Q: In 1991, when the local newspaper had lists of foreclosures for sale every Friday, I bought a townhouse. But I didn’t just save on the purchase price of the property.

I worked, at times, two jobs, and paid off a 30-year 9 percent fixed-rate mortgage in 7 ½ years. I saved more than $70,000 in interest on the loan. Then, in 2002, I sold my house and upgraded to a home in Sun City Center, where I’m retired.

I don’t have a question, but just wanted to say this: It always pays to eliminate debt.

A: Thanks for sharing your story. I’m sure more than one person will look at this and wonder: (1) how anyone could have even considered buying property when interest rates were 9 percent; and (2) why you didn’t refinance in 1993, when interest rates fell to 6.5 percent. You would have paid off your loan even faster.

Regarding the first point, the interest rate on the first home I purchased was 11.75 percent, which we refinanced in 1991 to around 8 percent. It’s amazing what you can do if you put your mind to it. Congratulations.

For more information on foreclosures, take a look at the following article on buying foreclosure properties: How To Buy A Home For Less Than Listing Price