DEAR BENNY: My wife and I put together an aggressive plan to pay off our mortgage in five years, and our goal will be complete in May 2008. Can you tell us of anything we should be doing and/or asking from the mortgage company concerning the deed to our home, the property taxes or anything else? --Travis DEAR TRAVIS: First, let me play devil's advocate. I am one of those believers in having a mortgage on one's property. Let's say that your house is worth $300,000 and that it will appreciate in value conservatively 3-5 percent a year. Your house will go up in value whether or not you have a mortgage and thus, in my opinion, you have a considerable amount of dead equity and are not receiving any tax benefits for mortgage-interest deductions. Now I recognize that everyone's financial situation is different, but I just wanted to express my thoughts. If you have been making extra payments to your mortgage lender, do you confirm monthly (or at least periodically) that those paymen...
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