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Nearly debt-free

Jacob says his family lives in a home on 42.5 acres of land, and he also owns another house in Kentucky. The family has been working hard and aggressively deleveraging in recent years.

“We did something crazy," he said. "We went all out to pay as much debt as humanly possible.”

Jacob and his wife pulled in a combined income of $210,000 last year, much of which was deployed in paying off lenders. The family is now nearly debt-free, with only $260,000 in mortgage debt left on the family home. They have roughly $19,000 in cash and savings, and he says the house in Kentucky is fully paid off.

Jacob works in construction and took a job out of state in order to maximize his income. But he was laid off, and rather than continue working at a reduced wage back home, he's considering being a stay-at-home dad to his two daughters.

He also wants to put the family's land to good use by doing some farming, and is tempted to apply for an auto loan to get a tractor worth $60,000. Ramsey believes such a move would jeopardize the family's progress.

“You know that we tell people not to borrow money and you called here wanting to finance a tractor?” Ramsey asked.

This new loan could be easily avoided if Jacob sells the Kentucky home and buys a used tractor for cash at half the price, Ramsey says. However, that’s an option Jacob hasn’t considered.

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Sentimental value

Jacob estimates the house in Kentucky is worth between $200,000 and $220,000. Selling this house could not only fund Jacob’s tractor, it could also significantly lower the mortgage on the family home in Georgia.

For Ramsey, it’s an easy decision. However, Jacob admits he’s emotionally attached to the unit because he purchased it when he was a young student.

“I had it for going to bible college,” Jacob said.

“Who cares?” Ramsey responded. “Jesus didn’t live there.”

A sense of attachment to a home is common, and letting go of all the emotional memories attached to a space can be difficult for some.

But if Jacob can overcome this mental barrier, his family’s journey to a debt-free lifestyle could be severely shortened. Similarly, many homeowners and potential buyers could be in a significantly better position if they emotionally detached from their home while making financial decisions.


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About the Author

Vishesh Raisinghani

Vishesh Raisinghani

Freelance Writer

Vishesh Raisinghani is a freelance contributor at MoneyWise. He has been writing about financial markets and economics since 2014 - having covered family offices, private equity, real estate, cryptocurrencies, and tech stocks over that period. His work has appeared in Seeking Alpha, Motley Fool Canada, Motley Fool UK, Mergers & Acquisitions, National Post, Financial Post, and Yahoo Canada.

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