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Dave Says: When Should We Buy a House?

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Dear Dave,

My husband and I are on Baby Step 2 of your plan. We move every two or three years due to our jobs, so would it ever make sense in our situation to buy a house?

Janelle

Dear Janelle,

In most cases like this it doesn’t make sense to buy a house, especially if the real estate market in your area is lethargic. Some markets have bounced back and are doing very well, while some are worse than slow. It all depends on where you’re moving.

Here’s the big question: Can you get the place sold quickly the next time you have to move? Another thing to consider is whether or not you can sell it for more than it cost when the time comes. If not, you’ll be writing a check for home ownership, and that’s not a good plan.

As a general rule, a two- to three-year window is not enough time to own a home. There are rare exceptions to this rule, places where you have a hot, escalating price market. But if you’re not careful you’ll end up leaving behind a rental property and playing landlord, whether you want to or not!

—Dave

Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business. He’s authored four New York Times best-selling books: Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeover andEntreLeadership. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 6 million listeners each week on more than 500 radio stations. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.

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