Questions from readers about why and how to pay off a mortgage early out-number those I receive on any other topic, including loan origination. Borrowers typically spend only a few weeks, at most a few months, acquiring a mortgage, but they usually have the mortgage for many years. During that period, their financial circumstances may change, the economy may change, or they may change, any of which may stimulate an interest in accelerating the repayment of their mortgage.
Q: I picked my condo because it was dog friendly. It turns out that the building is more dog tolerant. While dogs are allowed, the condo does not provide an area for the dogs to relieve themselves. Owners must take their dogs off the property for potty breaks. Can a condo board allow residents to have dogs without providing a relief area?
Investment in a home is often the largest investment a consumer will ever make, so any measures to reduce the risk deserve careful attention. The big risk is that a major house price decline will wipe out the owners' equity, leaving them owing more than their house is worth. That happened to many just a few years ago, and millions of homeowners are still under water.
Q: We are snowbirds and have a condominium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where we stay five months a year. We keep nothing of real value in the property and don't have a mortgage. We are thinking about canceling our hazard insurance on the property to save $700 a year. Is this a good idea?