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Old 06-15-2012, 09:28 AM   #31
brymolmom
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Congrats OP! I like the big fancy dinner out idea myself OR, of course, a WDW trip (maybe even mix it up with a DLR trip instead).

Makes me a bit sad that we decided against paying extra on our mortgage when we refinanced in January. We used to before when our rate was 5.75% but we got such a great rate this time around - we decided to put the difference between what we would have paid extra into the kids' 529's instead (since they are under-funded).

So we are 9 and 1/2 years away from paying it off. I know the time will fly by...and it will be just about perfect because as we pay it off our 2nd child will be heading to college. But I still would love to be able to say that it will be paid off a lot sooner than that...
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:41 AM   #32
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OP again - thanks to everyone for taking the time to respond. The "tacky or bragging?" etiquette issues swirling around might concern others, but not us, given our VERY intimate family/gang.

I've had fun doing online research for ideas and our kids came up with a few on their own. We're probably fairly unique in that our "bank"/mortgage holder is a small local credit union. (Gasp...a helpful and cheerful actual human answers their main phone line before the second ring and the employees have literally been cheering us on for years as we've been slowly chipping away at the mortgage principal.) So, that's why we want to do the payoff in person - we kinda have a "Beaver Cleaver/It's a Wonderful Life" neighborhood. Plus, it will just be fun!

Other ideas the kids and DH came up with or I found online, in case anyone else is interested (whether you are thinking of a huge blowout and inviting everyone in your zip code, or just you and your spouse):

A photo of us on payoff day in front of the house with a sign that says "Don't laugh, it's paid for!"

Noisemakers and party horns as we walk into the bank. (It WILL be New Years Eve!)

A house-shaped cake or a cake with a photo of our house on it or Shaker-inspired cookies in a house shape with a heart cutout in the center.

Maybe hand out "house" cookies to the bank staff? Or bring a breakfast pastry tray for them to enjoy?

A "Dollar Menu Choices Only" lunch at McDonalds! (The kids are all over this one!)

But, the best one of all - at least to the sentimental, nerdy, history-major-type that I am: inserting a "mortgage button" into the newel post of our staircase. Never heard of this before stumbling across references online last night, but it is either a 1800s New England or 1800s Southern or totally made up (!) tradition where a nickel- or quarter-sized ivory disk is placed in the top of your newel post on the day you pay off your house - symbolizing that you now own this dwelling free and clear. I'm stunned at the number of old houses (like ours is) from Nantucket to Virginia to Michigan which apparently have these. Sometimes these buttons are plain or turned, or sometimes are monogrammed with initials and/or the payoff date. They are also apparently known as "amity buttons" or (yes!) "brag buttons." Some are merely decorative and some actually cover up a hole that is made to stuff the old loan papers or their ashes within the newel post. Google it for more info. Who knew? This is a ceremony our family would enjoy! And we would be the only people who would notice it and care that it is there...

Now, to keep up our momentum and hope the home repair gods keep smiling upon us for the next six months - so we can hit our target to pay this sucker off! This is certainly a "once in a lifetime" event for us (unless we can witness our kids do the same thing with their future mortgages)...I hope someone will carry me feet-first out of this shack someday...since I will never borrow this much money again!

Good luck to everyone who is also working towards a similar goal and congratulations to those who have hit it already!
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:53 AM   #33
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I hope I'm not the only one who remembers the M*A*S*H episode where Mildred Potter pays off the mortgage, and sends it to Korea for Col. Potter to burn, lol.


That's always been my vision when ours is paid off (burning the papers, not sending them or my DH to Korea!)
I just saw this episode a couple of weeks ago. The first thing I thought of was All in the Family when Archie burned his mortgage papers.
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:05 PM   #34
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I hope I'm not the only one who remembers the M*A*S*H episode where Mildred Potter pays off the mortgage, and sends it to Korea for Col. Potter to burn, lol.


That's always been my vision when ours is paid off (burning the papers, not sending them or my DH to Korea!)
THANK YOU!!! That was the first thing I thought of.
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:16 PM   #35
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I found out last year they don't send out mortgage" papers any more.
Our last loan company was threw Chase, and even the city or town records didn't send out any papers, I was told to go online and copy them. Which we did, but I did think it was odd...
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Old 06-18-2012, 06:58 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by PinballFamily View Post
OP again - thanks to everyone for taking the time to respond. The "tacky or bragging?" etiquette issues swirling around might concern others, but not us, given our VERY intimate family/gang.

I've had fun doing online research for ideas and our kids came up with a few on their own. We're probably fairly unique in that our "bank"/mortgage holder is a small local credit union. (Gasp...a helpful and cheerful actual human answers their main phone line before the second ring and the employees have literally been cheering us on for years as we've been slowly chipping away at the mortgage principal.) So, that's why we want to do the payoff in person - we kinda have a "Beaver Cleaver/It's a Wonderful Life" neighborhood. Plus, it will just be fun!



Noisemakers and party horns as we walk into the bank. (It WILL be New Years Eve!)!
I wouldnt do this
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:02 AM   #37
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I don't know anyone who told others about paying off a mortgage. It might be because finances are never discussed here - not with best friends or family. However, it could be because of property taxes - mine are close to half of my monthly payment, and they're not ever going to go away! So, even when we pay off our mortgage, we will still be paying $1000 a month anyway.
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:43 AM   #38
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I would just quietly celebrate with my husband, and maybe one or two very close friends. I would not want to have a big 'once in a lifetime party' because I'd worry that people would see it as bragging.
OP "bragging" that she was a responsible homeowner is something to cause concern with the neighbors??? That's a new one on me...

In this time of economic uncertainty and people using their homes as their personal ATMs, I applaud OP for having the forsight to make this happen.

Note to OP: Celebrate as you see fit...
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:48 AM   #39
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I would just quietly celebrate with my husband, and maybe one or two very close friends. I would not want to have a big 'once in a lifetime party' because I'd worry that people would see it as bragging.
Totally agree with this. It is wonderful and excellent that you paid off your mortgage, and I don't mean that sarcastically, it is a very smart accomplishment.

Bottom line though, no one else really cares.
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Old 06-18-2012, 01:43 PM   #40
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Have a ceremonial "burning of the mortgage" papers.
You beat me to it! This is what my in laws did when they paid off their mortgage. Have a big ole bonfire!
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Old 06-18-2012, 01:50 PM   #41
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Bottom line though, no one else really cares.
You have no way of knowing that. I would totally care and celebrate with a friend of mine who was able to accomplish this.
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Old 06-18-2012, 01:57 PM   #42
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I love the amity button idea. If you are planning on staying in your house "forever", I would do it in a heartbeat! What a neat reminder for you and your family to see everytime you use the stairs. I love it.

My in-laws are paying off their house in a few months and they are planning on taking the entire immediate family out for a nice dinner using the money that would normally go toward the house payment.
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:51 PM   #43
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Yay for you! I don't even know you, but I'm happy for you because your happy. Who cares what the "etiquette" might be. If this something your family and friends celebrate than do it.

I personally would do a dinner out at a comfortable and yummy restaurant. Nothing too fancy and someplace you can celebrate with good food and drinks.

Whatever you choose, have a great time!
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Old 06-18-2012, 05:06 PM   #44
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You beat me to it! This is what my in laws did when they paid off their mortgage. Have a big ole bonfire!
Just paid ours off last month, DO NOT BURN anything. You never know when you will need to produce the papers to prove the debt was paid off.

This varies county by county, but in mine a mortgage is recorded as a public document in the form of a "deed of trust" against the property. Once paid off your lender will send your county recorder a "release of deed of trust" telling them you have paid the mortgage and they release their interest in the property. The lender MAY or MAY NOT send you back the signed in ink mortgage note marked paid in full. From what I am reading many do not send back the signed note and many have lost them in the mortgage bonanza of the past few years. In my county when the lender looses the note they are required to send the county an affidavit saying the note is lost and they are releasing the mortgage without the note.

Ok that was probably WAY too much information.


As for the party, we celebrated with horns, party hats, confetti, and margaritas (for the adults) at home in our back yard. I wanted to make this a memory for our kids, something to look back on and remember for their future.
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Old 06-18-2012, 07:16 PM   #45
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As for the party, we celebrated with horns, party hats, confetti, and margaritas (for the adults) at home in our back yard. I wanted to make this a memory for our kids, something to look back on and remember for their future.
That's how I feel. When we pay off our mortgage I want to make sure the kids remember it and it leaves an imprint in their heads of how awesome it is to be debt free!
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