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Dream of owning free and clear?

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis January 10, 2013 06:17 AM

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Certainly it's a long-term goal of mine - it would be great if Karen and I could be free of the mortgage on our Natick fixer-upper, even if it takes a couple decades to get there.

We have roughly $400,000 or so to go, so it's going to take me a while, but we'll get there.

No, housing bears, I have not done a cost benefit analysis, but I do know that I want my expenses to go down as I enter my 60s in the 2030s, and the mortgage is a big chunk of that.

So why the interest? Well a new survey shows quite a lot of people have managed to do what I am only dreaming of doing, paying off their mortgages and saying goodbye to those monthly transfers of hard-earned income to the bank.

Just about 30 percent of all homeowners nationwide now own their homes outright,Zillow reports this morning. That's 20.6 million people.

In the Greater Boston area, the land of the jumbo mortgage, where home prices are perpetually high (inflated), that number of homeowners without debt is somewhat smaller but still substantial, weighing in at 24.6 percent.

Areas of the state with more retirees , such as the Cape and the Islands, have a higher percentage of homeowners living mortgage free. Homeowners who either bought their castles with cash or paid off their mortgages account for 33.5 percent of the total on the Cape, 32.5 percent on Martha's Vineyard and more than 33 percent in the Berkshires.

One of the more surprising findings: Homeowners in the 20-to-24 age group are more likely to be free of a mortgage than any other group, at more than 34 percent. Of course, there are not that many homeowners out there in their college years, and if they are, mommy and daddy probably picked up the tab.

Anyway, it's a good bet that some of your neighbors are living mortgage-free, having paid off their homes.

Go figure!

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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