A Michigan couple paid off their $200,000 mortgage in less than 4 years on a combined salary of $150,000. Here's how they did it - and their tips for anyone trying to do the same.
- Andy and Nicole Hill, a couple from Michigan with two children, paid off their $195,000 mortgage in just under four years with an annual household income of around $150,000.
- The couple bought a four-bedroom home for $350,000 in 2013.
- They made their first mortgage payment in January of 2014 and their last payment in November of 2017.
- Business Insider caught up with Andy to find out how they did it, and his advice to others who are trying to do the same.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
In 2013, Andy Hill and his wife Nicole decided to move from their small bungalow to a 2,600-square-foot ranch-style home in the metro Detroit area. With one child under two years old and another on the way, it was time for the couple to buy a nicer, newer home for their growing family.The couple bought the $350,000, four-bedroom house by putting down $155,000 and taking out a $195,000 mortgage. At the time, Andy was (and still is) a sales director and Nicole became a stay-at-home parent shortly after the moved.
With an annual household income that ranged between $150,000 to $180,000 and a monthly mortgage payment of $1,900 (including taxes and insurance), Andy told Business Insider that the journey to becoming debt-free required tracking expenses, creating a budget, and having a clear plan with Nicole. In fact, every month the couple had a "budget party" where they assigned a purpose to each dollar of their monthly income.The couple made their first mortgage payment in January of 2014 and their last payment in November of 2017.
In an exclusive interview with Business Insider, Andy shared three pieces of advice to anyone looking to pay off their mortgage as quickly as possible.
1) You need to increase your income or decrease your expensesTo pay off your mortgage as quickly as possible, Andy suggests either increasing your income or decreasing your expenses.Andy and Nicole did both.
Whether it was a bonus at work, tax returns, or money made by selling things around the house, Andy said that any extra money the couple came into would go toward paying off the mortgage.
Some of their money-saving strategies included getting rid of their cable, packing a lunch for work, shopping at a more affordable grocery store, and negotiating down their cell phone bills and insurance bills."By reducing our expenses, we were able to make additional principal payments each month. This had a major impact in the dramatic reduction of our mortgage," Andy wrote in a blog post.
2) You need to write out a plan
When Andy and Nicole wrote out their plan, it became more realistic.
Andy explained that, to stay on point, it was crucial to have an open line of communication with Nicole so that they could make adjustments to the plan when needed."Make a plan, write it down, and make sure your partner is on the same page as you," he told Business Insider.
3) Be prepared for a not-so-thrilling processAndy told Business Insider that while being mortgage-free in less than five years is exciting, the process of getting there is not that thrilling. His advice to those looking to pay off their mortgage as quickly as possible is to have a reason.
"There needs to be a why," he explained. "You have to have a reason. What are you going to do at the end? What is it going to allow your family to have?"For Andy and Nicole, there have been plenty of answers to that question. Paying off the mortgage has meant they've been able to go on more family vacations, save up for their first rental property, max out their retirement accounts, put money away for future college tuitions, and increase their charitable givings.
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