My wife and I moved to Washington, D.C., about a year ago, and we’d like to put our old place in North Carolina that we’ve been renting on the market. We’ll be asking around $140,000 for it, so do you think we should consider professionally staging the home?
It would make a lot of sense if you were talking about a million-dollar house, but with a less expensive home like that I’d just make sure it’s really clean and neat and nice — especially the front area with the sidewalk and bushes. We’re talking curb appeal here. Make sure the front door, trim and porch area are all cleaned or painted, too. All this is like a first impression on a job interview.
There shouldn’t be any bad smells in the house, and everything inside should be crisp and clean as well. You can stage it yourself with a few pieces of nice furniture and such, if you have it available. And try this old realtor’s trick to make things a bit more homey: Put few drops of vanilla extract on an eye of the stove while it’s heated. It will make the whole house smell like you’ve been baking cookies.
But no, I wouldn’t pay to stage a $140,000 house.
Going to extremes is unhealthy
I’ve heard you talk about extreme spenders and extreme savers. Exactly what do these terms mean?
Some people have a tendency to live in the moment, while others think more about the future. Financially speaking, those who live in the moment tend to be spenders, while the other type tends to be savers. When you take these kinds of behaviors to unhealthy extents, you have extreme spenders or extreme savers. Either one can be an unhealthy thing.
Extreme spenders may need to slow down, grow up and learn the value of money by living on a budget, setting savings goals and working to meet these goals. Extreme savers often operate out of fear and uncertainty. In some cases, they may have an even worse spirit in their lives — greed. They have to learn that it’s OK to have a little fun spending and to give generously.
When it comes down to it, there are only three uses for money: spending, saving and giving. You have to do some of all three in order to have a truly happy and healthy life!
Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business. 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.
Dave Ramsey: Should we professionally stage our home?