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’re 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.
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