As Rob Roy states in his book Mortage Free!, mortgage means literally a death pledge. I recently ran the numbers for our mortgage. We have "owned" our house for eight years, and during this time, we've paid double payments for a year, the minimum payment for most years, and $50 extra for the last year. Here's the numbers breakdown:
Cost of house: $25,900
Payments to date: $27,600
Wow, did we pay off our house, or what?! No. This is America. Here's where the money went:
Property taxes: $3200
Insurance and private mortage insurance: $4800
Interest to bank: $13,180
A rip-off? Indeed. However, making the death-pledge payment is far cheaper than renting (half as much as rent), while achieving "equity", whatever that is. If we continue paying $50 extra a month, we should have our house paid off in ten years. I'm looking forward to that.