Tag Archives: mortgage

Finance Brain Storm: Pay Each Others Mortgage

The Conversation about housing got my wheels turning and I started thinking about different ways we might live creatively outside the box of what we are currently used to in our culture. I’m gonna write a few things this week about just ideas I’ve had of ways to live out our convictions creatively. This is the first.

Instead of taking out huge Mortgages and taking years to pay them off and effectively paying three times the cost of our houses, we should pay each others mortgages. I’m not quite sure how this would work as traditionally we all want a house and we want it now, not later. But really think about it.
If you could pay cash for your house today, then over the course of the next 30 years you could take what you would have spent in interest to the bank and give it to some wonderful cause you believe in. As one person or family this doesn’t quite seem possible, but collectively it’s not as difficult.
What if five or ten families got together and decided that each year they would take all the money they could muster and pay off one persons mortgage (assuming they already have one). Over that time the pay-off would speed up exponentially as a persons house is paid off and they no longer have a monthly payment themselves. By the end of the time (maybe ten years max) everyone has a house completely paid off and they are able to do a world of good with the rest of the money.

Or, what if folks lived communally in a house, that was fully paid off. And then they pooled their resources and were able to buy one house a year, which a family would move into and start a communal living opportunity for others to follow a similar pattern.

There are some assumptions I’m making here. You can’t be living paycheck to paycheck, nor can you be living just below your income, you need to make some radical life changes. Of course, those are things you should have done even before you bought a house to begin with.

Here’s a brief (I didn’t have much time) example…

So you’ve got five families, with differing incomes. The goal is for each to buy a $100,000 house. If they all contribute 25% of their income to a pot it would take 11 to accumulate $500,000 (enough for each family to have a house). If they lived on just $16,000 a year they’d have enough in 5 years.
The “5 Year House” column is just showing what cost of a house they could pay off in five years if they were putting 25% of their income to the house.
And the “Years to 100K” column shows how many years it would take each family to actually accumulate $100k if they were doing it themselves (by which time their house cost would be double if they were doing their own mortgage).

Of course these are simple numbers not taking into account other housing costs, inflation, etc, but hopefully you get the idea (or maybe your totally lost).

Any math geeks out there want to help me make more sense of something like this?

Okay, But What If Debt Really Is Bad?

We’ve had a fabulous discussion over at the Home Sweet Mortgage post, and I’d love to continue it. The thing is, the direction I would really like to take it is into the area of creatively brain storming how a Christians might live and function if they decided Debt really was completely unacceptable.

I’m not saying it is (Mindy and I have chosen to take loans out for her to finish school), but I’m contemplating what things might look like if we firmly believed that it was. You see, I think too often we are quick to interpret and justify away some of scripture because we can’t figure out how it would “work” in our world today. I think that’s why a lot of people don’t believe in non-violence (a topic for another post). I think this is also why most people give the “buying is better then renting” statement and then give the short financial advice to back it up.

Again, I’m not saying buying is bad, I’m just saying maybe we can think of ways to think of all of it in a completely new way. Jac, mentioned people in the church giving others loans. That’s a neat idea that is outside the box of what we ever consider. I want to brainstorm ideas like that.

So, the floor is open. The one rule is that what ever idea you present, it has to be given with the assumption that Debt is unacceptable and not an option.

How do we live? were do we live? College? Cars? the floor is yours…

Home Sweet Mortgage: Isn’t Debt Bad?

At the place we’ve been hanging out on Sunday’s here in Nashville, a number of people have purchased homes in the last 1 1/2 that we’ve been there. It’s not a large community so it was a significant percent of the people that were making this major life decision/change/move. I posted on the online forum and tried to strike up some conversation about it, but was met mostly with perplexed looks. Basically, I wanted to know how as people of faith, they processed through choosing to purchase a home. I was hoping for a whole sermon series on it, but there wasn’t one.

It’s my understanding that if you believe in something as truth, then it should affect every facet of your life. This isn’t exclusive to religion or faith, our faith in gravity applies as much to standing in a bathroom as looking over a cliff’s edge. A couple verses in the Bible run through my mind specific to this idea of thinking about everything we do as it relates to our beliefs and faith:
“we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

I would venture to say most major religions, and most people of faith, understand it’s impact on everything they do. That being said, I honestly wanted to know the thought process folks had gone through in deciding to purchase a home. It wasn’t that I disagreed with their choice, I just wanted to know more, and I finally realized, there wasn’t more.
Buying a house is just something you do. Just like millions of other little things every day that are just a part of our society, part of the “American Way of Life.” And boy is it dangerous.

The Old Testament book of Proverbs is chock-full of maxim’s about the dangers of debt, “The debtor is slave to the lender.” And yet we take out student loans (even I am guilty) and home mortgages without thinking twice about it. Most folks eventually pay off their student loans, but I’m not sure I know a soul who actually owns their house. We refinance, we upgrade, we take out second mortgages to our hearts content, and I don’t think most Christians have even given a thought to how their faith should affect that part of their life.

Mindy and I are about to have our first child. She’s about to finish school and we’ll pay off all our loans in a couple years. I can see the benefits of owning rather then renting, but I also see some of the negatives. I see the trap of wealth and greed, of always wanting more and going into debt to get it. Everyone around us seems to be buying houses, you would almost think it’s a necessary part of following in the faith.

Houses make me think. Does isolating ourselves in single family home make it difficult to carry out Christ radical call to love our neighbors and live in community with other believers? Does living in perpetual debt keep us from being the generous, sharing, and financially open church Christ calls us to be? Does the “American Dream” really look like what Christ aspires for us to obtain, or are we terribly off-track?

Money makes the world go around…

(I had to watch that darn movie three times in a row in high school English)

Whether this statement is true or not, money plays a vital role in our society and interactions. Recently, I’ve been reminded of money’s role in a variety of ways.

Credit Cards- I posted a while back inquiring and pondering whether credit cards where really worth having around. I’ve found them beneficial in that I’ve received a couple hundred dollars in cash rebates and I’ve only paid a couple dollars in fees (due to my negligence). But, those cards just add another facet of concern that I don’t really want to have at the moment.

Student Loans- These things are scary. You’d be amazed how much money these banks will throw at you. We got more then we thought we’d need for school this semester and they sent us a check for the extra. Fortunately I was smart enough to send it back (and then some). Are loans for education worth it? Isn’t it still debt?

Purchasing a house- It sounds cool when I talk about it with our friends, but then I also think about the commitment and responsibility involved. This is some serious stuff we are talking about. Your talking quite a bit of cashflow here. But some say it’s better then renting, others say not.

Beggars- I’m not sure that beggar is the best term, but that’s what they are doing is begging for money. What do you do when your asked for a dollar?