Saturday, October 02, 2010

Gone Baby Gone

Last night I watched "Gone Baby Gone."  This was the actor Ben Afleck's directorial debut.  I didn't like the movie.  It was a muddled mess.  Plus, Ben put his brother Casey Afleck in the starring role.  Big time family nepotism here Ben.  Hey Ben, it didn't work.  The supporting actors from Edd Harris and Morgan Freeman acted circles around the almost unintelligible Casey.  And that brings up the question, what is it with so many movies today that you can't even understand what the actors are saying?  I'm all for realism but when they're mumbling and whispering and speaking in a heavy accent (Boston in Casey's case), you almost need subtitles.

But one good thing I got from this movie.  A title for today's blog posting.

Yesterday I called my mortgage company.  I called to ask them to prepare a payoff statement of my mortgage.  Yes folks that's right, I'm paying off my mortgage.  As of October 15th, I will no longer have a mortgage.  I will be a free man!

One of my earliest goals in life was to own my own home.  I grew up in second floor apartments.  We never had any land.

As I walked to the East Ward School on Washington Avenue in Downingtown, I always envied my school hood friends who had a backyard in which they could play in.  My brothers and I used to play down by the railroad tracks behind our apartment house on 120 Washington Avenue.  One of the constants I remember from my childhood was "Hey you kids!  What are you doing there?  Get out!"  

That about sums up my childhood....."Hey you kids.....get out!"  No summer camps for us, no Boy Scouts, no trips to "the shore."  Nope, just trying to find a little piece of earth where we could play Hide and Seek.

Bill and I brought our first house in Philadelphia in 1969.  We had a mortgage.  Our first goal was to get that mortgage paid off.  It took us seven years but we got it paid off.  That was a wonderful feeling.  In addition to being ahead of the game financially wise, we had our independence.  We didn't owe money to anybody.

When we sold our house in Philadelphia in 1980 and built a new one on 6.875 acres of land in East Brandywine Township, we paid cash.  We didn't have a mortgage.  For the next twenty five years we didn't have a mortgage.  We felt special.

The year 2006 arrives.  I decided that I want to build a new house and retire to Delaware near the shower.  This was my life long goal, to live near the water.

I did what I did the same thing as I did when we sold our house in Philadelphia and built the new one in Pennsylvania.  I got a swing loan to contract the our new house in Delaware.  I had no doubt that I would sell our Pennsylvania house quickly.  I was wrong.

I got caught in the housing market crises and couldn't sell our house in Pennsylvania.  I came thisclose to financial meltdown.  It was the worst time of my life.  Bill threatened to kill himself if he didn't sell our house in Pennsylvania.

I sold the house but at a loss.  I had to take a six figure mortgage, 30 year mortgage that would be paid off until I was 96 years old.  So here I was, back at GO again at this late stage of my life.

This is the burden I've been living with for the past four years, this mortgage hanging over my head.  I didn't realize how much it affected my life until this week when my financial circumstances changed and now I will be able to pay off my mortgage on October 15th.

Now I feel as if a great burden is being lifted from my shoulders.  That dark cloud that has been over my head these past four years is about to disappear.  Suddenly I have an interest in cleaning out my basement room which is still stuffed with unpacked boxes from our move four years ago.

I have a new spring to my step as I walk the boardwalk in Rehoboth.

Little things that were bothering me before suddenly seem small and unimportant now.

And I attribute this new dawn in my life to the fact in two weeks the my ball and chain that was my mortgage will be




  1. That's great Ron. No mortgage is such a secure feeling. We have the Malibu "beach shack" paid off, and we will have this house paid in full in about 3yrs or less. Ben Afleck can't get a break. I really don't think he has the gift.

  2. Mike,

    This feeling of freedom that I have now is indescribable.

    I agree with you about Ben Afleck. I like him personally but he just doesn't have "it."

  3. congratulations; what an acclomplishment !

  4. Good for you, Ron :)

  5. I got incredibly lucky in the spring of 2007 -- with the help of a truly incredible realtor I sold my house in Boston at a lower price than hoped but enough to build my long dreamed of retirement house in southern New Hampshire free of a mortgage.

    The husband and I are now set for the rest of our lives and it is such an incredible relief. I was happy to read that you'll be able to pay off in nine days. Congratulations and all the best to both of you!

  6. Will,
    You understand what a relief it is to not have a mortgage. I thought I would be stuck with this mortgage until I was 99 years old. Bill, my partner who is 82, was worried sick that he would leave me with a mortgage. Now he says he can "die in peace."

    I am happy for you and your husband that you bought can also live the rest of your lives without the burden of a mortgage.

    Thank you for your comment. The best to you and your husband.


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