Refinancing from a 15 to a 10, to a 30-year Mortgage

Women Who Money
9 min readJul 4, 2022

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Why would you refinance a mortgage twice in just three years? My family went from a 15-year to a 10-year to a 30-year fixed mortgage in a short time. Here’s why we decided to refinance so many times.

Starting with a 15-year Term

In July 2018, my family moved from New England to a little college town near Charlotte, North Carolina.

We decided to buy a two-story brick in a country club neighborhood because of the pool, tennis courts, and walking trails the area provided.

We’d bought our previous house in New Hampshire with a 15-year mortgage.

There were many reasons why:

  • to pay down the equity in our home as quickly as we could
  • to discipline ourselves to spend a more reasonable amount on housing
  • to get ourselves to save money with a “forced” savings plan-that is, locking ourselves into a fixed expense mortgage while building equity

For us, a 15-year mortgage scored an interest rate of roughly half a percentage point less than a 30-year, or about 4%, when we took out the loan in 2012.

And almost half of our first few mortgage payments went toward paying down the principal, versus a measly one fourth of the payment for a 30-year mortgage.

While it was sometimes difficult devoting so much of our income to our mortgage, in the end, we paid down our mortgage by over $100,000, going from $274,500 to $160,900 in six years.

When moving to North Carolina in 2018, a 15-year mortgage was a no-brainer for us, despite the increase in the price of our home.

One of our family’s dreams has always been to retire early, and in order to do that, we wanted to have our house paid off in order to enter retirement with lower monthly expenses.

So we purchased a home that would allow us to take out a 15-year mortgage on my husband’s salary (I didn’t have a job lined up when we moved).

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