Dear Dave, We've managed to become debt-free thanks, in part, to the fact that the little house we've been renting is just $500 a month. We've also been able to save up a few thousand dollars to buy a new home. We'd like to move into a better place of our own soon - especially since a skunk just moved in under the floor - but that will mean doubling what we now pay for a better way of life in a nicer neighborhood. What do you think? Rachel Dear Rachel, Congratulations on becoming debt-free! Feels great, doesn't it? Renting should be a time of wisely having patience until you reach the point where you can buy properly. It shouldn't be a way of life, but it's kind of like paying patience tax until you can save up for a big down payment. I imagine it's pretty hard to have tons of patience when a skunk moves in with you, so maybe the big question right now is this: How much longer are you willing to hold your nose while you save up money for a nice home? I can see three options here. Number one, get the animal control people to trap that critter and continue to live in Skunk Manor for a couple of years longer while you save more money. Two, you could go ahead and make the move to a nicer place of your own that costs twice as much before you're truly ready. Not what I'd recommend, by the way. Or, option three could be taking a couple of months to look around for another bargain rental deal - something that's in-between where you are now and the really nice neighborhood you've got your hearts set on AND would allow you to save up a fat 20 percent down payment on the place you really want. God bless and good luck, Rachel! - Dave ****************** For more financial advice plus special offers to our readers, please visit www.davesays.org or call 1-888-22-PEACE.
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