Dave Says

Living next to tenants: good news and bad news

Dave Ramsey

Dear Dave,

My wife and I are in our late 20s, we have no debt, and our household income is about $180,000 a year. We’re thinking about building a home, but we’re not sure whether to build just for us, or maybe build a multi-family place so we could live upstairs, rent the rest, and make some money. Your advice would be appreciated.


Dear Joel,

If you’re looking strictly at quality of life considerations, like privacy and having a little room to yourselves, a single family home is the way to go. But, if making extra money is important to you at this point, a multi-family structure might work. The good news is your tenants would be right there. The bad news is your tenants would be right there!

From a landlord’s perspective, living next to or above your tenants means you can keep an eye on things a little better. Your tenants might also take better care of the place with you around. But those kinds of situations aren’t always beautiful things. When you’re living a floor or wall away from someone, you’re all up in their business, and they’re all up in your business.  It’s not for everyone.

If you’re planning to have kids soon, I’d recommend going the single family route – specifically because of the quality of life. Looking at the other side, you’ll make money with a multi-family construction, but it’ll probably be a pain in the butt. You’ll be giving up some things if you go that route.

Let me put it this way, Joel. I’ve owned a ton of investment real estate in my life, and my wife didn’t want to live in any of those properties. Still, there’s nothing inherently wrong with either decision. Just make sure your mortgage is a 15-year, fixed rate loan, and the monthly payments are no more than 25 percent of your combined take home pay. Save up for a down payment of at least 20 percent to avoid PMI, too.

Take a hard look at the numbers, and make sure you and your wife have a long, long talk about everything. You two should be in complete agreement about every aspect of this situation before moving forward!


Three reasons you should finally start that business you’ve been dreaming of

by Christy Wright, a national best-selling author, personal development expert and host of The Christy Wright Show.


My mom is the most amazing woman on the planet. When she was 34 years old, she suddenly had a baby to raise on her own (me). With only $64, she needed a job. So, she got scrappy and decided to use her baking skills to earn money. 

She started out by renting a small showcase window at a candy store in downtown Nashville. She woke up at crazy hours and worked long nights. She hustled, pushed through fear and overcame it.

Now, over three decades later, my mom is still baking. Her beautiful and delicious creations have been part of thousands of birthdays, weddings and anniversaries—some of the best moments in her customers’ lives.  

But of all the lives my mom has influenced, her greatest impact has been on me. Because I grew up watching my mom and working alongside her, I developed a passion for helping women make money doing what they love.

So, I have a question for you: What do you love to do? Is there a dream in your heart you’ve been dying to chase? Do you want to use your skills and passion to make money so you can do the things that matter most to you?

Small Business Week is coming up from May 2 to May 8, and I want to take this opportunity to share three reasons why you should finally give yourself permission to go for your dream.

It’s easier than ever to start a business

Twenty years ago, starting a business meant investors, capital, a brick-and-mortar location and a landline. But the internet has transformed what we thought was possible. Today, you can turn your ideas into a business with just a laptop (or a phone) and the determination to learn. The barrier to entry is low—you’ve just got to decide if you want to put in the work. 

There’s no such thing as ready

You’re never completely ready for the big things in life. At some point, you’ve got to do it scared. I can guarantee my mom was scared the first time she put her cakes in that storefront window! But like anything else, you learn best when you’re on the job. Sure, you need to have a plan for your business, but at some point, you’ve got to take action. Quick wins build confidence. And confidence leads to momentum, which will keep you moving forward.

What simple action can you take today to get you where you want to be next year? Just like my mom’s cake shop, the impressive things in life always start as unimpressive things.

You get to define your version of success

Sadly, too many of us spend our lives chasing other people’s versions of success. But your business—just like your life—should exist to meet your needs. If you want to freelance and earn $5,000 a year so you can take your kids to Disney, that’s success. If you want to scale a business like crazy and earn millions, that’s great too. The important thing is to define what success looks like for you and build your business around those goals.

Ultimately, my hope for you is that you have the confidence to follow your dreams, no matter what they look like. If you’re looking for more practical tips on how to live the life you want, check out this episode of my show!

Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey is a seven-time #1 national best-selling author, personal finance expert, and host of The Ramsey Show, heard by more than 16 million listeners each week. He has appeared on Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, Today Show, 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 for Ramsey Solutions.

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