Everybody knows that the first step to financial freedom is paying off their mortgage. The sooner you do that, the sooner you can start building wealth and improving your lifestyle with all that money that was going to paying off your home.

Most people look forward to the day when they are no longer slaving away to pay their home off, but my experience in the mortgage industry is that they don’t have a clear plan on how to get there fast and without substantial additional effort and sacrifice. Don’t worry though; at first, neither did David Ham, the founder of Mortgage Australia. But after buying his first home, he learned the right methods. And after having bought his first home just 7 years earlier, by the age of 33 he fully owned a $920,000 home. Plus, he also owned 8 investment properties and his family was financially secure.

The 7 easy steps to mortgage freedom that we give you in this book are the steps David took in his journey. They are the fastest way we know to be financially free without taking unnecessary risks or compromising your lifestyle. You don’t even need to apply every single step, but each step will add to the speed at which you can build wealth.

The picture on the next page is the front page of The West Australian newspaper’s Real Estate section (October 28, 2007). That’s David and his family in front of their home when they became mortgage free in December 2007.

Since then, having thousands of extra dollars every month, his family has been able to travel the world, to places like the Greek Islands, Spain, Italy, Germany, Japan, Austria, Switzerland, China, New Zealand, Chile, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the United States, and even to Antarctica and on safari in South Africa.

He didn’t achieve any of this by making a lot of extra repayments and markedly compromising his lifestyle. I’m not saying there were no sacrifices, but this is not a story of scrimping and saving.

David did it through a better understanding of how home loans work, how he managed his money – and then applying this knowledge. It was about making money work for him and his family, instead of the other way around. This is not a story of taking risks.

In fact, because he had done things in a safe, methodical way, when the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) hit it didn’t cause any concerns whatsoever. He is not interested in gambling with his family’s future. In fact, from working with many homeowners, I know that the way we do things is much less risky than how most people manage their money, and it definitely produces much better results.

I believe that what he did is very easy for most homeowners to replicate; you just need to know how to do it safely and easily. It is never too early or too late to start on a path to financial freedom. The only real criteria are that you own a home (or are planning to) and have an income. It might take more or less time, depending on how driven you are.

You may be selling your current home and about to buy a new one—that is an ideal time to begin this process, because you are going to be getting a new mortgage soon anyway, and one of the critical steps is having the right mortgage and having it set it up properly.