How to pay off your mortgage in two years in Australia

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While home loans usually take 30 years to repay, an optimistic married couple plan to pay off their mortgage in just five.

Clara Riddle, 28, and her husband Jake, 32, bought their five-acre property in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales, three hours north of Sydney, for $880,000 in March 2020.

In just two years the self-employed structural landscaping business owners have managed to pay back $200,000 from their $615,000 mortgage by boosting their weekly repayments through ‘side hustles’.

Clara told Daily Mail Australia they purchased the home at the ‘perfect time’ as it was pre-pandemic and few buyers were looking in regional areas. 

While they bought the house for $880K, they paid more than $200K upfront from a previous profitable home renovation, bringing the mortgage down to $615K.  

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Clara Riddle, 28, (right) and her husband Jake, 32, (left) bought their five-acre property in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales, three hours north of Sydney, in March 2020 and plan to pay off the mortgage in just five years

Clara Riddle, 28, (right) and her husband Jake, 32, (left) bought their five-acre property in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales, three hours north of Sydney, in March 2020 and plan to pay off the mortgage in just five years 

In just two years the couple have managed to pay back $200,000 from their $880,000 mortgage by boosting their weekly repayments through'side hustles'

In just two years the couple have managed to pay back $200,000 from their $880,000 mortgage by boosting their weekly repayments through ‘side hustles’

How to pay off your mortgage faster

1. Take up a side hustle 

2. Pay weekly instead of fortnightly 

3. Ask your broker or bank for a lower interest rate 

4. Budget and allocate additional funds to the mortgage  

The property features a dam, two self-contained cabins, three bedrooms, a ‘media room’ and a dirt bike track. 

The young couple scored a bargain because the home was originally priced at $1.2million, but after being on the market for 10 months the price dropped significantly. 

Clara calculated that in 2021 they made a total of $20,749 in side hustles alone, which included selling unused items around the house, completing online surveys, flipping furniture and making use of reward programs.

‘It was a huge list and a lot of small things helped contribute,’ she said.

Before Covid the couple used to rent out the two cabins on their property, but have ceased this side hustle for now. 

Each week the couple pay $910 as a minimum repayment with an interest rate of 3.4 per cent, but usually pay an additional $500 from the side hustles.   

What are the side hustles they took up to boost their annual income

Selling unused items 

Upcycling furniture to sell 

Completing surveys 

Rent out a spare room  

Return and Earn Recycling cans program 

Social media management 

Dividends 

When asked how others can pay off their mortgage quicker, Clara recommended paying weekly repayments instead of fortnightly. 

‘If you pay weekly you spend a little bit extra each year and will be able to pay off the loan faster,’ she said.   

Clara has also found it pays to upcycle old furniture with a white wash, as the style is trendy and sells for ‘hundreds’ of dollars online.  

And this wasn’t the first home the couple purchased – they previously renovated a house and flipped it for a profit.

The added funds of $264,000 were put towards the deposit for the current house, bringing down their mortgage to $615,000.

Currently they are in the ‘mid-$400,000 mark’.

Before purchasing the first house, the couple ran into hardship with the bank who denied them approval for a home loan since they are self-employed.

‘We developed a great relationship with a mortgage broker who got us a great interest rate,’ Clara said. 

After fixing small aspects of the home, the property is now valued between $1.5-$1.7million – and the couple hope to boost this up to $2million by modernising the facade.  

Clara calculated that in 2021 they made a total of $20,749 in side hustles alone, which included selling unused items around the house, completing online surveys, flipping furniture and making use of reward programs

Clara calculated that in 2021 they made a total of $20,749 in side hustles alone, which included selling unused items around the house, completing online surveys, flipping furniture and making use of reward programs

More than anything, Clara and Jake want to ensure they'create safe and secure environment' for their twin daughters Rosie and Arlo, both aged two.

More than anything, Clara and Jake want to ensure they ‘create safe and secure environment’ for their twin daughters Rosie and Arlo, both aged two.

Last year the couple bought an investment property with a plan to turn a granny flat at the back into a rental to be able to pay off the mortgage faster.

‘If all goes to plan, we’ll hopefully buy a commercial property and build units to rent out too,’ Clara said.

Together Clara and Jake earn a combined income of $200,000 and hope to continue to contribute $100K to the home loan every year.

Clara added how she overcome adversity growing up as her mum gave birth at just 16 and was a single parent.

More than anything, she and Jake want to ensure they ‘create safe and secure environment’ for their twin daughters Rosie and Arlo, both aged two. 

You can stay up to date with Clara and Jake’s story by following the Instagram page The Finance Witch. 



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