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Dave Says: Don't Buy Until the First One Sells

Dear Dave,
My wife and I are looking to move from Washington, D.C., to Greenville, South Carolina, in a couple of months, and then sell our current home in February or March after she gets things wrapped up with her job. We are a little worried, though, because of all the things we’re hearing about the housing market crashing. Could you speak to this, please?

Dear Nick,
Your emotions and things you hear can creep up on you. I get that. But the fact is, there are still four buyers out there for every house that’s up for sale. Now, are the buyers and the market as active and frenzied as they were several months ago? No. But you have to remember, the last couple of years have been crazy-strange times for the housing market.

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I’ve been in the real estate business since 1978, and I’ve never seen anything like it. Usually, it takes about 90 days to sell a house. You’ll get some offers, and none of them will be at full price, but everyone will have time to think about things. That’s normal, and it’s probably a lot closer to how things will work themselves out for you now in Greenville.

But in any economy, my advice to you would be don’t buy another house until yours has sold. If you end up with two house payments and your old house is sitting empty while you’re having to pay for the mortgage, taxes, utilities and all the upkeep to make sure it’s ready to show, you’re going to become what’s known as a motivated seller. I don’t want you to just give it away, but you’ll need to be very careful to make sure the timing on this deal makes sense.

Personally, I wouldn’t buy another house until the first one sells.    
— Dave

* Dave Ramsey is an eight-time national bestselling author, personal finance expert and host of “The Ramsey Show,” heard by more than 18 million listeners. He has appeared on “Good Morning America,” “CBS This Morning,” “Today,” Fox News, CNN, Fox Business and many more. Since 1992, Dave has helped people regain control of their money, build wealth, and enhance their lives. He also serves as CEO of Ramsey Solutions.

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About the author

Ramsey Solutions

Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners. Learn More.

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