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Dave Says: Best bet is to avoid 30-year mortgage when shopping for a new home

Dear Dave,

Is there ever a time when a 30-year mortgage is better than a 15-year mortgage?

Julie

Dear Julie,

Let’s see, how should I put this? No! If you can’t afford a home on a 15-year mortgage, it means you can’t afford the house. Period.

If you currently own a house, and the only way to keep from being foreclosed on or going bankrupt is to refinance into a 30-year mortgage, you’d probably do that – but it doesn’t make it better than a 15-year mortgage. You’ll never hear me recommend a 30-year mortgage. I might tolerate one in an extreme situation, but I wouldn’t tell you to go get one.

Besides, why would you want to stay in debt for 30 years? Do you have a fear of winning with money? Are you feeling so generous toward the bank that you want to just hand them piles of cash every month for three decades?

The average millionaire in this country pays off their mortgage in 10.2 years. Do what smart people do, Julie. Do what people who win with money do. A 15-year, fixed rate mortgage is the only kind of home loan I recommend!     

—Dave

Net worth and umbrella insurance

Dear Dave,

At what point, where your net worth is concerned, should you consider additional umbrella insurance?

Kyle

Dear Kyle,

You can buy an additional $1 million in liability insurance for your home and car for around $250 a year. Why would you want that? If you were a target. Why would you be a target? If you have a net worth of $500,000 to $1,000,000 or more. You might also be a target if you just have a really good income and make a lot of money.

In either case, you’d want to pick up a liability umbrella policy. Good question!

—Dave

Dave Ramsey is CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored seven best-selling books, including The Total Money Makeover. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 16 million listeners each week on 600 radio stations and multiple digital platforms. Follow Dave on the web at daveramsey.com and on Twitter at @DaveRamsey.

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