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Old 11-03-2014, 01:40 PM   #21
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Just because your house is less doesn't mean you don't owe the balance of your mortgage. I too got caught up in this mess, bought house for 618,000 and now only worth 480,000. I paid off the mortgage for peace of mind and not paying the interest every month. I still have to pay 1200.00 a month for Taxes and Ins though. Get me out of NJ as quick as possible......Crazy to live here with taxes going up every year....
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Old 11-03-2014, 03:02 PM   #22
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OP here- Thanks again everyone.

38Chevy454: Although we lost 40% of the nest egg during The Crash I held on and did not sell and lock in a loss, however, it took about 5 years for it to come back to the value it was. It has taught us to be more conservative and not trust Wall Street. We are now 27% Total Market Index and 10% International Index and that's all we have the stomach for at 57 & 61 years old.

Reading this great advice I am leaning towards refinancing then moving when we finally retire to a place with less taxes. The taxes are high due to the school district's improvements.

As to the HOA fee, this is our 4th house and I feel that since the fee covers: Landscaping, Garbage & Recycling, Snow Removal, All Painting , Staining and Deck Repair, a New Roof (if necessary), Gutter Cleaning, Asphalt and Replace the Driveway, Below Ground Sprinklering, Cleaning the Gutters...the fee is probably just a little more than if I had a single family home and had to pay for these services separately. Plus I'd have to buy all the stuff I sold: lawn mower, snow blower, etc. plus we now have our weekends to ourselves starting at 5PM on Friday. It is an upscale neighborhood on a golf course.

But I do want to protect the nest egg.
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Old 11-03-2014, 05:13 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Cheesehead View Post
OP here- Thanks again everyone.

38Chevy454: Although we lost 40% of the nest egg during The Crash I held on and did not sell and lock in a loss, however, it took about 5 years for it to come back to the value it was. It has taught us to be more conservative and not trust Wall Street. We are now 27% Total Market Index and 10% International Index and that's all we have the stomach for at 57 & 61 years old.

Reading this great advice I am leaning towards refinancing then moving when we finally retire to a place with less taxes. The taxes are high due to the school district's improvements.

As to the HOA fee, this is our 4th house and I feel that since the fee covers: Landscaping, Garbage & Recycling, Snow Removal, All Painting , Staining and Deck Repair, a New Roof (if necessary), Gutter Cleaning, Asphalt and Replace the Driveway, Below Ground Sprinklering, Cleaning the Gutters...the fee is probably just a little more than if I had a single family home and had to pay for these services separately. Plus I'd have to buy all the stuff I sold: lawn mower, snow blower, etc. plus we now have our weekends to ourselves starting at 5PM on Friday. It is an upscale neighborhood on a golf course.

But I do want to protect the nest egg.
Again on the HOA, it's supposed to cover all those costs that's why the number is so high. In reality it can turn out very differently, assessments and rising HOA fees are a fact of life in today's world. Just pointing out that any buyer will see it as a monthly expense. Do you have kids still in school? You don't say anything about expense control in retirement, so maybe it's not an issue for you. This house will chew up a lot of cash for a long time.
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Old 11-03-2014, 05:23 PM   #24
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...Reading this great advice I am leaning towards refinancing then moving when we finally retire to a place with less taxes. ....
Since you're only two years away, before you proceed you should crunch the numbers but I suspect you'll be saving about $4k a year or perhaps a bit more. Just be careful that you will be there long enough for the savings to exceed your refinancing costs.

+1 on moving to a place with less taxes - $1,100 a month is outrageous.
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Old 11-03-2014, 05:25 PM   #25
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I still have to pay 1200.00 a month for Taxes and Ins though. Get me out of NJ as quick as possible......Crazy to live here with taxes going up every year....
Yeow! That's only a little less than we pay in a year!
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Old 11-03-2014, 07:14 PM   #26
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Paying off a mortgage is like putting money in at a fixed rate of 4.8%, until you sell. Are you getting a higher investment return than that?
I'd modify that slightly to ask "Are you getting a higher RISK FREE investment return than that?"

I suspect you don't have any other risk-free rates of return that are nearly that high even if you deduct the tax benefit (which effectively reduces the interest rate you're paying on the debt). Even 30 year treasuries are only paying 3.07% right now.

One big offset however is liquidity. If you can get it for free, I would immediately open a HELOC that would let you draw against equity in the home in case of emergency.

My $0.02.
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