Tuesday, 06 October 2015 14:03

Buy or Rent

Written by  Dave Ramsey
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Q. I’m accepting a new job out of state. My wife and I will be in this new area for at least two years, and we’re not sure if we should rent or buy a house.

A. Most of the time, as long as you’re financially ready for such a big investment, buying a house is a good move. But if I’m in your situation, and I’m not sure if it’s a long-term thing, I’m going to rent until I see what the future holds.

It seldom makes a lot of sense to live in a place for two or three years and sell it, unless you get a ridiculously good buy at purchase and are able to sell for retail without any trouble. Even though the economy is finally, slowly turning around somewhat, I’m not sure that most properties in the current marketplace would go up enough in value in only two years to offset your cost of sale.

You’re in a situation similar to lots of military families I help. Often, they’ll be stationed somewhere for just two or three years. They’ll buy something, they can’t get it sold, and they end up with rental properties all over the country. Believe me, that wasn’t their initial plan. Playing long-distance landlord is a pain in the rear!

Rent for now. Then, if you two decide you like the new job and new surroundings — and it turns out you’re going to be there for a good, long while — start checking out the area for a nice home.


Q. I’ve heard you talk about extreme spenders and extreme savers. Exactly what do these terms mean?


A. Some people have a tendency to live in the moment, while others think more about the future. Financially speaking, those who live in the moment tend to be spenders, while the other type tends to be savers. When you take these kinds of behaviors to unhealthy extents, you have extreme spenders or extreme savers. Either one can be an unhealthy thing.

Extreme spenders may need to slow down, grow up and learn the value of money by living on a budget, setting savings goals and working to meet these goals. Extreme savers often operate out of fear and uncertainty. In some cases, they may have an even worse spirit in their lives — greed. They have to learn that it’s okay to have a little fun spending and to give generously.

When it comes down to it, there are only three uses for money: spending, saving and giving. You have to do some of all three in order to have a truly happy and healthy life!


Q. My wife and I would like to put our house on the market. We’ll be asking around $140,000 for it, so do you think we should consider professionally staging the home?


A. It would make a lot of sense if you were talking about a million-dollar house, but with a less expensive home like that I’d just make sure it’s really clean and neat and nice — especially the front area with the sidewalk and bushes. We’re talking curb appeal here. Make sure the front door, trim and porch area are all cleaned or painted, too.

There shouldn’t be any bad smells in the house, and everything inside should be crisp and clean as well. You can stage it yourself with a few pieces of nice furniture and such, if you have it available. And try this old realtor’s trick to make things a bit more homey: Put few drops of vanilla extract on an eye of the stove while it’s heated. It will make the whole house smell like you’ve been baking cookies.



Last modified on Tuesday, 06 October 2015 15:43
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