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Forget that extra $5,000, just sell ‘as is’

Better to just sell: spending between $12,000 and $15,000 on renovations that will improve the selling price of your home by $20,000 are probably not worth the time and hassle, says Dave Ramsey

Dear Dave,

My husband and I are about to relocate to another part of the country. We’d like to sell our house, but we’re thinking about taking out a small loan to have some work done first. We could get in the $180,000 range selling it “as-is” but closer to $200,000 if we installed new roof, carpeting, exterior paint and concrete work. I know how you feel about debt, but what are your thoughts in this scenario?


Dear Kim,

From what you just described, and assuming the concrete work wouldn’t be too extensive, you looking at going into debt probably $12,000 to $15,000 in order to get $20,000 more out of the deal. I’d just sell it. I wouldn’t go to all that trouble for $5,000.

Every piece of debt you take on compromises your financial security and robs you of your largest wealth-building tool — your income. Even if you guys are in good shape, you’ve got a lot of uncertainty and the potential for unexpected expenses in the months ahead. Just sell the house and get on with your lives. It’s not worth the hassle.


Dear Dave,

I work as the executive director of a non-profit charitable organisation. Lately, I’ve been wondering if I should hire an employee as a development person. I don’t want to damage the work we do, and I can’t help but look at bringing in someone new as a gamble. Do you have any suggestions? How do you handle situations like this?


Dear Denise,

Over the years, I’ve found that you can reduce a lot of the fear when it comes to hiring simply by doing your due diligence — and then some — during the hiring process. I get what you’re saying, though. It’s kind of a gamble anytime you hire someone. But if you do your job during the hiring process, I’ve found that in most cases it turns into an investment rather than a gamble. Even then, some investments are better than others.

In your line of work, you need a lot more than a warm body in a chair. You need someone who really cares about your cause and is really gifted when it comes to physically, mentally and spiritually involving people in the community. In a sense, a development person is kind of like a salesperson. A good one is worth their weight in gold, while a bad one will only cost you a ridiculous amount of time and money, while potentially tarnishing your good name.

Look for the best of the best, and don’t rely on résumés to tell you the whole story. At my office, we always have numerous interviews, and the process can go on for months. We’re also okay with not hiring someone and putting the position on hold for a while if we can’t find the person who is an exact fit professionally and personally. And remember, Denise. Like with all things, it never hurts to ask God for a little guidance!


Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business, and CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored five New York Times best-selling books. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 8.5 million listeners each week on more than 550 radio stations. Dave’s latest project, EveryDollar, provides a free online budget tool. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.