I am sending an extra payment on our property loan today which takes the balance down to $16,500.
The loan was written for six years (beginning March 2014) and I aim to pay it off by the end of this year. Total interest to be paid if we took the full term: $6813.47. Total interest if we pay off by end of 2017: $5292.70. That'll be $1520.77 saved.
Which doesn't seem like a lot, except that every little bit helps. I am also strongly motivated to pay this loan off because we might have to sell this property, after all, instead of building on it. Having it free and clear means we don't have to do any mental gymnastics about an acceptable sale price.
We also don't have to consider a loan payment in our monthly cash-flow, which means if there are any employment blips, they are less ... blippy.
Whether this property gains value over time is a toss-up. To us, it's in a very desirable area; but there are reasons that the area is largely undeveloped. Infrastructure and public services are just above "minimal." The tax base is low. The roads are narrow and twisty. We are unlikely, in short, to find ourselves in a bidding war such that we make a huge profit on this land.
We are gambling, however, that it won't lose value. The area is becoming more desirable as more urban areas in California become crowded, overdeveloped, and expensive. (It's not all that far from Fresno, Stockton, or Sacramento. People commute into Los Angeles from similar distances every day.) And that particular trend is only likely to accelerate since I very much doubt California will become a less desirable destination for people with money.
In fact, I wouldn't be at all surprised if we start seeing an influx of non-white and non-Christian professionals, from other states which are jumping on the DJT fascist bandwagon and putting forth new discriminatory laws. Those high-skilled, high-value citizens may not want to stay in states where they feel at risk. They may well come to California, bringing their businesses.
And companies which don't want to invest in states pursuing overtly discriminatory agendas may well locate more facilities here, which will bring yet more jobs here. If they do, everyone's property values here will continue to rise.
All the more reason to put our own property on the "asset" side of the ledger ASAP.