Sean Cooper is an ambitious millennial who waved goodbye to his mortgage documents in 3 years and 2 months – something that is not a common financial achievement these days. From early on, Cooper developed good financial habits, worked multiple part time jobs throughout university, and graduated university debt free – with a networth of $70,000.
In 2012, Cooper purchased a detached bungalow for $425,000 in Toronto. Prior to that, he managed to save up for his down payment of $170,000. This down payment is 6 times the minimum 5% down payment required. Cooper could have easily taken advantage of the money he saved up and purchase a $999,999 home – where $170,000 down payment would be 17% – (keep in mind, homes that are over the $1 million price mark require a downpayment of 20%).
However, as indicated in his recent book, Burn Your Mortgage, he lived well under his means, and didn’t buy too much house – a common financial mistake that many millennials make.
Cooper was featured on news outlets such as CBC, and Financial Post. However, the comments were mixed; some praised Cooper for his accomplishments whereas others claimed his financial habits were too ‘frugal.’
Below is Jim Redmond’s comment on the CBC article:
Three ways to quickly eliminate your mortgage.
- Don’t obtain a mortgage for a massive amount to buy a home that’s way too nice for you.
- Stop buying things you don’t need; like a new vehicle every three years, the latest big screen TV and a “smart” phone (the world’s most useless invention).
- Don’t have any other debts.
It’s really quite easy.
Redmond got the point – this is exactly the financial principles Cooper followed, allowing him to pay off his mortgage in 3 years and 2 months.
It definitely takes commitment – like any other (financial) goal, it’s all about planning it, and executing it in steps.
Cooper’s Burn Your Mortgage included a series of strategies on saving money, and ideas on earning extra income through side hustles. Sean effectively communicated the importance of financial planning – and avoiding the ‘lifestyle inflation’ – something that many of millennials have caved in for.
Paying Down the Mortgage
Paying down your mortgage has many benefits, such as the psychological and financial freedom of not having a huge (good) debt under your name. Not worrying about a 4 digit expense (mortgage payment) every month can make a huge difference in your life.
However, everyone’s approach to their finances are different – some may decide to use the extra income to purchase a rental property, or invest that within other alternatives, such as the stock markets.
Cooper shared various (simple, and easy) advice on paying down your mortgage quicker. My favourite advice is turning your home into an income property – by renting out space. This is a great way to earn extra income towards the mortgage. Cooper followed this strategy and rented out the main floor, while he lived in the basement of his house. This helped him manage to pay $100,000 of his mortgage in a year and a half.
Paying off your mortgage sooner requires frugal financial habits – not being ‘cheap.’ In other words, being frugal is ensuring you get the most value out of your money and not automatically opting for the cheaper alternative.
Burn Your Mortgage was definitely one of the best personal finance books I’ve read. Sean Cooper covered everything all homeowners need to know, from making the purchase all the way to closing, and maintaining the property. I would definitely recommend this book, to homeowners and prospect homeowners – Cooper provides valuable insight on how to burn your mortgage
You May Also Be Interested In: 15 Ways to Save for a House Downpayment
Writer: Jelani Smith
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