For the vast majority of people, the day you ‘buy’ your house is the beginning a long line of mortgage payments. Slowly and diligently over time, you watch that number go down. This gets especially exciting, almost nail-biting, in the very last year as you anticipate the moment when your home will be 100% yours. On the final day, many people have some kind of celebration ritual, from fires to firearms, to signify their incredible debt-free status. Whether you’ve just paid off your mortgage or are still watching that number steadily tick down, here are seven awesome ways to celebrate your complete home ownership:
1. Throw a Mortgage Burning Party
While most people may associate mortgage burning parties with a classic episode of “All in the Family” (back in 1975), the tradition existed long before that and is sure to continue long after. Fire is a classic and deeply satisfying way to celebrate the removal anything you are glad to be rid of, making your mortgage a prime candidate! As you submit your final payment and accept the full deed, a weight is lifted from your life and replaced with the wonderful free feeling of complete home ownership. Gather your friends and family together for this incredible personal achievement and watch that mortgage and the memory of debt go up in beautiful flames. When you’re done, you can have a barbecue!
2. Paint Your Front Door Red
We’ve all seen the occasional home with a red door, and wondered to ourselves “why that door?” Well, now we have the answer! While no one’s really sure where the tradition started, at some point in Scotland, homeowners have started painting their doors red when the home is fully paid off and owned by the residents. This is a fantastic, brightly colored, and joyfully public celebration of paying off your mortgage and a great DIY project. No need to buy a fancy red door (unless you want to). A can of indoor/outdoor red paint and a tarp for the floor should be all you need for a bold neighborhood statement that you now own every drop of equity on your home.
3. Mortgage Target Practice
Everyone loves fire, but there’s more than one way to creatively destroy your mortgage notice. Some people have found a great deal of enjoyment stapling their mortgages to a bag of flower and using it for backyard target practice. You don’t need a gun to play this game. Some owners went for the dartboard option instead. If you want to get really creative and a bit anachronistic, try challenging your friends and family to hit the mortgage with a bow and arrow!
4. Turn Those Payments Into Savings
In the last few years paying your mortgage, you have a lot of time to think about what you’ll do with that extra monthly money. Some people dream of discretionary income, others plan vacations. A few money-conscious families decide not to get out of the habit of putting those payments aside and begin paying themselves that monthly budgeted amount. If you thought it was exciting watching your mortgage numbers go down, wait until you see how quickly a savings can build up when you save with the same kind of diligence used to pay your mortgage.
5. Pay Future Mortgages
Often, by the time a family has paid a thirty-year mortgage, there is a younger generation to think about. You have been through the hassle of living under a mountain of debt and have the choice to make this easier for your relatives down the line. Rather than doing something personal with the money you normally pay to your mortgage, you can create a trust for family members in the future who are ready to settle down and buy their own home. Whether you give it to children, grandchildren, or let it wait in a nebulous fund until it is needed, you can turn your old mortgage payments to help young family members live less debt-based lives.
6. Donate to Charity
Don’t want to keep the money at all? There are good causes that would be more than happy to help you put that extra monthly income to good use. There are families struggling not to get foreclosed on or unable to pay their utilities that would benefit profoundly from even a fraction of what you may be willing to donate.
7. Try a Recreational or Investment Property
There are dozens of amazing uses for a second home, Do you want a second home or vacation get-away? What about trying out the exciting world of house-flipping by buying low, renovating like crazy, and selling high? There is also an amazing potential for finding rental properties, or even more profitable, high-end AirBnB opportunities. Those extra payments burning a hole in your pocket could be put right back into a personally rewarding real estate project.
Paying off your mortgage is an amazing feeling of both freedom and empowerment. Not only is your home completely yours, but you now have several hundred dollars more every month so spend on something you’ll love. However you choose to celebrate that final payment, be it open flame, solid investment, or both, do so responsibly and remember to take a moment to walk your new home enjoying the memories you’ve had there and anticipating the good experiences to come. For more information on how to achieve an exponential curve to wealth-building, contact us today!