The low interest rates got my attention. A simple calculation confirmed my assumption - by moving from a 30-year to a 15-year fixed loan, and adding a few more dollars to our monthly payment, we could save twelve years worth of payments. Now that's my kind of savings!
The catch? With the downward spiral of the housing market, our home/property value may not appraise for what it had years ago. Why is that such a big deal? We don't want to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI). Wikipedia defines PMI, "This type of insurance is usually only required if the downpayment is less than 20% of the sales price or appraised value (in other words, if the loan-to-value ratio (LTV)is 80% or more)." Translation? We'd have to add more money to an already increased monthly payment to cover PMI. Would re-financing be worth it?
With everything riding on the appraisal, I cleaned the house, while making mental notes of all the home improvements we've done over the last few years. The appraiser was friendly and very thorough in her documentations. Our appraisal will arrive within a few days. Time to settle in and wait.
A foreclosure in our neighborhood caused home values to be skewed. Funny to think that just a few years ago, our home was appraised tens of thousands of dollars higher than we expect it will be today. Although we've continued to make upgrades and home improvements, our home has not continued to go up in value.
It's encouraging to know that my value as a human being is not at the mercy of a fluctuating economy. The Psalmist, David, offers reassuring words, "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well," (Psalm 139:14; KJV). The Lord's love for me, His creation, is evident in the first book of the Bible, "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness...So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them," (Genesis 1:26a, 27). And he was very pleased with His creation!
Sometimes I'm tempted to find my value in what others think of me. Never a wise move. Just like the fluctuating economy, others opinion of me may change based on what I do or don't do. God loves me unconditionally. His Word tells me so, "But God commendeth (showed) his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us," (Romans 5:8; word in italics mine).
As I give the Holy Spirit access to all the areas of my life, I don't have to face rejection - I've got God's Word on it, "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ," (Philippians 1:6). Wow! What a wonderful truth to bask in today. In the big scheme of things, it really doesn't matter what my home is worth. It's enough to know that I'm of immense value to the One who created me.
How do you measure your self-worth? Will you agree with Your Creator, that you are fearfully and wonderfully made?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your great love for me. Help me not to look to others for my value. I know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and that You love me. Help me to live like the person of value You've made me to be. In Jesus' name, Amen.