Real Life On A Budget

Are You Ready to Buy a Home?

Home ownership is part of the American Dream, right? But that dream can quickly turn into a nightmare if you aren’t prepared for a mortgage and everything that goes with it.


  • Walt

    My wife and I have been married 8 years and are buying our fourth house. Our experience has taught us that your method is spot on – whether this is your first house, fourth house, or your fiftieth house! Common sense isn’t so common anymore…especially in the real estate market. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

  • Zbuilder

    Hi Rachel, I’ve been listening to the Dave Ramsey show for a little while now but haven’t come across an answer to my situation. I’d like to build a home which will cost about $280K then i would have to furnish it with all the details and I’m sure that will be another $20k or so. I rent now from my folks who give me a break at $150 month to help me save. It’s basically paying my share of the monthly bills. I make $60K gross annual. No car payments and no outstanding credit card debts but i do purchase most everything on the card but pay it off monthly. ( I get 1% back this way). I own a duplex that I rent out and it does well and has $50K left on the mortgage. Also a 401k worth about $150k that i contribute about 6% every pay period. The “Ramsey” rule of thumb is to not get in a mortgage that is more than 25% of monthly take home pay but I have $30k for an emergency fund and another $190K for whatever. I was planning on using half of that $190k and getting a mortgage for the rest. I am 47 years old and didn’t want to sink all my money all at once since I am getting older and don’t know how much I would need for retirement, medical bills, etc. What is your suggestion?

    • Rhonda Parnell

      At age 50 and not homeowners, is it too late in life for me and my husband to work toward that goal or could it be a profitable investment or potential inheritance for our children. Keep in mind that we still have two children to assist through college.

  • Thank you so much for these tips! I’m renting right now and keep going back and forth about buying. I feel like I will be able to afford the mortgage, but that’s it. I fear I won’t be able to afford house-upkeep costs that are usually covered by a landlord.

  • Kathie McDaniel

    Hi Rachel, I am 63, live in California, divorced and my rent is very expensive, it is going up $250/mo. I’m thinking of using some retirement for a down payment on a condo, what do you think. I can’t afford high rent once i retire in 5 or 6 yrs.