Thursday, May 27, 2010

Book Review: Mind Your Own Mortgage

Mind Your Own Mortgage
The Wise Homeowner's Guide to Choosing, Managing, and Paying Off Your Mortgage
By Robert J. Bernabe

So, before I read this book I knew absolutely nothing about mortgages except that you need one to buy a house, and you'll probably be paying for it the rest of your life (which I think is crazy!). I figured Stephen and I will more than likely purchase a house in the next decade or so, and so it would be wise to learn a little about what will probably the biggest purchase we ever make. With that background in mind, I thought this book was AWESOME! As I read it I found myself stopping to tell Stephen how helpful it was and asking him to read it when I was done. And it's not just for the first-time home owner - it spends a lot of time addressing refinancing and paying off existing mortgages as well.

I first love the overall mindset Bernabe has toward debt and living within your means. It reminded me a lot of Dave Ramsey and stresses being a good manager of your money to pay off debts quickly rather than constantly buying more and digging a deeper and deeper hole. With that frame of mind, he gives a thorough explanation of how to choose a mortgage based on PRICE and not payment, and then how to pay it off well before the final pymt date (which is typically 30 yrs or even more if you are not careful with your refinances - yikes!). The book is very readable and he used terms that I could understand for the most part, although I had to pay attention and read somewhat slowly to take it all in. It's a decent sized book at nearly 300 pages, and it got a little repetitive at times, but I'm glad I read it through to the end.

The only thing I DIDN'T like about the book is that Bernabe makes a pretty strong sales pitch throughout the book for an online membership to his book's mortgage managing website. He references forms on this site in nearly every chapter, but doesn't mention you have to pay a $29.95 membership fee to access them. Not cool. If someone buys your book and you base whole chapters around using specific forms, you should include those forms in the book for free.

As I said at the beginning, I'm so glad I read this book. I feel informed and confident about what to look for in a mortgage and how to manage it in a wise way that will hopefully allow us to pay it off early rather than pushing it further into the "retirement years." I will definitely reference it down the road when/if we start the journey to buying our first house.

I received this book for free from in exchange for my honest review.

1 comment:

Michael said...

I just joined at the website and was able to join for free - no membership fee charged. Maybe there used to be a fee and it has since been eliminated?