Book Review: Burn Your Mortgage

Unless your have been living under a rock you likely heard the story of the guy that paid off his mortgage in three years at the age of 30.  His name is Sean Cooper and he then proceeded to write a book on personal finance called Burn Your Mortgage.  So when he contacted me about doing a review of his book of course I agreed to read a copy.

The book is broken up into three main sections the first covers the basics of personal finance, while the second is a detailed look at buying a house and the third is about dealing with home ownership.  I honestly was a bit concerned about having to read the first section.  I’ve read SO MANY personal finance books over the years that I generally don’t learn much reading them anymore.  But Sean did a solid job on this part of the book, he outlines the basics well and even gave me a few ideas on things to look into for cost savings.

The second section is where I think the book really shines.  He does a great job of walking a novice through the process of buying a house.  While of course he can’t cover every detail depending on you live he does a great job of process from dealing with house inspections, making a offer and even some tips on how to deal with a hot housing market when you decision window is a lot smaller.  If you have never bought a house before you really should read this book so you know what to expect.

Then finally the last section is a good summary of what a home owner is now responsible for and things you will need like house insurance.  If you have been a lifelong renter the transition could be a shock so I thought this was an excellent idea to include.  Then the last chapter is some general advice on renting out your home if you wanted to go down that path.

Perhaps the only thing that generally I disagreed with was his advise for when living in an expensive housing market increasing what you are willing to spend to get a house.  I fundamentally don’t agree.  If you can’t afford the house at a reasonable ratio of the house price to your income, I personally don’t think you should buy.  But that is the function of my experience, I don’t live in Toronto where house prices are literally climbing the ceiling.  So I understand the context of his advice even if I won’t follow it myself.

But overall it was a solid book and well done.  I gave it 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.

Now the fun part.  I was also given a few extra copies of the book to giveaway.  So yes, you can now win your own copy of the book.  To enter leave a comment on this post with a valid email address by May 12, 2017 at midnight CST.  I will randomly pick two entries to win a copy of the book which I will mail to you.  Winners will be contacted by email.  Good luck to everyone.

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Update: Winners are Olivier and Theo…please check your email accounts for an email from me.  It may have gone into your spam filter.

34 thoughts on “Book Review: Burn Your Mortgage”

  1. Would you recommend this book to home owners that aren’t looking to buy another house? Or is this book more for people looking to buy.

  2. My home ownership situation is a little off the beaten path, but I’d like to win so I can give this to friends that are looking to buy who probably shouldn’t without knowing what we know (and what this book will probably tell them.)

  3. This sounds like a book to include in a library for recent graduates. There are so many things that I learned post high school that either my parents or school could have done a better job teaching. CMHC fees, home insurance as you mention. Compound interest and compounding DRIPs. Time and risk. RRSP. TFSA. Foreign withholding tax. And on and on.

  4. The book seems to be an interesting read, it will be great if I will receive a copy of this book in order for me to get a better understanding of what it takes to buy my first house.

  5. I was fortunate enough to have family, friends, a good mortgage broker and a good realtor walk me through my first and second house purchases! Despite all their knowledge and support, I still had a few sleepless nights and small panic attacks. This book sounds like it would have been very helpful!

  6. Great review. Now I want to read it too. I remember when Sean was all over the news. I think it’s great he paid off his mortgage at an early age. But sometimes, in low interest rate environments it may be better to pay down the mortgage slowly while maximizing investing.

  7. Interesting book topic. I was especially intrigued that you got some tips from the finance section.

  8. Sounds like a good read! It’s great to see his strategy on paying down in mortgage in record time!

  9. I heard about the story earlier on, intereseted in the book. But I agree on the fact if you can’t afford the ratio in a rapidly increasing market, you shouldn’t bite. Renting is a lot less painful then destroying your entire life if/when interest rates rise or anything happens to your income situation. The roller coaster doesn’t go up forever.

  10. Having paid off the mortgage last year at 33, we can confirm it was the best move and gave a boom to the monthly budget.

    Would be interesting to read Coopers views

  11. Sounds like another good read and a nice change of topic as I find not to many books focus specifically on paying off your mortgage. It is our goal to pay it off ASAP, so any extra tips are welcome!

  12. I paid off my mortgage in 9 years when I turned 35 in 1998. It was a a big turning point toward my eventually ERing 10 years later. I was in my peak earnings years so I was able to pay all of my remaining monthly bills using one biweekly paycheck and save/invest the rest. THAT was big, and it also showed me I could easily reduce my weekly hours worked in half and still live just fine, something I did 3 years later. After 7 years of that, I ERed.

    But it was paying off the mortgage at age 35 which got the whole ball rolling.

  13. We are in the homestretch with our mortgage and are in our early fifties. This book sounds like a winner!

  14. We just paid off our mortgage in March -yah!!

    Could we have made more investing in a low interest environment? Probably, but we have zero regrets. Knowing the house is fully ours, and no more payments ever is a great feeling.

    That being said, I would love a copy of the book for another perspective and to pass onto our kids in a few years.

  15. Thank you everyone for your kind words about my book.

    @Danny My book is helpful whether you’re a current homeowner or looking to buy. It’s mostly a book about frugal living and how to save money in order to reach your goals sooner. Pretty much anyone would benefit from reading it.

  16. I’ve been a fan of Sean Cooper since I heard about what he’s done. I love it that he wants to share the methodology so others can get started. I’ve only bought one house and am sure I did not do it “well” so would love to learn before I do it again! Also would be great to get the renting tips. All in all, sounds very solid. Thanks for the review!

  17. I bought a house at age 40 in 2014. This book would have come in handy then 😉
    I’d like to read it to see where I might have done things differently, and then pass it along to my sister who is talking about maybe buying a house soon.

  18. I would love a copy of this book, since I currently have 2 grandkids who are contemplating home ownership. It’s been many years since I went through the purchase of my own house, and it would be great to be able to give them some super advice.

  19. Congratulations on getting closer to your early retirement date! I’ve continued enjoying reading all your blog posts. I’ve Been mortgage free for years and I am curious what tips would be there are from Sean on entering the real estate market here in Southwest Ontario

  20. Thanks for the great review. As a renter that will probably buy a house in the nesr future, the book seems very interesting!

  21. Good review, wish I had such advice when younger. I still see pros and cons in paying off early and more fundamentally even owning. But in long run, owning is preferred, even with the headaches.

  22. Thanks for the review, I would be interested in reading this book as we just sold our dream house and bought a condo because the lifestyle and cost of owning a house was not allowing us to achieve our financial goals. Even with 2 small kids, the condo lifestyle seems to work better for us.

  23. I will never pay off my mortgage but my equity keeps growing. Still interested in the other side of the equasion

  24. Sounds like an interesting book!

    I saw Mr. Cooper’s story in the news, and was impressed with his determination.

  25. This book seems to be an interesting read, it will be great if I receive a copy of this book.

  26. Tim,
    Here the happy winner, thank you! I will enjoy reading this book.
    Loyal reader of your blog.

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