We've been waiting for this letter for a little more than 35 years.
It's the letter that says:
"Congratulations! Our records indicate that your remaining principal balance is less than your monthly mortgage payment on the above referenced account....." In other words, one more payment and we own our house free and clear. Our third house, several refinances, a second story added on....we've made it.
Yesterday, we got the letter.
True, it's a house now in a flood plain; it's a house whose value dropped who knows how much as the receding flood waters from Tropical Storm Lee drained out of our neighborhood (taking a diesel spill with it) on September 9 and 10, 2011, but it is our house. In this day and age of so many people underwater (figuratively, that is), so many people foreclosed or about to be, I almost feel guilty about this day.
House sweet house. OUR house sweet house.
So there's the little voice inside of me saying "How many people in this area end up selling because taxes are so high? Will you end up like your mother in law, paying more taxes each month than her house payment was way back when?". And "You may think you suddenly have this extra money in your wallet but you know how things happen....". All the little voices of gloom and doom.
I need to shut them out, at least for the next month.
We will be making that last payment in a little less than a month from now, and we will get the escrow returned about 30 days later.
We have worked hard for this day. Now we have to make the adjustments: no more escrow; we must remember to save for our taxes and insurance - it won't be done automatically. And we need to be frugal with that money. We've always been frugal, so that is no big stretch.
For today, I will bask in the glow of that letter.