Doesn’t “mortgage free” have a nice sound to it? It’s a worthwhile goal and even if it seems like a pipe dream to you now, consider it for the long term. It may not be possible immediately, but things could change.

My husband I were lucky enough reach this state five years ago, and it has changed our lives for the better, more than we even expected. Here’s how it happened: we sold a house and traveled for a while, then bought a smaller and much less expensive place. We both feel much less stressed as a result of becoming free of mortgage and credit card debt.

We have friends who also own their own homes outright. You can do this by building only as you can afford to buy the materials, by working extra jobs, by scrimping and saving, by using money that comes to you unexpectedly, or by a combination of methods.

Is being mortgage-free a goal for everybody? No. If you know you will be putting your house on the market in the next few years, you wouldn’t want to be in a situation where most or all of your cash was tied up in the house. In fact, it’s always a good idea to have some cash savings, and in my mind that is a priority over paying off a mortgage. There are other situations where the mortgage-free strategy wouldn’t apply. Homeowners need to evaluate it for themselves.

Not having a mortgage is a particularly good strategy if you are planning to live in your home for some years, and are on the older side. If you will be living on a pension, social security, or other relatively fixed income, not having to come up with the mortgage as well can make a real difference in your standard of living.

Of course, renters are mortgage free as well. Renting wasn’t much of an option for us, with two large dogs, two cats, and plans to raise chickens. We didn’t really consider it. But for many of the people who have lost their homes through foreclosure, short sale, or similar situation, renting may be the only option at present. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as it’s impossible to predict what housing prices — or the economy in general — will do in the next years.

Renting in many cases is more economical than people realize. “Think of all the money you are spending every month for rent!” is a common attitude. But homeowners are kissing a lot of money goodbye on mortgage interest.

In sum, becoming mortgage free isn’t for everyone. But it provides a very nice financial security for those who chose to do it. We are very glad that we did.

Part of our inspiration came from this book, written by a friend of ours. Click on the cover to find out more at Amazon.