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To Pay the Mortgage or Paint the House?


I think it was two years ago already that my neighbor walked up to me, introduced herself, and then quickly asked, “So when do you think you’ll paint the house?” I was obviously a taken off-guard a bit, and eventually responded with, “Probably soon.”

I still haven’t painted the house…

My neighbor is probably sitting in her chair right now, stewing at the fact that I have not yet improved my home with a little bit of paint, but I have a dilemma on my hands! If I hire someone to paint my house for $3,500 (I got a quote last year), then I will certainly not hit my goal of paying off the home mortgage this year. And, as you all have probably gathered by now, I am slightly goal oriented (note the sarcasm) and always have a strong drive to succeed.

Thoughts of Painting the House Myself

It is pretty obvious that I do not want to pony up the dough to get the house painted for me, but I have some extra time these days, so maybe I can paint it myself! I truly have no idea how much paint I would need to cover this 2-story house (and garage), but I am estimating that it would cost somewhere around $700.

If I were to paint it, my house would most definitely look better (it doesn’t look overly terrible by the way – just a little faded), but it might prevent me from hitting my overall goal of paying off the house! Should I just wait to paint this house until next spring? What do you think?


Weekly Round-Up

Here are the best articles that I’ve read  this past week. I hope you enjoy them!

The Maximum Wage is a Horrible, Disgusting Idea – by

Why It’s Difficult to Retire with Passive Income – by Retire by 40

Solar Energy, a Viable Option – by Faithful with a Few

3 Changes to Your Finances When You Get Married – by My Journey to Millions

What is Capitalism? To Understand Let’s First Explore Communist China – by Financial Samurai

Money Mortgage Payoff


My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. Paint the house! You deserve it and your neighbors to. Besides the feeling you get to see you beautiful home painted is worth all the money in the world.

    • Since it would give me such a great feeling to get the house painted, perhaps this could be something I do to reward myself once the house is complete! Ha, maybe?

  2. I’d pay it off. If it’s been this long needing painting, a few more months or another year isn’t going to make that much difference. I would certainly hire a painter if it’s a two story house!

    • True, and it really isn’t that awful. Just a couple of areas with some bare paint. But, things get so ugly and snowy around here in the winter, nobody really notices the color of houses then anyway. I think you might be right Kim. Perhaps I’ll wait one more season.

  3. Pay off the house! It’s not like you are trying to sell it and need to increase the value.

    • Good point MomCents. Truthfully, I need (stressing need) to get the roof looked at instead. Last year there was such terrible ice damming that I got some water inside the house… A good reminder for me to call and set up an appointment with those roofing guys… The paint can probably wait.

  4. We have owned four homes and each time when we moved in had a neighbor come over to give us a short run down on the projects we needed to tackle immediately. Usually before we could get the unpacking done. I believe there is one in each neighborhood.

    Pay off the mortgage and then paint the house. She will survive and you will also. Last time we painted our house the neighbor that hated the color before really hated the new color we painted it. See where this is going? Your life, your investment, neighbors come and go.

    • Haha, good point JD. There probably is always a neighbor like this in every neighborhood. Thanks for the straight answer of waiting on the paint. My neighbors may not like it, but yes, it can easily wait until next year. And, it will be much more fun to paint the house with no debt to think about!

  5. Definitely get the roof taken care of before you paint the house. Thankfully you’re not in an HOA that could make you do it at an inconvenient time. Once the house is paid off, I’d hire someone to paint it. It’s a lot more work than you might anticipate if you’ve never painted a house before. Good luck!

    • Thanks Jim. I’m not afraid of some extra work. I’m sure painting the house would take quite some time, but if it could save me $3,000 I would certainly think it’d be worth it!

  6. Great comments. Yeah, we got a $5,000 quote to have our ranch home painted — here’s hoping we can get it done soon — and a $14,000 quote for our roof. The roof we can probably get done cheaper.

    I say do what you feel is most pressing in your heart.

    • Haha. Did you just give me a cop-out answer Paula?? I think so! Honestly, what is most pressing is my home mortgage. My goal all year has been to pay that beast off, so I’m pretty sure that that is what I will choose to do. The house can look crappy through one more winter, and then amazing next summer after this mortgage has been slain! 🙂

  7. As a general rule, 350 sq. ft. per gallon of paint. Estimate sq. ft. simply by measuring the length and width and multiply those together.

    If you buy the 5 gallon bucket of paint, it’s heavier but you’re young enough to carry it.

    Painting is really a breeze, once you cut in the edge with paint a roller is very easy to do. “Cutting in the edge”, is simply using a paint brush so that there is about 2 inches or so around the corners as necessary. A roller is very fast after that.

    Make sure that you are using a paint blanket if you’re painting inside the house. If its outside the house, you probably down have to worry about it as long as you don’t spill a lot on the ground (or patio if you have it)

    I’ve painted almost every room in my house at least once but the outside is vinyl siding so we don’t have to paint it.

  8. If you’re going to paint the outside of your house yourself use a paint sprayer.

    • Just because it’s faster? Or does it look better too? I think I would rather just take my time and brush it/roll it and avoid spraying paint on my many windows.

  9. Don’t paint it. Pay it off. Save up and then do it only if you want. Faded paint is not a reason to paint. Peeling paint that exposes wood might be problematic. Faded paint for your neighbor is not.

    In fact it might be a reason to not paint for several years.

    • Thanks for the input Wade! I am actually surprised how many people have said “don’t paint it”. It’s a good thing, because that’s the direction I was leaning anyway. 🙂 Next year.

  10. Derek,
    If you’re going to paint it yourself, use both a power wash and a paint sprayer. Both make it easier and better looking (longer lasting). If you’ve never done this, check out some youtube videos and ask the guys/gals at whatever place you buy your paint – they know more about this than you might think. Tell them your concerns re: your windows and they’ll tell you how to avoid any problems. Also, do yourself a favor and buy good quality paint – don’t go for the cheapest, you’ll regret it. Best of luck, Bud.

    • Thanks for the great advice, Jim! I’ll definitely keep it in mind when I decide to pull the trigger on the house painting.

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