How to Pay Off a Mortgage Early

by Barbara Clayton & Norm Lovitch 03/22/2020

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

One of the critical steps involved in looking for a home is the process of negotiating for a mortgage. Many people dread this process because they find out exactly how much money they are going to have to pay each month. At the same time, this is also an opportunity for people to negotiate for more favorable terms. Think about options such as waiving origination fees, reducing points, and asking for a lower interest rate. In the end, most are locked into a mortgage that will last from 15 to 30 years. As the months start to roll by, losing a large chunk of that paycheck will start to get old. Fortunately, there are ways to pay off a mortgage more quickly.

Pay More Each Month

The first option is to pay more than the minimum loan payment each month (or increase the frequency of the payments). Increasing the amount of each payment will ensure that extra dollars are being applied directly to the principal. This will reduce the amount of interest paid over the life of the loan, therefore, allowing for a quicker pay off. 

Refinance the Mortgage

Another option to consider is to refinance the loan with a different lender with more favorable terms. This could all you to secure a pay off date that isn't so far into the future. This is a great idea if interest rates have dropped since the mortgage was first installed. Refinancing at a lower interest rate can help you pay off your mortgage faster but it will likely impact your monthly payments.

Split the Payment in Half

Finally, here is a creative approach that may work for you especially if you collect a paycheck every two weeks. Split your monthly mortgage payment in half. Send payment for that amount to your loan provider every two weeks. This approach allows you to submit one extra monthly mortgage payment each year. This added payment goes directly toward the principal and can cut years off of the life of your loan. Check with your lender they may have options like this that you can enroll in right from origination.

About the Author

Barbara Clayton & Norm Lovitch

Barbara Clayton & Norm Lovitch are partners in Real Estate and in life. With over 12+ years experience as Real Estate Agents coupled with our passion for Real Estate enables us to provide you with excellent service when you are focused on Buying or Selling your home. We care about you and your outcome! We listen carefully to understand your real estate goals and work hard to create solutions that make sense for you. Whether you are new to the market, buying or selling your next home or are an experienced investor, we have the expertise, proven track record, and resources to help you achieve your real estate goals.

Real estate is about location, location, location. We have extensive knowledge of the greater Atlanta area, and can help you find your dream home or guide you to getting the most for your home when selling.

The top 10 ways of how we can help you as experienced Real Estate Agents:

  1. We foremost give 110% to make sure your home purchase is a great value, good investment and as safe as possible.
  2. We know the market and the value of a home as we have access to the detailed financial data.
  3. We have bought & sold many homes and know how to negotiate with creativity so the offer keeps your interest in mind.
  4. We make appointments so you can see inside the home vs. doing drive-bys that can just waste your time.
  5. We leverage our network to find homes other than just listed properties. (Expired, withdrawn, FSBO, pre-foreclosures, not yet posted properties, etc.)
  6. We set up the necessary inspections with our network of professionals.
  7. We set up the additional professional services: Attorneys, additional inspectors needed, plumbers, staggers etc.
  8. We hold your hand and explain each step so the entire process is as smooth sailing as possible.
  9. We help you to stay on track with your goals & objectives as they can often get out of control in this process.
  10. We aim to please and our goal is to help you buy or sell your home as quickly as possible.

Endorsements for Barbara and Norm

Our youngest son moved to the Cumming area over a year ago and was assisted with securing a home to rent until deciding to look for his own home. Barb and Norm were awesome in walking him through the buying process as a first time home buyer. My son asked that they copy me on his real estate search and progress once he found possible properties to purchase! They had his back and covered all possible scenarios when the first 2 contracts did not seem to be going as planned. They educated him along the way and he ended up with the perfect property in his price range and location. I had many conversations with these fine people and can't say enough about their knowledge of the area, the real estate market and their ethics with their clients! I would highly and without reservation, recommend Barb and Norm if purchasing real estate! They are extremely professional but give you that personal touch. Thanks for all your hard work and efforts!! A happy mom! Linda Hendrixson

- Linda Hendrixson

Barbara found us before we even listed the property and worked with us to introduce clients that were interested in our building. She was diligent and hard working and worked presented us with a unique way to sell the home without it ever actually listing on the MLS. She saved us time, money, and the headache of doing pre-sale renovations.

- Fergus Thomas

I met Barbara and Norm through a friend. I had been considering a move for a while, but really had no idea what I needed to do to sell my existing home or what I wanted in a new home. Barbara and Norm were very patient with me, gave me great advice, and helped me figure out what I was looking for (which turned out to be not at all what I initially thought). Not only did they help me find a wonderful new home that I love, but also quickly found a buyer for my existing home. Norm was a huge help in dealing with inspections and walk-throughs. Barb's market knowledge is priceless. I would definitely recommend Barb and Norm to anyone looking to buy or sell. Thank you both for all your help!

- Ruth Hughes

After 10 relocation's I have to say working with Barb and Norm was the best buying experience I've ever had! They were punctual, professional and easy to work with from start to finish. Their experience and knowledge of the Atlanta market was invaluable in my decision making. They will be the first call I make on the next move! I would highly recommend this team to anyone new to the area! Thanks again for everything!! -Greg Duckett

- Monique Schelvan

First let me say that Barb and Norm are one of the best real estate agents in town. I trust them with millions of dollars in deals every year. This is high praise from me because in general I'm not a fan of realtors. I think most are not worth the commission that they get paid. Barb and Norm are the exception. They earn their money and worth every penny. They have save me the cost of their commission on several deals. I don't trust anyone else with my business. I have worked with Barbara & Norm since 2002. First as an investor I utilized her skill set for the pricing analysis to purchase homes and for the market value after renovations were completed. She has a technology background that enables her to utilize the technology be successful. I also own a construction company and Barb and Norm help us find and buy lots. Barbara has listed my business and personal properties. She's bought and sold property for me in and around Sandy Springs that ranges from $400,000 to $3,000,000. Barb is a bull dog at sales and has a sense of humor and personality that is a pleasure to worth with. I can't recommend her enough. She'll give you honest feedback even if you don't want to hear it. Listen to her. Hire her. You will not be sorry.

- Randall Arndt

Everyone said what I was looking for was impossible.....Not Barbara and Norm! They found the condo, facilitated the deal and have been available through the entire process. Their dedication to their clients is amazing and have become trusted advisers to answer any questions I may have about condo living. I can't thank them enough for all they have done!

- barbara Hubschman

Greetings My Fellow and Future Home Owners, I have to say "Endorse" is far less than what I want to do in regards to my experience with this Dynamic Duo! I truly and undoubtedly believe, that they are a God Send. Even now as I am writing this, I am in Savannah GA, handling the Probate Court affairs for my recently deceased son SSG Avonye' JC Chisolm, who was killed August 25th 2016 here at Hunter Army Airfield. After his passing I could not go back to the home in which I saw him last this past 4th of July weekend. He came home and we went to see the fireworks at Centennial Park. I remember opening the room door the next morning before he got up to leave and seeing him asleep as he did as a small child gave me such an enormous sense of pride in the Great man he became. So I stayed in the Extended Stay in Alpharetta while trying to make sense of it all and then through some weird fate as I decided to just buy a new home, a call came to my phone and it was Barbara. I immediately knew she was going to find me my home. And as I said they are a God Send, I purchased a beautiful home in the Cascade area on the same street that I raised my son! And I am at peace because he now has a son who is due to be born January 31st 2016 and I will be able to help raise him in the home only 10 houses away from where his Dad was raised. So ENDORSE, know, I implore you to Experience the Awesome Customer/Friendship Bond that you will gain after finding not only your dream home but expertise that will bring you an investment that is smart, what you a dreaming of and what God has for you. He leads them to your home... God Be With Them As They Are With You! Blessings!

- Har'rell Chisolm

Barb and Norm are the BEST!!!!! They sold our house for us several years ago and we ended up selling it for much more than I thought possible, all because of their expertise. We did the usual process of getting several proposals and their's was very clear and had plenty of detail. They made some great very low cost suggestions about how to improve the curb appeal and interior staging. In fact Norm helped to find some good people to do most of the work. They even went with me to the garden store help me purchase flowers! During the process they were there every step of the way with guidance on pricing with clear explanations on why we should not accept some of the lower offers we got. You will be more than delighted by the outstanding service and expertise of both Barb and Norm!!

- Russell Allen

Barbara and Norm are the best realtors a home buyer can ever wish for! I am serious! They walked with us every inch towards ensuring that we had the best house for the value of our money. We love our home! our kids love it too! Our kids attended great schools too. Ha! did I mention we have great neighbors? We asked many questions and they answered them all. We were stress-free and enjoyed all the way. Moreover, our house has now appreciated in value thanks to Norm and Barbara's guidance. What a time we had. Barbara and Norm, I wish you every success in your business and as you continue helping deserving clients get their dream homes. God bless you Anthony and Susan.

- Anthony Luyai

I worked with Barb and Norm first to buy and and then two years later sell the my home in Cumming, GA. We managed to find a steal of a deal on our home that was a foreclosure that was way under market value. It was our first home and was not aware of what steps we needed to take to purchase it. Barb and Norm worked with us step by step keeping us informed and finding reliable inspectors. We managed to close on the house within a month even with coordinating with the bank in another time zone. Two years later we needed to move and sell the home. We contacted Barb and Norm again they let us know what we needed to do to sell the home. They hooked us up with a good painter and pressure washer that had the home looking better than when we moved in. They got the home posted online and had several buyers lined up within a week of posting. We closed on the home the next month with a sizable profit. I have not seen a realtor combo as professional and reliable as Barb and Norm.

- Bradley Anderson

My wife and I worked with Barb and Norm back in the spring of 2013. It was a seller’s market at the time. Our timelines were tight and buying the new house was contingent on selling the old house. For me it was a stressful situation. Selling our existing house was easy. Barb had it beautifully staged with professional photos and as a result we had multiple offers within the first two days. Finding the new house was more difficult. Being a seller’s market, we found ourselves in a few bidding wars which added to my stress. Barb and Norm handled everything wonderfully and after both closings were done on the same day, across town, we ultimately ended up with a great house in a great neighborhood. We would highly recommend working with Barb and Norm to anyone. -Bill & Deana O'Loughlin

- Bill OLoughlin

Great team to work with! I honestly love Barb and Norm! As a first home buyer, they walked me through the entire process and made sure that we closed in less than a month! Wow! They went way beyond the call of duty and were right there with me every step of the way! Give them a try, you are certain to have a positive outcome just as I did! Sandra Poole <3

- Sandra Poole

SIMPLY THE BEST! I highly recommend the two-for-one husband and wife team of Barbara Clayton and Norman Lovitch. Bravo! I can't thank Norm and Barb enough. Barbara and Norman went above and beyond to find my husband and me our dream home. I am very particular and had a long list of what I needed and wanted in a new home. First and foremost it had to be a step-less ranch but finding one in the Atlanta area within my price range was a difficult task. Not only were Norman and Barbara ready for the challenge, they made the whole process easy and fun. They were diligent, professional and totally on top of the area real estate market. When the home we finally bought came on the market on a Friday evening, Barbara called me immediately and said, "We need to see this property tonight! It won't last." She was so right. My husband and I put in an offer immediately even though it meant Norman and Barbara were up till 2 am writing the proposal and getting it to me so we could present the offer first thing Saturday morning. Their diligence and persistence found us the perfect home in the perfect neighborhood. They also helped immensely when we sold our old house. Their advice was spot on as to how to get the best price and what improvements would increase our home’s value. They guided us every step of the way, making it painless.

- Michele Erdvig

The best team ever! I was looking for a house online and entering my information for real estate agents to call me. I received a voicemail from Barbara saying I see your were up at 3AM looking for homes. The house you were looking at was sold but I can still help and guide you. Hearing her made me say yes. Before we started looking Barbara and Norm explained how much I would be paying monthly if I spend a certain amount for a house and answered all questions I could think of. Barbara and Norm was more about helping me find a home, instead of making a commission like other out there. I purchased my first home in 47 days and they made this process so easy and simple for me. Barbara made sure I had my thinking cap on when it came to looking for houses. She thought about things I forgot about such as how long would it take me to get to Atlanta to go see the Falcons or Braves, how far away I would be from family, how long would it take me to go shopping, and etc. They made sure I wasn't thinking about today but was thinking about the future as well. Would I be able to sell my house if needed for the same amount or more. Is the crime rate low since I'm a single female by myself, would I be able to maintain the house by myself, etc. Norm took care of the paper work side. Made sure I understood what everything meant, was there to answer questions if needed and make sure I was 100% sure before I signed anything. I stated earlier it took 47 days after seeing my home to close, but I could've closed on my birthday Feb 29th but I were waiting on my job to approve the move. How many people can say they can close in 29 days. If you are looking for a home, Barbara and Norm are the two to assist you in making your dream a reality. Nothings to big or to small for these two to handle. They will have your best interest at heart and will make sure you are 110% happy and you know all the information before you say YES to the home of your dream.

- LeKeshia Wilcox

I had had an exceptional experience with Barb and Norm in buying my first house. I kept changing my mind on the location to buy and they were very patient with me through out the whole process. . They had the best of my interests. . They weren't rushing me to buy any house. . They made sure that all the things I wanted from a house were met. . They walked me through the entire process and helped me tremendously along the way. . They were working with my schedule . They educated me with what to look for in buying a house from different perspectives. I'm very grateful that I had the chance to work with them and looking forward to working with them with my next purchase. I definitively recommend them to anyone. Chalachew Mengistu

- Charlie Mengistu

Let me preface this by saying that I was a first time home buyer, a geeky technical guy that bought books on home buying, and am very detail oriented, hence, probably not the easiest client/customer to work with. That being said, Norm and Barb were VERY patient, guided us and helped us find the perfect home, and made me feel comfortable throughout the process. As I said, being very detail oriented, I read EVERY piece of paper put in front of me, questioned things I didn't understand, and at one point Norm had to get the selling agent's lawyer on the phone for me. By the end of the process I had told Barb and Norm that although I understand that the final paperwork would not be ready until the closing day, I wanted to be sure I read over everything before signing. If I had to read it at the closing table, it was going to be a long day. Barb and Norm made sure I got the final paperwork 3 days in advance of closing. On my end, I found the process to be quite painless and quite easy contrary to some of the horror stories I had read and heard about. I attribute that to the tremendous amount of work that Barb and Norm had to put in for me behind the scenes to make it appear easy for me and my family. We had a deadline to meet on closing and it happened exactly as we wanted. Thanks Barb and Norm! You guys are the BEST! We are extremely happy in our new home!

- Tony Woods

Barb and Norm sold my house and helped my wife and I find a new one. I will be short and to the point. I have rarely met people so willing to go out of their way to help us and in a spirit of true service. Their level of service was exemplified by suggesting NOT to buy certain houses which put MY needs ahead of THEIR commission. Barb and Norm walk the talk and love homes and home improvement and are a pleasure to be around. They deserve and get my highest recommendation. I hope you get a chance to work with them!

- Steven Saul

Barbara and Norm sold our investment home for us in 2007. Working with them was a wonderful experience. They were very straightforward about their insights, and I felt that they truly represented US as the seller, instead of just trying to get a closed deal. We have bought and sold 7 homes now, and our experience with Barb and Norm as our agents was one of our favorites. They shared their experience and insights about different aspects of the negotiations, but ultimately always encouraged the decision to be ours. In 2014, I called Barbara and Norm again to help us assess my mother in law's home as she got ready to downsize. They gave us good advice again that helped us to calibrate expectations appropriately. They were kind and compassionate, and still straightforward and honest. I highly recommend them to anyone.

- Stephanie Dean

My experience as a first-time homebuyer with Barb and Norm was exceptional. They explained the purchasing process clearly and answered my many questions in detail. They took a great amount of time to get to know me and my needs and worked hard to find the perfect home for me. Because of that and their wonderful personalities, I was able to come to trust their opinions and judgement and in turn use them as a sounding board to help me make the right decision. Even when hard decisions had to be made, they were calm, full of knowledge and steadily had my back. Once the offer was accepted, Norm took over the day to day communication, and he truly was in my corner. He looked out for my best interests by making sure nothing fell through the cracks and by communicating with me regularly. He made sure I was taken care of, from home warranties, to insurance, to making sure the closing was convenient. His skills and industry relationships saved me money, stress and energy. I couldn’t recommend Barb and Norm more highly, especially if you are buying a home for the first time.

- Rebecca Boyer

I have bought and sold many houses during my time in several states (8 homes in all) but Norman Lovitch and Barbara Clayton continue to set new standards of realty customer service and professionalism! When I first starting using their realty services many years ago, you could say that the market was hot and what I was looking for was not that hard to find. They still found me a beautiful “diamond in the rough” that over time became a true diamond. Just what I asked for! We could not have been happier with our purchase. However, when necessity demanded a different location, a different and hard to find home style, plus a certain price point, they exceeded my expectations again. I believe we called it "a needle in a haystack". This time I wanted a move in ready home, that had all major areas on the ground floor, 4 sided brick, and in a very specific area. Did they perform…you betcha they did! Some may call it a miracle but I think it is due to their drive to excel their customer’s expectations and hard work. Not only did they find us our dream home, on budget but they accomplished the entire sale and closing process in just 2 weeks. As an added bonus we found lovely neighbors and a terrific active lifestyle. If you are not using Norman and Barbara, you are losing out on the best team in the business!

- Terry Sellers

Barb and Norm were referred to us through my husband’s parents – we were looking for a real estate agent who was familiar with the 400 corridor from Sandy Springs, through Roswell, Alpharetta, and John's Creek, all the way up to Cumming. Barb & Norm fit the bill perfectly, as they had lived and worked in Roswell and had recently moved to Cumming. With Barb and Norm's guidance and patience, they helped us to realize what we were looking for in our new home-to-be and to hone in on a location that worked for both my husband and me (not an easy task). After two months of high energy real estate shopping, we found a house that was in our price range, fit our family’s needs and goals, and was in our desired location. Barb & Norm were instrumental in helping us to win a bidding war to secure our new home within our target budget. We love our new home, our neighborhood, and our location within Roswell. After buying a new house, we were very motivated to sell our former home in Cumming – no one likes to pay 2 mortgages! Barb and Norm were very hands-on in leading that effort. They helped us get our house ready to sell, deciding exactly what updates/repairs to make, and how to stage our home to get top dollar. Our house was priced perfectly, and was under contract in less than a week. Barb and Norm continue to be involved in our lives. We now count them as friends and advisors. Our new home is a fixer upper that we plan to renovate and to resell. Barb and Norm are our go-to people with questions about what changes to make, what other people are doing in our specific neighborhood, and what would be the best bang for the buck. They continue to go above and beyond and have our best interests in mind. We will definitely use them again and again as our real estate agents and cannot recommend them enough. Jacqueline & Andrew Reusche

- Jacqueline Reusche

Having been our friends for all these many years, it was an obvious choice to hire Barbara and Norm as our real estate agents.  Barbara and Norm are the perfect example of honesty, intergrity and professionalism.  We moved from New Jersey so we started our search with Barbara and Norm about 3 years prior to our actual move.  They were very proactive, explained the process, good about the follow-up and always returned our phone calls and emails promptly.  They invested their expertise and knowledge of the Atlanta housing market and found us the home of our dreams in an unparralleled county that is undergoing a major reconstruction of its topography which will eventually be on par with its neighboring counties.   Our home has also increased substancially in value.  We highly recommend the Barbara Clayton and Norman Lovitch team.

- Sandra & Al Klein

I am writing this letter as a token of gratitude. In the beginning of the year 2017 I began the process of buying a home here in Atlanta. In May of that same year my family was scheduled to have their interview with the Embassy of the United States at my family's home in the Congo to come to America. Because of the financial requirements to bring my family here, I had to stop the home buying process. After that expense, I had to resave for the advance down payment and closing cost for a home.  I appreciated your professionalism and patience while we had to put the entire process on hold.  Meanwhile you were still working trying to find Government money to help us.  You & your Lender, Bob Bregitzer found us the free money program with the Georgia Dream government assistance program...  $15.000.00!!!  This was a dream for me & my wife, we still can't believe it. I was able to use this towards my closing cost and down payment. Actual free money!!!!!!   I Noe Kidazina, am living witness of your professionalism. A job without a hitch from start to finish. You have all the good qualities for your job. Thank you, thank you very much. God bless you abundantly.

- Noe’ Kidazina and Huguette Kakungwa