Home Pay-Off Spectacular

10 Lessons Joe Sangl Learned While Paying Off His House

A few months ago, I was able to pay off my house. It took us 71 months from the day we purchased this home to pay it off.

We learned a lot along the way – some of it quite surprising to us. Hopefully, the lessons we were taught will help you in your quest to eliminate your home mortgage!

  1. It required laser-like focus.  Paying off our home required immense diligence. We did not just stumble upon this.
  2. We put off fun purchases.  We could have used the additional principal payment money to purchase a 4-wheeler (I really want one!) or upgrade our kitchen (my wife would love this!). We chose not to do this.
  3. Vision helped keep us on track.  We used the “Early Pay-Off Calculator” to see how additional principal payment money would speed us toward elimination of the mortgage. This provided vision of what really could happen!
  4. A goal motivated us.  Way back in December 2002, my bride and I set a goal to be mortgage debt free by January 2014. We did not know how that would happen or if it could even be possible. It was!
  5. Home repairs will compete with your focus on mortgage elimination.  As we focused on killing the mortgage, things in our house wore out. The paint on the exterior wood siding faded while we focused on mortgage pay-off. The dishwasher bottom was torn off by our toddler, the stove started “dinging” at random times, and the hot water heater stopped heating. If we had not completely eliminated the mortgage, the extra principal money would have been forced to be used on necessary repairs.
  6. My bride and I had to be on the same page.  I cannot imagine attempting to eliminate debt without my bride being 100-percent on board with it. There were times when I wanted to stop, and she was there to encourage me. At other times, she would want to slow down or quit. I would help remind her “why” we were doing this. I’m grateful for a bride who is an active participant in financial decisions – especially the major ones!
  7. It’s hard to stay focused when your house is going down in value.  Like many people, our home experienced a decrease in value. It can be very frustrating and demoralizing. However, these emotions do nothing to eliminate the debt obligation. This is when “put your nose to the grindstone” took on an entirely new meaning for us.
  8. Making it “visual” helped make it more fun.  We created a “Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular” (see one HERE). This allowed us to give a dollar value to each little square of our house. As we paid off a square, we were able to color in the square. It really helped us “see” the fact that we were making progress in eliminating this very large debt.
  9. Paying off your house will not eliminate all housing costs.  You will still be responsible for taxes and insurance. Repairs will be needed as well. We’re preparing for this by saving for these expenses every single month.
  10. This process makes you a better money manager.  This extended period of financial focus increased my financial prowess in ways I never expected. It extended my vision from “one month at a time” to “years into the future.” This has truly positioned us for an incredible financial future.

BONUS: Anyone can do this!  Having completed this process, I am more convinced than ever that ANYONE can do this. Yes, it will require encouragement and equipping, but it is indeed possible. It makes me more fired up to pursue the vision of I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. which is to help people accomplish far more than they ever thought possible!

Have you attempted to eliminate your mortgage? Maybe you already have? Share your lessons with us in the comment section!

Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular – February 2013 (“Paid Off House” Special Edition)

This is a special edition of the Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular. It is the “Paid Off House” edition!

As I announced on January 18th, we paid off our house!!!

We have been on this journey to debt freedom for 10 years and 1 month. It feels so good to hit this milestone. As we paid this thing off, we encountered so many challenges that could have easily derailed us. I took some time over the past few weeks to read the monthly “Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectaculars” I have written every single month since October 2007 (5.5 years worth!). It was amazing to reflect on the journey. Here are some key statements from those monthly updates that impacted me as I reviewed them:

  1. In my first update on October 8, 2007, I wrote, “So Jenn and I have shook hands and made an agreement that the house payments will be gone within four years.”  We missed it by 1 year and 4 months, and I’m okay with that!!!
  2. In November 2007, I wrote, “ARGH!!!! I HATE house payments!”  I still do.
  3. In December 2007, we took real action to improve our financial situation. We cut our cable to basic cable, and started taking our lunch to work. It created margin we could use to attack the house with.
  4. Beginning in 10/2007 and continuing for TWO YEARS, we paid off the external wall of our house. It took just over THREE years to own the rest!
  5. We had to slow down our payments because we encountered SUBSTANTIAL FINANCIAL CHALLENGES. We paid for MAJOR medical expenses, replaced our air conditioning units, made I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. an independent organization, and then ON TOP OF ALL THAT, found out on June 16, 2009 that we were expecting a miracle of a 2nd child. He showed up in February 2010 – without maternity insurance. I’ve encountered virtually every financial challenge possible. Don’t tell me you can’t do this!
  6. In June 2008, my wife became a full-time mom again. This was way more than a financial decision. I’m so glad we made it.
  7. In March 2011, I declared war on the mortgage. It is amazing what happens when you are diligent!
  8. In October 2011, I “called my shot” and said, “God-willing, we could even see our home mortgage eliminated by January 2013. And God willed it be so. I’m so PUMPED!!!  (and FIRED UP!!!!)

Here’s what I know to be true: When I set a HUGE GOAL and DILIGENTLY PURSUE IT, I am able to accomplish far more than I ever thought possible. It is why my life’s mission and passion statement is “to help people accomplish far more than they ever thought possible.”

I truly believe that most people have no idea of the power and potential they possess to change their life and the lives around them for better.

I. Am. So. Blessed.

Read ALL of the “Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectaculars”

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SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: I Paid Off My House!!!

Every month there will be an update of Joe & Jenn’s Home Pay-Off Spectacular!

But there is MAJOR NEWSregarding this series: TODAY will be the last installment in this series because …

I PAID OFF MY HOUSE!!!

Way back in December 2002, my bride and I decided to change our financial life. We set a goal to pay off our house by January 2014. We were able to beat our goal by an entire year.

Because of that decision, we get to experience the JOY of paying off our house!

Here’s this month’s update!

Total Squares:  2,426

Paid-For Squares:  1,913  2,426

Squares Remaining:  513  0

% of House Owned By The Sangl’s:  78.9%  100.0%

% of House Owned By Wells Fargo:  21.1%  0%

Here is the updated Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular (click to view large size)

Just look at that! The entire house is completely filled in!!!

We’re experiencing a range of emotions:

  • Excitement!
  • Relief
  • An overwhelming sense of blessing

I’ve written this in nearly every “Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular,” but I want to say it again: YOU can do this too!

Start your own home pay-off spectacular using our free tool here => Pay Off Spectacular – House.

Read previous Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular Updates

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Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular – January 2013

Every month there will be an update of Joe & Jenn’s Home Pay-Off Spectacular! Here’s this month’s update! Total Squares:  2,426 Paid-For Squares:  1420  1913 Squares Remaining:  1006  513 % of House Owned By The Sangl’s:  58.5%  78.9% % of House Owned By Wells Fargo:  41.5%  21.1% Here is the updated Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular (click to view large size) As I sharedover the last two months, things were going to get really interesting around the Home Pay-Off Spectacular over these next few updates. We were able to color in 493 squares this month with a payment that was the equivalent of 55 monthly payments! Could we have used our savings for something other than paying down our mortgage balance? Yes, we could have. However, this has been one of biggest goals my bride and I ever established – and we set this goal way back in December 2002 when we experienced our IHHE Moment! We are positioning ourselves to accomplish what once seemed impossible – paying off our house before the age of 40. Let’s see what next month holds! YOU can do this too! Start your own home pay-off spectacular using our free tool here => Pay Off Spectacular – House.

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Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular – December 2012

Every month there will be an update of Joe & Jenn’s Home Pay-Off Spectacular!

Here’s this month’s update!

Total Squares:  2,426

Paid-For Squares:  1329  1420

Squares Remaining:  1097 1006

% of House Owned By The Sangl’s:  54.8%  58.5%

% of House Owned By Wells Fargo:  45.2%  41.5%

Here is the updated Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular (click to view large size)

As I sharedover the last two months, things were going to get really interesting around the Home Pay-Off Spectacular over these next few updates. We were able to color in 91 squares this month! We are positioning ourselves to accomplish what once seemed impossible – paying off our house before the age of 40. Let’s see what next month holds!

YOU can do this too! Start your own home pay-off spectacular using our free tool here => Pay Off Spectacular – House.

Read previous Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular Updates

Read recent posts