The 30-year fixed mortgage is a staple of how people think about home financing but it is really grim when you take the long view.
I pulled today's rates from a local credit union and plugged them into some loan calculators built into Google Sheets. Did you know that the lifetime interest paid on a 30 year mortgage is more than 2.5 times what you would pay for a 15 year mortgage?
Now some of you are thinking: "good!" Mortgage interest is a darling tax dodge. It's a preferred way of paying the bank because it happens to be deductible on your taxes if you itemize.
Those of us who live unconventional lives and actively select which incentive systems we are willing to participate in may or may not be swayed by this. Yes, mortgage interest is preferred by the tax system, however, the math seems to indicate an increase so large that it completely outsizes your tax benefit in the long term.
Also, you're paying a bank... for borrowing money.
This is fine to do when you can rationally claim that it's in your own best self-interest. But bear in mind that they pay lobbyists that a lot of that money to ensure the legislators keep the system just the way it is.
Any incentive system can be thought of as a game. We need to pick the games that we play with care. They ways that they influence our decisions can become hidden from our sight, in the same way that we stop noticing the things that are familiar.
Remember This Always: Debt Grows Faster Than Savings
(...this is still true when the interest is preferred by the tax code.)