We are in the process of refinancing our mortgage. This will be our 5th (I think) new mortgage (including the condo), so we are really old pros at the process. My favorite part about refinancing is that we get to take a month off from payments. Yippee! Ethan always pays a month ahead, so we are already feeling the love. No more payments until February!
We were in an interest only loan, which is not a very good idea unless you can commit yourself to paying extra each month. Ethan being the stickler he is, we have paid an extra $1000 each month since we got the house. We did interest only because with the massive price for this house, that was the easiest loan for us to get into when we bought, and gave us the lowest required payments (even though we ended up paying extra). So.
We are now getting into a 15 year loan, at more than a whole point lower than our previous rate (thanks, Greenspan, for cutting that interest rate!!). Ethan has scoured the net for mortgage calculators and determined that if we add a couple hundred bucks on each month to the payment, we will have the whole shebang paid off in October, 2020. If we stay here that long.....
Now our focus is cleaning up the credit cards. We should not have any balances on our CC's. Really. Not a good thing. What does it matter if I buy things when they are on sale, if I am going to end up paying finance charges on them?? We are adopting a new strategy of pre-paying (overpaying) our credit cards so they have a credit on them ,and just staying within that amount. We make enough money not to have this debt--just gotta pay attention and buy things when we have the money for them--wait a week if I need to add some moolah to the card before making a purchase. Yes, this is all Ethan's idea. I am much more on the line of everyone-else-has-credit-card-debt-so-it-isn't-bad-if-we-do-too, but I realize the wisdom of Ethan's words.....so I will stick with the new system.
So, once the credit cards are cleared out, we are hoping to get some sort of tax refund. I am going to head over to Home Depot to get some quotes for remodeling our kitchen and replacing our sliding glass door downstairs. We want to tile the kitchen floor, replace the cabinets with something that isn't ORANGE, tile the kitchen counters (or slab granite, if it is not too terribly expensive, but I fear it will be.....but there is a slab place like 100 yards from our house so I MUST check it out), tear out the 6 food wide wall that blocks the kitchen from the rest of the upstairs and leave the bottom 4 feet or so intact so it forms the base of an island where our current tall coffee counter is (can't rip the whole thing out because the wood flooring ends where it is and it would be a serious pain in the butt to redo that). Somehow make a hidey hole for the garbage, recycling and yard waste cans under there, and voila!! New kitchen! Might also replace our stupid stove with F2 warnings and a stupid white top. Why would you get a stove with a black front and a white top in a kitchen with all black appliances???
Anyway. Our goals for the new year.
Oh, but also still working on our new years resolution from LAST year==to watch every episode of Star Trek. We have watched every episode of the Original series (3 seasons), and all the original series movies (multiple times--we own those). We had to wait about 2 months to get the first season of The Next Generation, since there was such a high demand for those, but we have now completed the first three seasons (out of I think 7 total), and are well into the 4th season. Still have Deep Space Nine (I think 6 seasons??), Voyager (7 seasons), and Enterprise (5, I think). Maybe we will finish next year?? More likely in 2009, but we WILL finish eventually!! And go to Vegas and stay at the Hilton to celebrate!!