Think you know how many dollars you'll be sending to your mortgage lender each month? You might not. That's because your monthly mortgage payment is more complicated than you might think. You wouldn’t be the first new homeowner to not understand that a monthly mortgage payment isn't just made up of the money you pay to reduce your loan's principal balance and cover the interest it generates.
Maintaining mortgage debt is sometimes a faster path to wealth than paying off your house entirely and being totally debt free. With a mortgage, you can leverage a huge amount of money with a relatively small monthly payment, and enjoy substantial perks along the way.
Property values have gradually been recovering from the lows they fell to during the recession. While that's generally good news for homeowners – higher property values mean increased home equity – there can be a downside as well: an increase in your property tax assessment.