’ve already established a comfort level with that kind of investment, so why not continue? More of the same is easier to wrap your arms around that having too many irons in too many fires.

  15. Leigh

    WOO!!!! That must be an awesome feeling 😀

  16. krantcents

    I will own our home outright in June, 2017. I have mixed feelings about it because I will have a million dollar asset and can only access about 10% of the equity. It is something that may require more discussion. I love the idea of it still appreciating, but I want to access more of the equity.

  17. Crystal @ BFS

    THANK YOU ALL!!! I am still excited but I think it will feel more real with time…also, now I just want to get this mortgage paid off, so I may have skipped the celebration stage and went directly to a new goal. 🙂

    @Kevin, no worries, we didn’t escrow with either mortgage, so the property taxes have always been our responsibility. 🙂 I got it covered. 🙂

  18. Michelle

    WOOOHOO! You guys are so awesome!

  19. christie

    I am so happy for you! I don’t even know you and I feel like I could cry and do the happy dance! Go celebrate, dang it !!!! Go blow $500 in one night and have the hangover from hell. That would be fair to Jason. ;0

  20. cjb

    Very Awesome! Congratulations!!!!!!

  21. Squirrelers

    That is very cool. Maybe not to everyone in the general population, but as a personal finance blogger I think it’s awesome 🙂


  22. Crystal @ BFS

    Thanks Michelle, cjb, and Squirrelers!

    @Christie, awwww! We actually thought about throwing a $500 potluck party but we may reserve the huge friend celebration until we pay off this house. We’ll see. 🙂

  23. Zendelle

    Awesome! I can’t imagine what a wonderful feeling that must be. Congrats!!
    (Not to be a nitpicker, but isn’t that a picture of your new house?)

  24. KK @ Student Debt Survivor

    Congrats, that’s such exciting news! I can’t even imagine how good you guys must feel. We’re still a ways away from a paid off home (we just purchased our first condo last year), but stories of paid off mortgages are always inspirational and motivating.

  25. Crystal @ BFS

    @Zendelle, you made me look. 🙂 But no, that is our rent house and these are of our new house – https://budgetboost.co/build-a-home-series-finally-closed-and-pics/

    @KK, glad it’s motivating and good luck! 🙂 Congrats on your new condo!

    @Jessica, good luck!

  26. Jacob @ iHeartBudgets

    WoW! Simply amazing! Well done, you two! Congrats on the payoff, and now it’s time to tackle #2! 🙂

  27. Elizabeth L


    I actually don’t know how much I owe on my house. I contribute the same amount every month, which is about $150 more than the monthly payment. I would like to know how much it is though so I can start thinking of ways to pay more of it off. I’ll probably be moving in a few years so I know I can’t pay it all off by then (one income doesn’t go THAT far), but it would be really nice to get actual money from selling the house instead of having to use it to pay off the mortgage.

  28. jim

    Yay for you guys!!!!! Way to rock it. Can’t wait until ours is paid off. Tic Toc.

  29. Laura / No More Spending

    Wow! Congratulations to you both! 🙂

  30. Crystal @ BFS

    Thank you!!!

  31. Khaleef @ Faithful With a Few

    Congratulations Crystal!! When I saw you announce this in your newsletter, I was wondering if you were going to rub Jason’s nose in it, but I think you handled the announcement with a lot of respect…something I didn’t expect based on your convos at Fincon last year! hahaha

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