Mortgage-free or a month-long holiday? Which would you choose?

Sydneysiders Sally and James* recently found themselves in a pretty exciting situation. Through a significant amount of hard work and effort, they received a work bonus which was enough to pay off the mortgage they’d been slowly paying down. A decision had to be made. Should they give in to their desire to travel – or free themselves from debt and join the 31% of Australians currently living mortgage-free? “With three teenagers at school, all the life expenses that we incur, and a wanderlust for travelling whenever budgets would stretch that far, it was tempting for a brief moment to do something ‘fun’ and family-oriented with the bonus,” Sally admits. “We were certainly tempted to splurge but we knew the right thing to do was pay down the mortgage.” Sensibility prevailed. “It’s a no-brainer – pay down the debt, then build on your retirement nest egg by saving your mortgage repayments,” says Sally. “ You don’t want to look back in 10 years wondering ‘what if?’” As far as financial problems go, this is one we all aspire to: when a large – and unexpected – cash bonus comes our way. How much can I save by refinancing?Use UNO's calculator to estimate your savings. Calculate Savings

Long term gain or short-term joy?

Whether it be through an inheritance, surprising win or pure hard work, imagine suddenly being faced with the most delicious of financial decisions: do we spend this windfall wisely or cast aside all sensibilities and splurge like there’s no tomorrow? No matter how tempting it might be to book an all expenses paid, first class holiday around the world or drive out of a dealership with the car of your dreams, there’s simply no escaping the fact being sensible will deliver long term gain instead of short term joy. Even if you can pay just a little extra each month, it can shave years off your mortgage. For example, just $100 extra a month – or roughly $3 a day – will save you more than $40,000 and cut two years off your loan term.

Read: The three must-have mortgage features to get you out of debt fast

Find a dealAnd while being freed from monthly mortgage repayments doesn’t sound as glamorous as spending a year visiting every continent on the planet, there are still some very real, tangible benefits to be enjoyed. “A mortgage-free house was almost as appealing as a month travelling throughout Europe for our family,” Sally admits, adding it came with its own feeling of liberation. “Our debt-free house has also become our retirement nest egg, and that has given us a great sense of relief that we have partially prepared ourselves and our boys for when we retire. “We also feel fortunate we no longer have to worry about how to manage mortgage repayments if we no longer have a regular income coming in. You never know what’s coming at you around the corner.” The couple also liked the idea of having a clean ‘savings slate’. “All our savings now don’t need to go into our debt or paying interest on our mortgage.”

Never fear – there’s still room for fun!

Without fortnightly mortgage repayments to worry about, Sally and James feel more able and willing to treat their family. “We’d be lying if I said we didn’t treat ourselves to a nice bottle of French champagne to celebrate,” Sally says, but adds: “A fancy car or dream holiday won’t support you and your family in the future, but a debt-free property will. Do the right thing – but don’t forget to save a little for a treat to reward yourselves for doing this.” Get started*Not their real names. If you came into an unexpected wad of cash, would you make the same choice as Sally and James? Leave your comments below.Book a call in with UNO

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Sally Mackenzie
February 19, 2024
We chose Uno Home Loans from their impressive web site knowing we were going to find it hard, on many fronts, to qualify for a home loan. We were incredibly fortunate to be assigned Mike Parsons as right from the get-go, despite the complexities, he hit the ground running for us. He was incredibly knowledgeable, with years of experience but what was immediately apparent and impressive was that he was totally invested in getting us over the line, doing absolutely everything possible, including working around the clock. Despite it being a relatively small loan in the order of things, Mike never missed a beat, getting docs ready, following up and answering every request from the proposed funder immediately. He kept us informed on progress the minute anything happened, and again if anything needed to be done, he was right on it. In short, we highly recommend Uno, and Mike, knowing what a remarkable job he did, over many weeks, to get us our loan. He got us a great deal, with far better rates than we expected, so we couldn't be happier. In fact, without doubt, you'd be hard pressed to find a more personable, sharp, hard working, dedicated professional who clearly prides himself on getting his customers standout results.
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February 13, 2024
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Our mortgage recently came up for renewal, and with interest rates skyrocketing we were looking for ways to minimise the impact. Michael and his team were proactive and attentive. Michael spent time with us to understand our circumstances. He found mortgage options that worked with our current financial situation and longer investment plans. He presented clear options, providing guidance where needed. He and his team were helpful and responsive - streamlining the process and keeping us updated through the negotiations. In the end, Uno did the heavy lifting and secured a significantly better rate than our current bank offered, all with friendly, personal service. We would highly recommend UNO Home Loans.
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Fotis Bikas
January 15, 2024
I cannot help but congratulate Scott Wilkinson of UNO Home Loans for being an absolute credit to both his company and the entire loans industry. Scott is a truly rare gem of a broker in that he will not only go the extra mile to achieve for each customer the very best deal, but his knowledge of all and sundry within the industry is unsurpassed (you will see what I mean if you speak to him). Additionally, Scott has a clear passion for imparting his wealth of information with each customer, whereas the conversation with most other brokers would simply be over if they could not get you the best deal. For me, Scott Wilkinson of UNO Home Loans stands head and shoulders above the competition and I feel privileged to benefit both from his expertise and professionalism whenever it is time for a refinance or new loan.
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Tomoharu Matsui
January 11, 2024
Michael Parsons helped me a lot when it's difficult to establish my capabilities in loan.
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January 9, 2024
I highly recommend Mike Parsons as a mortgage broker. I couldn't fault the service provided by UNO. Thanks Mike!
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December 20, 2023
Thank you Eren Tan for the amazing service and support. Our Loan was a little tricky and complex for other lenders but Eren managed to get it over the line in record time. His professionalism and dedication to our needs was exceptional. If you need a Loan no matter how complex your situation, make sure you contact Eren at UNO Home Loans.
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Buying & selling a house at the same time is very stressful but Scott Wilkinson from UNO home loans made sure we knew what was happening & took most of the stress away. He always kept us up to date and if we had a concern or wanted clarification on something we were able to call him, if he didn’t know the answer straight away he will find out and contact us back.. now we are enjoying our new house and turning it into a home :)
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December 18, 2023
Just completed my first loan with UNO which was so much easier than with other other brokers I have used in the past. Our broker MIKE PARSONS always had time for me and broke things down for me in the simplest of terms and was very patient with my silly questions and my constant changing of plans. I wish I had used them in the past as I wouldn't be in the situation I'm in now. Can't recommend them highly enough. Thanks UNO and Thanks MIKE 😊
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December 11, 2023
To be able to recommend Scott Wilkinson for your mortgage broker was a privilege. We had deals fall through but Scott supported, guided and stuck with us, proper partnership. The whole team at UNO helped us and supported us right through to after settlement. Made sure everything was correct and how we are progressing. Communication was amazing and straightforward and easy to understand. Transparent. We can not Recommend Scott and the team as Uno high enough. Use UNO with confidence.
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December 6, 2023
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November 3, 2023
If you’re looking for a trustworthy, thorough, reliable & knowledgeable Mortgage Broker then you must call Anita Callaghan! I can’t even imagine how stressful this process would’ve been without her. Anita went above and beyond to make sure she answered every question, responded to every text (even on weekends/after hours), and followed up on every detail to ensure we had all the info we needed. Anita is a true people person who is warm, empathetic, kind and supportive. You can tell she loves helping people and loves what she does, which is probably why she’s so good at it! Can’t thank you enough Anita, or recommend you more highly! You’re the best!
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