“Mind Your Own Mortgage” by Robert J. Bernabe is an excellent resource for first time home buyers as well as current home owners and for anyone who is interested to know more about home ownership and mortgages.
This book makes you think differently about home ownership, mortgages and your finances. It is mainly focused on three different areas which are choosing, managing and paying off your mortgage. It also provides a lot of information, insights and practical examples. All through the book the author insists that shopping for the mortgage is about price and not about payment. He states “what matters are the interest rate for the type of loan you choose, the total points and fees – Nothing else! He mentions that shopping for a payment will only lead to overcharges and mortgage woes. He suggests that the secret of becoming mortgage free is to Shop on price not payment, paying extra on your mortgage each month and to refinance only when it saves you money. He suggests that “A refinance is a tool to assist you in becoming mortgage free. Don’t use it for any other purpose.”
The author talks about spending priorities and he calls this plan the “Give, Save and Life” plan.
• Give 10 percent
• Save 10 percent
• Live on 80 percent of what you make
I personally think that this is a great plan and would be nice if we can adapt this plan. This would help us to live our life within our means. After giving and saving you will have 80 percent left to spend.
The author states that debt is slavery. As once you have acquired debt you are enslaved to the lender until you pay it off. He insists that “Getting into debt puts a current and future claim on you, your money, and your time that almost always causes more pain than any pleasure the possession acquired have provided”. How true! He insists on managing your mortgage by keeping the end in mind.
He writes about various kinds of loans and providing the details to make the reader understand what they are buying. He talks about confirming and non confirming loans and the various categories which are Fixed rate mortgages, Adjustable rate mortgages(ARM’s) and Interest only Adjustable rate mortgages(ARM’s). He talks about the four elements of pricing for the mortgage which are the Rate, Points, Lender Fees and Third party fees and he give a lot of information about what they mean for the individual. He strongly advices the readers to stick to fixed rate mortgages.
The book suggests that you can conduct your entire shopping process by logging on to the website mentioned in this book. On many occasions it cites references to the MYOM shopping system website for various tools and forms stating that they are very helpful for managing your mortgage month over month. I felt disappointed as it was never mentioned in the book that you have to pay a membership fee to access the resources on the website. I personally think that this information must be available free of cost to the reader or at least it must be mentioned somewhere in the book that is costs a fee to access the information on the website.
Overall this is a very good book with a lot of useful information and I strongly recommend it.
Disclaimer: Thomas Nelson provided me with a complimentary copy of “Mind Your Own Mortgage” by Robert J. Bernabe. Opinions expressed are my own and not those of Thomas Nelson.