Cast The Beam Out of My Own Eye

Matthew 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

The day after I wrote this post about my mom’s $6480 washing machine, I read this post from Jesse at The Penny Saved: PMI, the nasty little blood sucking leech that’s hard to get rid of.

I cringed as I read Jesse’s post, and felt just like a hypocrite as I was reminded that we are still paying PMI on our mortgage.

We paid $53,000 for our place back when our little town was so small if you blinked long enough you’d be in one side and out the other. Then the housing boom struck and suddenly our town turned into a city full of people from who knows where. The lazy hometown feeling vanished quickly. Everyone used to wave as they passed by. Not any longer.

But I digress. We secured our mortgage with zero down payment. The closing costs were around $2000. And Private Mortgage Insurance of $40 a month.

By the time we’d been here three years, the value of our property had quadrupled. I contacted the mortgage company to find out about having the PMI removed, and they sent me a stack of paperwork to fill out which they instructed me to return with a check for $400. Well, we didn’t have $400 at the time. I figured if we could come up with $400, having the PMI removed would pay for itself within 10 months time.

Now, three years later, we’re still paying $40 a month for unnecessary PMI. Talk about removing the beam from my own eye… my mom’s only paying $18 a month.

We still don’t have $400 to hand over to the company.

And to complicate matters, and this is difficult for me to reveal… Mr. A and I are messy as packrats. Okay, true confession, we are packrats. The only one not cursed with this illness is our youngest son, and our hoarding tendencies drive him a little bonkers. Funny… when he was growing up, I made a point to never throw any of his toys away, and never “disappeared” any of his pets. All because I never wanted him to know the feelings of despair coming home one day to find that a special toy or pair of shoes, or favorite cat or dog had been “disappeared”.

Sometimes I actually find myself a little bit sorry that I didn’t go through his room at least once a year, pull out some toys that I deemed unimportant and sent them to Goodwill. Just so he’d have a little bit of insight to how it feels.

On the other hand, I’m relieved and glad that he’s not blemished with this character flaw.

I have been trying to declutter since I found these books in the local La Leche League library when my oldest was just six months old. Peggy and Pam, born disorganized sisters, claim in their book, Sidetracked Home Executives that some people are BORN ORGANIZED while others are sidetracked.

Don Aslett’s Clutter’s Last Stand is a fantastic how-to manual, I just wish I could follow through successfully more of the time. I have become less of a packrat over the past twenty years, and I keep working at it. At least I don’t have a storage unit full of all my precious belongings. That is one thing I learned from Mr. Aslett. He says why pay good money to rent a storage unit full of things you never even look at for months on end? That stuck in my head and I’ve never been tempted to do that. Mr. A is also trying to become less of a packrat. It’s just so hard to give up things that could be used for something else! Why buy something brand new that’s a piece of junk, when you can take something older and make it work just as well? That’s always the thought when I try to throw something away. And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thrown something away, only to find a need for it not even three days after the garbage man took the trash away.

I guess we just keep plodding along, doing our best to overcome our character flaw.

Back to the PMI issue, I have been told that no one cares if our place is cluttered and untidy. As long as the place doesn’t stink and resemble the city dump, the person who assesses the property should not care. I’m also scared that they’ll tell the mortgage company and they’ll get upset with us. I don’t know if that is a valid concern or not, but I’m told they don’t care one whit as long as we make our payments. I have also been told that it is quite possible that they won’t even come out here in person, but will do an analysis based on property values. Another person I talked to, a guy who does assessments as a matter of fact, told me he wouldn’t even put himself through the stress for $40 a month. I do not know how he views finances, for all I know he’s drowning in credit card debt, so perhaps $40 a month seems like nothing to him.

Does anyone know the real deal on this sort of thing? I’d like to work up the courage to go through the process of having the PMI removed. Once I can see my way clear to not worry about the repercussions, I can plan for the cost.

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Today is Day 13 of the 30 Day Abundance Exercise. Today I have $409,600 to spend. I’m going to gift my mother with $100,000 and then to each of my six siblings I am dividing up the rest. That’s $51,600 to each of them.

Gratitude: Today I got to see a good friend; a man who is 82 years old and like a grandpa to me. I haven’t seen him in over three months and gave him a big hug when he walked into my office at work. He kissed my cheek and said I was a good person and he loved hugs (he has grown so thin!). He told me he’d had another stroke and his left hand wasn’t working so good. He also shared that he has not talked to one of his brothers since the 50s. It is his oldest brother, so he doesn’t even know if his brother is dead or alive. I am grateful that although I am not super close to any of my six siblings, we are all on speaking terms and know each others’ addresses and profess to love one another. I am grateful that my body works well. My hands do what I want them to do. My fingers hold onto things.

Please don’t forget, if you have any suggestions for me about my fears regarding our PMI, please leave me a comment with your ideas. Thanks in advance.

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5 thoughts on “Cast The Beam Out of My Own Eye

  1. I don’t have any insight into the PMI issue except to say good luck! We just bought our home 2 years ago and haven’t reached the ‘PMI crossover point’ yet. I’ll be reading to see how this works out for you!

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  2. Rete, thanks for visiting and commenting! I will update the blog when I figure out what to do. After all, it will be a savings of $480 each year if we get it removed!

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  3. You need to get PMI out of your life! An extra $40/month towards your mortgage would do wonders for paying off your mortgage early.

    The appraiser shouldn’t be interested in the clutter unless it’s to the point where the house is being damaged (mold, etc).

    Since the appraiser is working for a flat fee, he or she is going to want to get in, take pictures, and get out as quickly as possible.

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  4. Hi –

    The math isn’t so easy for me and needed a calculator to do the numbers. The way I figure it, there are 12 months in a year. In 3 years, that equals 36 months. That amounts to $1,440 in PMI fees you’ve been paying that you can/could apply to other dept.

    I would say that should be incentive to do some “house cleaning” and de-cluttering for a one day visit by the appraiser. Have a friend come over (do you have one who is a RE agent?) and let your friend give you some helpful critisim about clean-up tips to get the best appraisal possible. Then spend a weekend with your family cleaning… and de-clutter. Invite people over, get some sodas, pizza and beer and make a party of it.

    Do what you can to scrape together the $400 bucks for the fee. Perhaps as you de-clutter and clean you’ll find some loose change in the couch, jacket pockets, purses, etc. Throw any change into a jar to (1) pay for the party food and then (2) apply toward the fee required for the fee. I think if you apply yourself, you’ll have this taken care of by October 1!

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  5. @Aaron – I know you are right!! Thanks for visiting, reading and commenting on my post.

    @MP – here’s what is really stupid about this whole thing… our property has increased in value by nearly 4x. So it’s very possible that the assessment can be done without stepping foot on our property. Especially since we are so far out and with the price of gasoline. So it’s really stupid for me to be so worried. I should just bite the bullet and do it. Thank you for visiting and commenting!!

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