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Should I Pay Off My Mortgage?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of paying off the mortgage for a rental property?

–Juanita, California

The advantages and disadvantages of paying off a mortgage for a rental property are much the same as with a primary residence. But there may be a couple of other considerations. Many real estate investors like to expand their domains by purchasing additional properties. Paying off the mortgage would reduce the amount of money available to do that. While a mortgage-free property could presumably be refinanced to free up equity to acquire another rental, easy credit may not be as readily available today as it has in the past.

So, if you think you may want to add to your real estate holdings, reserving cash may be preferable to paying off the mortgage. Here's an argument in favor of using extra money to pay off a rental property mortgage early: Property owners who are nearing retirement or are retired already may want to own the property mortgage-free in order to increase its cash flow. Rental properties can be a particularly attractive source of regular and, if rents can be increased, rising income for retirees.


All the information presented on AARP.org is for educational and resource purposes only. We suggest that you consult your financial or tax adviser with regard to your individual situation. Use of the information contained in this Web site is at the sole choice and risk of the reader.

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