Last year I felt a lot of stress from being financially over-extended in the form of a mortgage that was too large. One of the obvious remedies to this problem was to concentrate on lowering that debt, which we’ve done with some success. The other significant thing we did was to lock in our mortgage for five years. I realize that studies like the one done by Moshe Milevsky show that shorter terms are cheaper in the long run for mortgages, but in our current situation, the peace of mind of not having to worry about the possibility of increased interest rates is well worth any extra cost that locking for five years might end up causing.
The reason the mortgage payment is such a concern is because our budget is too tight to handle a big increase in payments if interest rates jump up. By locking in, we don’t have to worry about that for five years, at which time the mortgage will be low enough, we’ll be able to handle higher interest rates if need be.
I can’t predict if interest rates are going to go up or down in the future, but I can accurately predict that with the longer term mortgage, I will sleep better at night.