Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Mortgage vs. Bible?

Last night I was ruminating on Ariah's essay about houses, mortages, and the church. This morning I found an update at Seeking the Old Paths. We might not all agree on housing God wants for us, but we should be asking ourselves some serious questions. (And maybe, as she points out, listening for the answers in unlikely places!)

Will this house be more of a burden than a blessing?
Will the income provider have to work too hard or commute too far to afford it?
How do you balance living where you want with obligations to your extended family?
How long will it take you to pay off the mortgage without tripling the house's cost in interest?
Just some thoughts!


Anonymous said...

I am a total lurker, but had to comment on this post. My husband and I have been discussing these very topics lately. Your post is a 'nudge' from the Lord to me. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

These are good things to think about ... people do go into debt without a very good game plan of how they are going to pay it off, and in the example of homes, forget they aren't required to borrow the maximum amount the bank says they may.

We were convicted to get our own home, as after 8 years of renting (paying over $10K in rent over that period of time), we had nothing to show for it. We researched our housing market and decided on an amount we were willing to pay and pursued finding a house in that price range. The bank said we could have $75K more than our budget but we stuck to our guns and found a home that we love, and we are not slaves to the mortgage.

Another area people don't think about is refinancing. Refinancing from a 30 year to another 30 year loan is not a smart move and extends the loan, thereby making you pay more interest in the long-run. The only exception is if someone is in a financial bind, but it should be a prayerful decision to do this.

We have refinanced once, but went from a 30 year to a 15 year loan, which we should have paid off within the next 8-10 years (we do bi-weekly payments). We also have a home equity loan, which we have also refinanced, and will have that paid off in the next 3 years (also paid bi-weekly).

Anonymous said...

not sure if i can post here, just a lurker, and currently nursing the baby, so forgive the lack of capitals as i type one handed. we decided to cut our debt to make it easier on my hubby, and also so i couldfocus more on my 2 children. we did the opposite of what many here in bloggityvillr want to do; we sold the farm and moved to town.we did get mortgage onthe new house, and had to give a written statement to the bank as to why we wanted to buy a house for so much less than what the farm sold for.

we feel like moving into a residential neighborhood is a bit like moving to a mission field and are excited to see what god -forgive the lack of capital g- does with us here.

it is a balancing act for sure, figuring out how to pay off the loan faster to avoid all the interest, and some other debts, and yet have hubby home enough. it takes creative frugality and lots of faith. gods timing is always perfect.

btw- i was the farmer and as an all or nothing kind of woman, it is a relief to get rid of the farmwork and focus on my family. when they get bigger, we hope to return to the country, but debt free.


Ariah said...

thanks for the link. Glad you've been thinking about it. I appreciate your insight as well.

I really enjoy the conversation the input the thoughts from different perspectives.

Meredith said...

I'm glad you raised such good questions, Ariah. Of course I tend to go straight to the concrete aspects, while you are looking for the big picture.

I realize I'm only asking HOW a home mortgage or lack thereof can help a family live biblically, while you are asking IF one can or should live biblically with a mortgage.

Joanna said...

We've only been married & out of college for not yet a year, and already have the 'house fever'. We would love a place of our own with the ability to build equity and grow a garden, among other things, and go back and forth on whether we should look for a house when our lease is up, or sign another year lease.

While we technically could afford a house now, we're going to wait a year so that we can have a heftier down payment and have a better idea what we can handle while still leaving financial margin in our lives. We have to think in context of, while we are still in our first house, we will at some point be down to one income when kids come in a few years. We want that to be possible.

Anonymous said...

i'm so enjoying this post and it's comments! due to a hurricane and a job loss we have lost our house and are looking for somewhere new. these qs are foremost in our minds as we search God's will for us. thanks!

Jenn said...

Yeah, unfortunatey ours has been more of a burden.......and it was a cheaper one for our area. It's very important to fully count the cost before taking on something so huge, to be sure you can make it through.....