8 Interesting Facts You Might Not Know About Mortgages
Did you know these facts?
Talking about mortgages might sound about as dry as reciting the latest tax laws, but you might be surprised to know that there are many interesting facts about your mortgage, and once you know them, you just might want to spread the news to all of your friends and relatives! More than just a bunch of paperwork that binds you to a lender for the next 15-30 years to pay off the home loan, your mortgage is steeped in plenty of interesting information that can save you money and /or your time.
- There was once a real-life Robin Hood who freed people from their mortgages by tearing them up. “Pretty Boy” Floyd, born Charles Arthur Floyd, was a notorious bank robber from the Midwest who not only stole money, but also acted much like Robin Hood in freeing people from their mortgages by tearing up the paperwork binding them to their loans. His life ended when he was shot and killed by police in 1934.
- The word “mortgage” is derived from the French words “mort” and “gage”, which literally translates to “dead pledge.” It referred to the way that property was bought during Anglo-Norman times where laws dictated that the “pledger” purchasing the home was required to pay back the debt in order to earn ownership of the property. As such, it was considered by nature to be a deadly, or risky, type of transaction.
- Mortgage interest rates reached a record high of 18.45% in the fall of 1981. Rivalling some of the highest credit card rates you can think of, it actually cost 18.45% for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage back in October of 1981!
- Mortgage interest rates averaged at a record low at 3.31% for a 30 year fixed-rate home loan in 2012. Fortunately, rates have been low in recent years, with it reach 3.31% back in November of 2012. Even today, the rates aren’t that bad at around 6.5% for a 30-year loan.
- A foolhardy man once had a bad enough problem controlling his spending habits that he bought 4 pairs of sneakers with his mortgage payment. It goes without saying that the man was careless in how he chose to use his money, but when he racked up his purchases to the tune of $2,500 on 4 pairs of Yeezys instead of paying his mortgage, his poor wife could barely contain her frustration with his spending!
- It is possible to achieve a 1-2% home loan interest rate. Believe it or not, there is a way for wealthy Americans to obtain the lowest interest rate – and it’s due, at no surprise, to the fact that they pose little risk of defaulting on their mortgage loans, and therefore qualify for such premium rates between 1-2% for a 30-year variable-rate home loan. One such billionaire was Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg whose interest rate was 1.05% at the time of refinancing his home in 2012 from what it had been at 1.75%.
- Several notable people, including Burt Reynolds, Wesley Snipes, and Stephen Baldwin all managed to default on their mortgages and lose their multi-million dollar homes. Sadly, not all wealthy Americans can hold on to their wealth – and they, just like the sneaker guy – can have problems when not taking their mortgages seriously.
- People have a ritual for celebrating paying off their home loans. Here in the U.S., many people have “mortgage burn parties” where they burn their mortgage document to commemorate paying off a home loan, thanks to Carol O’Connor’s infamous character he portrayed known as Archie Bunker in the hit show, “All in the Family,” who burned his mortgage document in a memorable episode that aired in 1975.
Now that you know some new and interesting facts about mortgages, you can have so much more to add to your dinner conversations!
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