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Small HouseI’m a Dave Ramsey fan.

But I don’t always follow his advice.

The part I have never followed is his guidelines for buying a home:

  1. Debt Free
  2. 3-6 Month Emergency Fund
  3. At least 10% down payment
  4. 15-year (or less) fixed rate mortgage
  5. House payments at or below 25% of monthly take-home pay

Since learning about Dave I have moved twice. Each time I was debt free, I put at least 10% down, but I didn’t have a fully funded emergency fund, I didn’t do a 15 year mortgage and my payments were more than 25% of my take home pay.

The last time we moved, we got a great deal on a foreclosure. The market was down so low that we couldn’t sell our house. So, we have been renting it the past two years.

The market has since recovered in our area and we just got an offer on that house. The equity will help us finally complete baby step 3 – the 3-6 months worth of emergency fund.

My wife and I have had some good discussions. We have run some numbers and we have decided to sell our house and downgrade (eek) a bit. This time we are determined to follow Dave Ramsey’s advice.

I love our house. We are in a beautiful area. We have perfect neighbors. We have lots of room (4500 square feet & .74 acres.). Our house has lots of upgrades. It’s basically everything I’ve ever wanted in a home, and more than I thought I would ever be blessed with.

I also love the area. It’s is a small town just outside of the city. When we originally moved here we bought less house for the money just to be in the area. There never seems to be a home for sale under $300k. If one goes up for sale, it sales quickly – like the case of our home we just got an offer on. I listed it on Zillow for sale by owner and got an offer 2 weeks later!

Our home and area we love comes at a price. We don’t take many vacations. We spend out Saturdays cleaning and doing yard work. There are not a lot of kids the same age as our children in our neighborhood. Our house is a bit dated and we can’t afford to make the upgrades we would like. Utilities & taxes are naturally higher on bigger homes. It always feels like we are one major repair away from a financial disaster.

This is a big decision we are not taking lightly. We think the pros of moving outweigh the cons. I’ll keep you posted on our journey.