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With few exceptions, a home is the most valuable asset most of us will purchase in our lifetime. However, too many families in the United States purchase a home that stretches them financially beyond what is needed or what is wise.

Although 30-year mortgages have grown in popularity because of the lower monthly payment they offer, 30-year mortgages are a financial mistake for most families. Thirty years is too long to be in “bondage.”

With a 15-year fixed mortgage, you can pay off a house in half the amount of time and save tens of thousands of dollars in interest.

If you cannot afford to finance a home using a 15-year mortgage instead of a 30-year mortgage, it’s usually a good sign you’re purchasing a more expensive home than what is in your best financial interest.