Dave Ramsey’s New House: Did He Follow His Own Advice And Pay Cash?

If you’ve followed this site for a while, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of Dave Ramsey, his 7 Baby Steps To Getting Out Of Debt, as well has his 13 week class, Financial Peace University (which we helped to facilitate at hour church).   Dave has several best selling books, does huge live events across the country, and has his own radio and TV shows that are enjoyed by millions.

One of the things that Dave Ramsey is known for is his admonition to not use debt via credit cards or other means, and his suggestion to pay cash for everything you buy.  He even suggests that you should pay cash for a home – if you can!

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I was just reading some posts today about Dave Ramsey’s new home that he recently built, and it sounds like it is quite the showplace.  The home and land are valued at over $4,900,000!  So the question is…

Did Dave Ramsey pay cash for his new home?  Or was he a hypocrite and take out a mortgage?

UPDATE: I published this article several months ago. Within the past few days Dave Ramsey actually found this post through Twitter and commented! (see below). To read Ramsey’s comment without going through the entire thread (150 comments) and to get my take on it, head on over to the updated post: Dave Ramsey Comments On My Post About His New House, His Debt Philosophy And Giving.

Dave Ramsey's House

All photos copyright coolsprings.com

Did Dave Ramsey Pay Cash For His New House?

After another personal finance blog linked to it I checked out this real estate website talking about Dave Ramsey’s home, the cost, and some of the features of the home.

Most people have seen Dave Ramsey’s home in Cool Springs from the distance although they may not have known it is his.  The house looks like a snow capped mountain but instead of snow, the mountain top is covered by Dave Ramsey’s home.  It is fairly majestic to say the least.

The land at King Richard’s Court Franklin TN 37067 was purchased for $1,552,000 by Dave Ramsey on April 2, 2008.  For the tax year 2008 (before the home was constructed) annual taxes were just $4,938.  For the year 2010, the land market value is $750,000 and the improvement value is $4,159,200 for a combined total market appraisal of $4,909,200.

A mortgage does not appear to have been recorded for the property.  That’s our Dave!

The tax record shows 3 levels in Dave Ramsey‘s Cool Springs home, totaling 13,307 square feet of living area and 1,454 square feet of garage.

From what we hear Dave’s home office, including the sliding library wall ladder, is made of solid mahogany.  The shower in the master bathroom is rumored to have 18 shower heads and is larger than the jacuzzi tub.  Cathedral ceilings throughout.  The local who we spoke with felt the basement was by far the most impressive.  Full bar with whiskey barrels built into the walls, media room and several bedrooms make up the broad lower basement level you see from the distance, wrapping around the tip of the mountain.

So according to this real estate professional the home had no mortgage documents recorded, which means that it’s pretty likely that Ramsey paid cash for the land and home! He’s following his own advice!

It sounds like it’s quite the house too. Who wouldn’t want to have a beautiful mahogany lined office like that, or a shower with 18 shower heads?  He truly is now living like no one else!

Of course, since Dave Ramsey has an estimated net worth of $55 million dollars, this home is well within his family budget.

Want to live near Dave Ramsey? The house next door, owned by Lee Ann Rimes, is now for sale for only $6,499,000!  What a Bargain!

More Pictures Of Dave Ramsey’s House

All photos copyright coolsprings.com

All photos copyright coolsprings.com

All photos copyright coolsprings.com

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Last Edited: 20th March 2014

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Comments

  1. tim says

    It appears that Dave is getting rich off of desperate people. Just like every other worldly entrepreneur in finance self help. I think it is called sordid gain. Rich Christians flaunting their wealth are a stumbling block to the poor, causing envy and strife as evident in your article.

    • says

      I’m not sure I agree with the sentiment that Dave is just getting rich off of desperate people, or that it’s sordid gain. It’s not like he’s not providing nothing of value when people pay for his books or his classes. In fact I think they’re extremely affordable when you consider what you get, and he has helped hundreds of people. ($100 for a 13 week class? that’s less than $10 a week!). I also don’t think Dave has been flaunting his wealth, he never talks about this house or builds it up as a goal everyone should have, people only found out about this home because of some real estate folks who posted the photos and information. Of course this whole discussion maybe should be for another article – should a Christian ever build up wealth, and own nice things like this home, or is it always wrong? Should Christians be giving everything away, otherwise, does their wealth become a stumbling block for others?

      • says

        I think that would make a great follow up article. I think it is appropriate to ask what does this all speak to the rest of the world and how does it reflect on God.

      • Rene says

        Wow! Way to go Dave! Practicing what he preaches. Dave never flaunts his wealth on his show or in his books, although he very well could. He says, “I’ve done dumb with zeros attached.”

        • Gary Bradford says

          Obviously you have not been listening to his radio show lately…he speaks of “his” wealth quite often

  2. says

    What the heck do you do with a house that big? I think I’d get lost. Maybe he has the “You are here” directories all throughout for guests.

    • says

      I have no clue. I think the upkeep alone on a place like that must be crazy. While it’s fun to think about, I don’t think I would ever actually want a house that big.

      • E. Sig says

        Would it not be awesome to have a house like this as a purchase as an OPTION? I know a few people that have attended Dave’s counselor training and i assure you he probably Tithes, gives and donate a larger % than most people I know. ana ENCOURAGES OTHERS TO DO THE SAMEI Dave’s training is some of the best in the industry.
        I have the same question as a n earlier poster, and that is if you are a christian does this disqualify you from having really nice things.
        100.00 for 13 weeks of training. i have led two classes at my church this is awesome. stuff

  3. says

    I’m a big Dave Ramsey fan, but think his house is over the top. It seems pretty wasteful to me.

    However, thanks for letting us know that he practices what he preaches.

  4. says

    Well, I am glad he paid cash, or at least appeared to or he would probably lose credibility with a lot of people.

    However, I do think of house of these proportions also speaks for itself. Sure he paid cash, but it still sends a message…

      • T says

        It sends the message that “if you live like no one else, you get to LIVE like no one else.”

        As you said earlier, it isn’t like he isn’t providing a service that works. Sounds like there are a lot of people who think they are entitled to stuff, rather than wanting to earn it.

        And if I am not mistaken, the Bible says you should give 10% of your income. As a devout christian, I am sure he does that. What he does with the rest of it is his business.

          • says

            Perhaps more accurately is what he does with the rest of his money is his and God’s business… not ours. Perhaps the only other caveat to that is if you’re a friend, or fellow church member or small group member.

        • Gary Bradford says

          We are to be Good Stewards of everything that GOD entrusts us with…”what he does with the rest is his business” is inherently wrong.
          Dave Ramsey did not reinvent the wheel. The only way to live a life of Victory is to not be burdened with debt, live within your means and not be enticed with the world’s values… ALL things spoken of in the Bible.

          We as Americans (and Christian) have bought into the lies of materialism and have been strangled by the same. Dave Ramsey has captured an opportunity to financially benefit by “selling” his path to financial freedom. However, as a business owner, you can not operate without a debt structure; this is something that never gets addressed in his materials.

          Finally, no one needs a 13,000 sq ft mansion! What is the ultimate message that emanates from this lifestyle ? It definitely is not one of Christian values and compassion.

          • E. Sig says

            Are you sure he has a debt structure. I don’t think so. At last check he has no credit score because he has not owed anyone in some time. There is not enough info in his record to establish/maintain one. As Americans we believe that we must finance purchases. Is this what is systematically taught or is this what is the actual truth.
            Either business or personal you can do it without debt. If I am not mistaken M-Soft, Berkshire Hathaway and other huge companies have no debt. Or very little

  5. Oregonsun says

    I am not trying to bash on Dave Ramsey. I have been a fan of his for a long time. It is his money and undoubtedly he can spend it anyway he wants. To me it represents the over-the-top life styles of people who have a lot of wealth. Just is hard for me to relate to that kind of wealth.

  6. says

    Hi Peter,

    Great article! This is the perfect example of lifestyle inflation. If you got it flaunt it. What else is he going to do with the money? Give it to charity? Hmmm.

    Cheers,
    jeremy

  7. says

    When do we say a house is too huge? How much house is too much house? If someone gives away a large percentage of their income, but buys a house like this as well, are they still wrong? I’m just curious as it sounds like a lot of people here think it is wrong for someone to own a house this big or expensive. So my question is, would buying a house this big ever be ok? (For example, if they’re making 10 million a year, and buy this house one year, and still give away a majority of their earnings in that year and others, is it still wrong? ) Or is it just wrong because that money could be used for giving in other ways – even if that person is already giving in a generous way?

    • says

      Peter, I don’t think it’s so much about it being wrong for someone to own a house this large. But as Christians (which Dave is), we have to think about things from God’s point of view with eternity in mind. First, what does God want us to do with the money He blesses us with? And second, what kind of witness are we giving to the world by the way we use our money?

      I understand that lifestyle inflation is difficult to fight. I understand the sentiment of “I worked hard for it, so I deserve to enjoy it.” But in all my reading of the Bible, it seems to me that God has a much higher calling and standard for us – especially for the rich. Jesus very carefully warned the rich to be careful of being more concerned with money than serving God.

      Now, I can’t say what is in Dave Ramsey’s heart, where his focus is, or what his concern is with (money or God). But for me – I just can’t imagine spending that much money on a house. To spend so extravagantly on something that’s eternally meaningless seems foolish to me (and it’s clear that this house is extravagant, regardless of your comparable economic position). If your heart is to serve God and thereby serve your neighbor, would it not be better to give that money to the poor and instead live in a modest house? And I ask this regardless of what you’re already giving.

      When we measure based on what we’re already giving, it’s like we’re looking to satisfy God and keep the rest for our own desires. But when we look at what’s left after we give, we’re asking whether we’re fully serving God and giving everything over to His will. We shouldn’t be thinking from a mindset of what we deserve. We should be thinking of what God deserves from us.

      I know it’s easy for me to look at a rich Christian and question their motives for spending wastefully/extravagantly. It would be just as easy for a Christian living in a mud hut in Kenya to look at me and ask the same questions. We must be careful in judging, but we should not refrain from admonishing and encouraging each other toward good works.

      • jason says

        How would this change if we knew Dave gave away 50% of his income? If he was worth $100 million and he only spend $5 million on his home, would that effect how we view this? God seems to work in percentages rather than raw dollars. Many people in the Bible that Jesus himself describes as men of strong faith were some of the wealthiest people of their day (Moses, Solomon, David). Do any of us give as high of a percentage of our income as Dave does? I’d doubt it. But yet we seem to be OK with judging what he spends his money on.

        • says

          Then what about the widow’s two mites? She gave away nothing in terms of worth, dollar or percentage wise. Christ’s response? “This poor widow cast in more than all they that are casting into the treasury.”

          Again, it’s a heart issue. I’m thinking that if this much discussion has been taking place on this single blog, then what are non-Christians saying?

          All things are permissible but are all things beneficial? We as Christians are called to be different. This world is fading away. It’s hard to think Dave is thinking about heavenly treasures when he built a castle here on earth.

          The New Testament is filled with scripture about riches. Because God knew riches would be competing for our hearts. Money changes us, both lack and abundance. I know because I’ve been there on both sides. Physical wealth is a thirst that can never be quenched.

          Just food for thought.

          • Gary Bradford says

            Over 2200 verses are in the Bible concerning the subject of money; much more than any other subject including Salvation !!! Obviously GOD knew this issue could (and would) dictate our lives. Observe the Church, the lack of separation from the worldly things that control our lives- materialism and debt. We appear to the lost and dying world no different than they when we motor around in our high-priced SUVs and Luxury vehicles, designer clothes/handbags that we do not need, houses that we can not afford- all to state that we are “important” in Man’s terms; all along being in debt up to our eyeballs.

            What a Shame !!!

        • Gary Bradford says

          Regardless of our “net worth” in financial terms, we are to be vessels for GOD and use All of our resources for HIS Kingdom (time, talents,treasure). Constructing a $5-10 million dollar house and professing to be a Christian while showing the world how God has “blessed” you is an incorrect Biblical World View. We are not to lay up treasure on this earth and I view this 13,000 sq ft house certainly as treasure.

      • Alan says

        In Dave’s Financial Peace University, he talks about money is being amoral. Here’s the dictionary definition:

        Amoral – adjective
        1. not involving questions of right or wrong; without moral quality; neither moral nor immoral.
        2. having no moral standards, restraints, or principles; unaware of or indifferent to questions of right or wrong: a completely amoral person.

        When Dave talks about money, he compares it to a brick. A brick by itself is just a brick, but when you combine that brick with many other bricks you can build a nice house. You can also throw it through somebody’s window. Is the brick evil? The same for money. A dollar bill by itself is just a dollar bill, but when you combine thousands of bills, you can build a nice house. You can also buy illegal substances with it. Is the dollar bill any more evil than the brick? It’s what you do with the brick or the money that matters.

        I see nothing wrong with Dave Ramsey owning a nice home. By building that home, he employed many people to build it, thus employing people to make the materials used to build it, thus employing people to provide the raw materials to make the materials used to build it. He earned his money fair and square. He provides a valuable service at a modest price and on top of that, I’m sure he gives much more than 10% of it away.

      • Brian Fryer says

        Instead of ‘giving money to the poor’ (which is stupid and only perpetuates an attitude of entitlement), he should spend his money on a huge mansion and then HIRE the ‘poor’ and have them WORK for money.

        Oh wait… he already did.

        Kudos to Dave :-)

  8. says

    Are you utilizing every room in the house? Is there a bedroom you won’t walk into for a couple months to a year? How about that extra bathroom? Are you using central heating/cooling? If so you are using up precious natural resources to heat all that square footage.

    I am all fine and good with people doing what they want with their money. However, I personally believe that Dave, because of what he does for a living, should set the better example and not be such lavish spender on something he obviously will not use to it’s fullest utility, and that’s wasteful of our precious natural resources. Just food for thought…

    Cheers,
    Jeremy

    • lapreghiera says

      Jesus is preparing mansions in heaven for all saints, even those that haven’t arrived yet have theirs waiting. Now he is God of the universe and can do what he wants, but that seem a little wasteful too, doesn’t it?? Why will we need mansions when we won’t even have these bodies?? I don’t know about you but I ain’t turning down nothing good God gives me, especially in heaven.
      Personally, 4000sqft tops for me, cause I won’t clean it, won’t have enough people over regular to need it, and won’t want to pay the monthly bills. But what Ramsey’s home is is an affront to all the other mansions that are mortgaged in that neighborhood. It is the proof in the pudding, the put up or shut up. Its always fascinated me the rich people with mortgages – movie stars, athletes, etc…WHY? BUY THE HOUSE.
      What does Dave do for a living? Read his bio, he dug himself out of debt by working in real estate, became a financial counselor and started his own business, he wrote a book, paid for his radio show himself until it became syndicated so now they pay him. So he is the owner of small businesses that grew. He just happens to be a christian. How is that different from the Ted Turners, Bill Gates…
      Oh, their not Christians

      • Gary Bradford says

        No personal mortgage in Dave Ramsey’s name…perhaps set up in a Blind Trust or his Corporation is owner of record with the mortgage ?!

  9. Oregonsun says

    I am sure Dave is bringing in a large sum of money between his business, tv shows, radio, books, etc. The house probably represents a very small fraction of his income. To me however it still represents America, the land where more and more is the norm.

  10. Michael says

    I do not understand the bashing of Dave here. He preaches to live like no one else so some day you can live like no one else. Dave hit rock bottom, now he is rich, he can spend the money as he sees fit. He gives a ton to charity so are we bashing cause he could have given more? Of course he could have but we all could have.

    I say we leave Dave alone and let him live like no one else. He is practicing what he preaches. Saves money, gives money, pays with cash. Done.

    • Lanette says

      I DEFINITELY agree with Michael!! He is living proof that what he teaches works. He HAS lived like no one else (coming from the depths of bancruptcy!)… so now he CAN live like no one else (I betcha not even his next door neighbor, Lee Ann Rimes lives the life he enjoys… debt-free!! lol). And like Peter said earlier, if this IS a drop in the bucket compared to what he earns, then how many MILLIONS does he give away EVERY YEAR… ya buy a $4.9 million house one time, but you give away many millions EVERY year… where is the problem?!? If any of you nay-sayers had taken his classes you would understand… God blesses him with personal wealth because he IS a firm believer in giving away more than you keep… (and if you HAD taken his classes, you would know, that just because it’s VALUED for that much… I would feel confident in betting my life that he certainly didn’t PAY that much for it! lol) Choose to be blessed!! : )

      • Gary Bradford says

        Millions of people every year file bankruptcy…almost none of these will attain the financial riches Dave Ramsey has. What is the source of his Million$$$ ? He has formulated a system (FPU) sold in the Church arena
        that has created his wealth- hundreds of thousands of paticipants paying $100+ = Million$$$. Some churches REQUIRE their staff and congregants to take the class (is this fair?). Once this system saturates the religious community and Dave Ramsey profits handsomely from it, we all will be looking for a new panacea.

        Associates ask me all the time- how do you become wealthy?
        Simple economics- GOD owns it all so be a good steward, live way under your means, stay out of debt and give away as much as possible. I learned these principles by studying the Bible (God’s Life Instruction Manual) along time before Dave Ramsey came onto the scene.

        Money is a “Heart Matter” for most people…”where your heart is, your treasure will also be”.

        • says

          …so he got rich helping hundreds of thousands of people get out of debt and get wealthier. I know you’re trying to bash Dave here, but he’s looking even better to me. ;-)

  11. Alan says

    Good for Dave. If he paid cash, that’s a powerful example and message of saving and delaying until he enough to pay for it. Taken into the context of Dave’s life, it’s impressive to see what God has done with him. He’ll be able to use the house to do a lot of ministry in the area.

    “Of course this whole discussion maybe should be for another article – should a Christian ever build up wealth, and own nice things like this home, or is it always wrong? Should Christians be giving everything away, otherwise, does their wealth become a stumbling block for others?”

    Planting churches, paying your neighbor’s mortgage payment when they’re out of work, and sending missionaries out around the world takes money. So does taking care of your future generations.

    While one has be careful of prosperity theology, one must be equally careful of poverty theology.

  12. says

    I do not think it is wrong for Dave Ramsey to have a house this big. This is between him and God to be honest. It is not wrong of us to have nice things at all. In fact I believe God wants to have nice things. It’s where our heart is that matter. If Dave makes, let’s say, 10 million a year and is giving 10% of that to church, what a blessing for the church! God rewards us for being good stewards. I do not believe it is wrong of him to have that house at all.

    Read The Blessed Life by Robert Morris. There is a lot in there relating to this exact subject.

  13. Carmon $ense says

    It seems most of the comments are negative towards Dave Ramsey, being a Christian, buying a house this big. Personally, I don’t think I will ever want a house this big but I congratulate him for buying this house and receiving the reward for his consistent diligence, giving and faithfulness for helping Chrisitians as well as non-Christians for the past 20 years.

    I believe he is practicing sound stewardship because there is no mortgage on the home and the purchase price I’m sure represents a significant small percentage of his net worth.

    Other people will Always have an issue about us enjoying the fruit of our labor and tend to believe we should decrease our “enjoying God’s blessings” to transfer the wealth to those less fortunate. I’m sure Dave gives tithes AND gives millions to charity so why can’t he enjoy a home(castle) of this size?

    What biblical principles are he violating? He hasn’t made money priority, the house isn’t an attempt to satisfy greed, he tithes, gives, invests, saves money, he shares his gifts and talents with millions, avoids debt and never takes the credit for anything he has and he publicly says true riches is in Jesus Christ!

    I’m excited for Dave!! …my thoughts

    • says

      I’m not saying Dave is violating these Biblical principles, but here are a few ideas: contentment, modesty, sacrificial giving, simplicity, humility, compassion, and possibly even love.

      It seems to me that the Bible is quite clear we are not to focus on living in luxury and self-indulgence. I’m not saying it’s teaching a call to austerity either. But why do we believe God would want any of us to spend so much money on something so obviously unnecessary? It’s the world’s principles that teach us we should be rewarded for our work by fulfilling all our desires – even if they are not God’s desires for us.

      Perhaps this house is God’s will for Dave Ramsey, but I think you’d have a difficult time backing that up with any Biblical principles.

      • Jen says

        Is it really your place to judge what is “obviously unnecessary”? Do you know God’s plans for Dave and that house? Could there possibly be a reason Dave moved into a neighborhood with other millionaires? Could he possibly be in the millionaire social circle? Do millionaires need saving too? We have no idea what God has planned. Could Dave be getting rich and then hitting bottom again? Who knows and who are we to judge.

        People waste their money everyday on THINGS that are obviously unnecessary. How about the daily Starbucks coffee. That weekend getaway. That new shirt. Or that nice Toyota Sienna. And people do it all the time with debt. We need to stop judging and be happy and thankful for what Dave has done for so many. And appreciate what God has blessed him with.

        • says

          No, Jen, I don’t know what God’s plans are for that house. But does God need us to live in wealth and opulence in order to witness to the rich? If so, then how was Jesus able to do it though He himself was poor? Same for the apostles.

          I’ve heard that argument time and again, but here’s the problem: God doesn’t need to work in the confines of how we imagine things to be. God can transcend social circles and reach the wealthy in His own ways. We shouldn’t excuse our responsibility to be careful of letting cravings for earthly possessions by saying that God’s going to save other millionaires through us.

          And again – none of this is a matter of judgment on my part. As Christians, we are called to admonish and encourage each other in love. All I’m saying is that we should be careful of being blinded by earthly treasures and should focus on what awaits us in heaven. If we are blessed with wealth beyond our needs, we ought to act even more carefully because of the witness it gives to the world and the compassion we are called to have for the poor.

  14. says

    What kind of home did Solomon or David have? What kind of wealth did Abraham amass? What about Job? Who is the giver of that wealth?

    We only think it’s over the top because of what we’re comparing it to.

  15. says

    I think what one person does with his/her money is their own business, and they can deal with the fallout/consequences/soul-searching involved. It’s not really my place to judge the wisdom of someone else’s purchases – God can take care of that, and frankly that’s good because I don’t have the time. ;)

    I’ll just say that it’s nice to see that Dave is practicing what he teaches in terms of paying cash. :)

  16. thisisbeth says

    Good for Dave!

    I think it’s wasteful in many ways (I’m not a huge environmentalist, but I do like to be responsible for it), but since he can afford it, and if that’s what he wants, then more power to him. It’s his choice. I’m a single female living alone…and have just under 1200 square feet to my own (err, well, I have about 50 square feet to my own, the bank still owns the rest!). It’s a small house to some, but a large amount of space for others. However, it’s how much space I need in my life for the things I enjoy. I can only presume Dave built his house with room for what he and his family enjoys.

    For the religious perspective: if it’s wrong for Dave to have this nice house, isn’t it wrong for churches to be beautiful buildings? Shouldn’t they all be boring warehouses, to give the rest of the money to the poor? Beautiful things are a part of life. If Dave can afford it, it’s not for us to judge him. What we can do is judge his actions and ask what we would do in his shoes…but I am not Dave, so what choice I make is not necessarily the right choice for Dave, and what choice Dave makes is not necessarily the right choice for me.

    • says

      Actually, Beth, I think churches should be more careful with their finances and their buildings. A lot of wasteful spending happens in churches and I’m not sure God is always pleased with our plans to glorify Him with a building…

      • says

        I’m in agreement with Paul. Our church has a $2M loan on our building that will probably be paid off some time in the year 3050.

        It’s sad but I previously attended a church that justified building a new building on the basis that it (the building) would be a witness to the community. Since we were so inept at sharing the Gospel ourselves, we deferred the job to an inanimate object.

        My apologies for the cynicism :-)

        • says

          The church that we attend met in school buildings on Sundays for about 15-20 years because they didn’t want to focus of their giving and spending to be on the upkeep on a physical building. While that was a good thing for the most part – it did have some pretty big downsides in that our church didn’t really feel permanent, we had to break down and put up all of our sound equipment every week, and it made it hard to plan church activities because we were dependent on a third party (the schools) who didn’t always make our needs a priority. In the end our church bought a permanent building 2-3 years ago – and along with it came debt to pay for it. While the church is now growing more, we are now in the midst of a capital campaign to raise money to pay off the church mortgage within the next few years, and it has been a test of our faith to give above and beyond our normal giving to help pay for this new church building. The building has been a blessing, but as mentioned here, it does have cons too in that it tends to sometimes take the focus off of more important things.

          • says

            I just think we too often get caught up in the idea of the Church being a building. That’s such a messed up idea! We’re the Church!!! God reaches people directly and through us – and most likely not through a building.

            I just recently heard about a local mega-church that’s looking to expand to two new locations and they’re raising 18-20 million dollars for it. The idea is that they’ll be able to introduce more people to Jesus (their words). But does it really take multi-million dollar buildings to do that?

            I think that the way we “do church” is probably broken in a number of ways. (Even that phrase “do church” is a bit messed up!) I’m not exactly sure how to fix things since I’ve grown up in the mindset of “how we’ve always done things”. But there just seems to be such a difference between the Church I see today and the Church I read about in the Bible.

          • Gary Bradford says

            Peter,

            After 15-20 years in the temporary location (schools) it would seem that the church could have “saved” enough to pay cash for the permanent location.

          • JoeP says

            I saw a TV news show a few years ago that said real millionaires are virtually unreconizible from their neighbors because they live so frugally. Example: they drive small fuel efficient cars.

  17. says

    I think it’s awesome that he is practicing what he’s preaching. The size of his house is his business and proportionally, the picetag vs income probably isn’t more than someone would spend on a $150,000 home. Does that justify a $5mil home? I’m not trying to justify it. Does anyone harp at those buying a $250,000 home with a lower income than the person who bought a $150,000 home?

    I guess the question is ‘how much is too much?’ and to that I’d say it’s too much when it becomes a status symbol and your pride keeps you from giving what you should. Is that what has happened to Dave? Who are we to judge?? But we can certainly use it as a lesson to remind ourselves to keep our hearts focused on the things that matter and to not let pride lead our financial decisions.

    Good discussion here!!
    Tim

  18. says

    He certainly has the right to buy it. And he paid cash so affordability is not the issue. And I’m sure he would come out and say that he gives as much, or more, to charity.

    But is whether one pays with cash or not the measure of true wealth? Is that what he’s going to say at the Judgement throne of Christ? “Did you see my awesome house, dude? I paid cash so I got a sweet deal!”

    And what about the widow’s mite? According to Christ, she gave ALL she had. Imagine that, a few worthless coins being worth more than millions in God’s eyes.

    Then there’s Warren Buffett, probably one of the most anti-Biblical creatures on the planet. He’s lived in the same little house his whole life. He could buy 10 Dave Ramsey houses. Yet he doesn’t. Yet he rejects Christ.

    I think the bigger question is, “why do Christians continue to invest [first] in temporal things that will ultimately crumble?”

    God does not use the same measuring sticks we use no matter how much we think we “deserve” things. There’s only one thing I deserve and it’s not a very fun thing.

    Isaiah 55:8-9 “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

  19. says

    Wow, now that’s a big house!

    It kind of reminds me of our founding father’s houses, like Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello or George Washington’s Mount Vernon… I wonder if he has named his estate like they did?

    It’s good to know that Dave was true to his word!!!

    • Gary Bradford says

      Are we sure that the the Corporation is not encumbered with the mortgage so that Dave ramsey appears debt-free. If he DID pay cash for the house and land (1.5 million in 2008 and assessed for 750k in 2010) then that was certainly a poor investment. Is that any way to handle God’s money ???

      • says

        I can pretty much guarantee you that Dave runs his business like he runs his personal life. Debt-free. And to challenge him on his “investment” of God’s money is to challenge every other Christian in the world who’s lost money on their house, real-estate, investments, retirement, etc. during this economy. Get real!

  20. says

    I have no problem with Dave or anyone else making money on their hard efforts and no doubt Dave is doing a lot of good. I especially don’t mind it if he is helping ministries proportionately. He does claim to a Christian and calls people to give and be generous. Is he? if so, great. But I do have to think how much more he could be doing if he lived in say a $1 million house? All questions he has to live with, not me.

  21. Carmon $ense says

    This is a good discussion!

    It’s many great points about why he probably shouldn’t have bought this home and I respect those points but won’t necessarily agree with them. I could go on and on about why I believe God sees no problem with this and actually enjoys his child enjoying his blessing.

    But great discussion, I enjoyed hearing all the views.

  22. says

    “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” – Luke 16:10

    Dave has been blessed for helping other people improve their lifestyle. Blessed to be a blessing!

    In Christ,
    Ron

  23. says

    The problem I see is that we Americans tend to interpret much (most?) scripture as having to do with money and prosperity (because even the poor amongst us are rich in terms of the world as a whole). When, in reality, most (all?) of what Christ talks about concerns our hearts, our very souls.

    In fact, he comes straight out and says it, “we can’t serve two masters.” He’s referring to pursuing wealth and riches (not being in debt as some people like to make it about).

    So, we throw Luke 16:10 around and then we’re silent on Luke 18:18-23. Or, we say something like “Well, Christ didn’t REALLY mean for the rich young ruler to give all his wealth away.”

    I’m as guilty as anyone. I don’t like to think that everything I own could be gone one day. I’d be very upset if my house burnt down. I’d probably try to run in and save my computer. I like my creature comforts.

    Christ “lived like no one else” and it cost him his life. We interpret “live like no one else” as stockpiling cash to cover emergencies and buying bigger and better stuff because we don’t have to put it on a credit card anymore.

    I’ve been through the Financial Peace course. And I think the very FIRST lesson should be on generosity and the state of our hearts. If we don’t get that straight, what’s the point of the rest of it?

    Ok, I’m done now before I get started on the “who are you to judge?” line!

    • Gary Bradford says

      It will always be a “Heart Matter”…we justify gaining material wealth as a blessing from God…can not understand this mindset. The “Prosperity Theology” that is prevalent in today’s churches reeks of the “Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing” analogy

  24. DJ says

    I just don’t understand the logic of a house that size. Even if you aren’t personally handling the upkeep, it has to be paid for. I’d much prefer something more modest just for practical reasons.

  25. says

    I think the disconnect for me is that when you take on a property that large, you have large ongoing expenses that can be construed as “debt” in that they will never end and will likely increase. Consider the maintenance, utilities and most of all PROPERTY TAXES that are a form of debt. You have an amount that you must, absolutely pay someone else in order to keep this property. That’s debt.

    The taxes before the property was improved were under $5000 a year but what are they now? The only way taxes tend to go is up, so he’s looking at tax debt (and it is debt because it’s something he owes to someone else to keep something he wants) that will likely increase over time. It’s an expense that will never go away.

    Had he built a 5000 square foot home for example, while he’d still have tax debt, it would be considerably lower. It’s still debt but at least in the event that he’s not the hottest name in personal finance in 10 years (and who really holds that title for longer than that anyway?) it would be manageable.

    I have no doubt that Dave Ramsey can afford this house now and likely into the future, but it seems so drastically over the top considering his message that I think it confuses people into thinking that if you pay cash for a house, you’re done. You’re far from it. I personally would have liked to see him go the Warren Buffet route and show that your house is a house. It’s not the pinnacle of your success and it doesn’t have to be large and ostentatious to prove that you’ve done well. Warren Buffet has lived in the same home since the 1950’s I believe and it’s been paid off for most of that time yet he’s one of the wealthiest and most highly regarded financial minds in the world.

    It, sadly, seems like Dave Ramsey drank the “you have to show off your wealth” Kool-aid. Good for him for paying cash, but wow….it’s not congruent with much of what he’s said.

    • Just sayin'... says

      C’mon, now… Do you honestly think a few thousand dollars in taxes is an issue when you make millions?!? What flavor of Kool-aid did YOU drink?!? : )

    • Jen says

      Dave Ramsey’s property taxes for 2011 are $27,001.00. Add in utlities, upkeep, maintenance and that’s quite a bit of debt to take on to maintain a property.

      My issue with Dave Ramsey isn’t whether he can afford it, it’s whether what he’s done is congruent with what he preaches for others to do. Paying cash for a house is one thing, but incurring large amounts of expenses that will never go away and only increase over time doesn’t seem to be in line with what he preaches that people should do. It’s not the amounts, and whether he can afford it right now, but the principle of the act. He tells people not to worry what others think and not to try to keep up with the neighbors, yet this construction of this home seems to scream out, “look at me! I have way more than you!” and it seems out of character for his public persona.

        • lapreghiera says

          Do the math, the house and land is already worth twice what he paid. If you do an annual budget of monthly expenses, property taxes included, the house pays for itself for the next 60yrs easy. So he still is not in debt.

          • Gary Bradford says

            Dave paid $1.5 million for the land in 2008 and in 2010 the land was valued at $750k…seems like a 50% DECREASE to me.
            Is that the way to handle God’s money ?

    • Gary Bradford says

      What is the source of his Millions ??? ..that too will soon fade (Larry Burkett, Ron Blue ?)

  26. Droed says

    You know, I’ve read through these comments and I think something has escaped everyone… The land and home are VALUED at 4.9 million. I seriously doubt Dave paid face value for them. If he paid 1.5 mil for the land, he propably paid no more than 2 mil for the structure that sits on it. Remember, Dave never buys anything at face value and almost always gets a deal. I wouldn’t be suprised if he only paid 3 million total for everything. I also find it surprising that nobody mentioned that the building he runs his business out of is values at around $12 million (and he paid cash for that too), but nobody seems to be getting worked up over that. Hmm….

    Now, time for the wet noodle. In almost every comment I read there was a dig/negative comment about Dave’s house and how it was “too much, etc”. To me that sounds like alot of “false selves” coming out and being influenced via “Bad Apple #1″. All this talk about “morality” and “Biblical Principals” and you all forgot probably two of the most important things we were taught in life (probably by our grandmother), “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”.
    I think that the concept of contentment is a bogus one, if we were made to be content, we would all still be living in caves. Contentment should not be used as a goal, but rather a warning sign. We should always feel that we can do better: for ourselves, for our God, and our community. Not event the big guy upstairs is content. I can recall one documented occasion where He wanted to his the reset button and got talked into a compromise. Who knows how many other times that has been done. Perhaps the last time was 65 million years ago… but I digress….

    My point is that to me it seems people too worried about everyone else when they should be worried more about themselves and their loved ones. Dave Ramsey built himself a big house. So what?? That’s nice. Big deal! Now let’s move on. I think that if those commenting had educated themselves as much as he has on the matters of finances and how they relate with one’s spiritual walk, they may see things differently.

    • says

      Droed, contentment is not the same as complacency, apathy, or a lack of ambition. See: http://www.providentplan.com/1857/contentment-is-not-complacency/

      Regarding my concern about Dave Ramsey or myself, I am trying to say that we should be careful of how we handle and view wealth. Jesus gave us very strong warnings for the rich (which anyone in America is) and for those who focus too much on earthly status and wealth. I don’t think it’s wrong for us to say we should carefully consider a Christian’s proper relationship with money and to examine ourselves.

      Believe me, I am often examining myself to see if I’m loving money instead of God, and I am striving to serve Him and seek His kingdom above all else. I just want to encourage other Christians to do the same.

    • Steve says

      The Bible tells us we should be content with food and shelter. How bogus does that sound? If you can refute 1 Timothy 6:8, you’re a better man than me, or Paul (that’s the guy who wrote it).

      You’ve been Americanized, brother. Either that or you’ve been watching too much Joel Osteen. This is the reason we will be called “luke warm”.

      It IS a big deal when people who claim to be Christians don’t act like Christians nor know how to defend what they believe in.

  27. Oregonsun says

    I think it is sad how this entire matter turned. I personally don’t see it so much about Dave Ramsey and his purchase as a debate on Christians and wealth. I don’t applaud Dave Ramsey nor do I condemn him for his home. It is the standard that the world judges achievement, success and wealth. Nothing more or less in my opinion.

    • Gary Bradford says

      As Christians we are to be “separate from the World as we live in the World”. Well resourced or not, we as Christians are to live above the standards of man. Obviously, building mega-mansions and driving very expensive automobiles speaks to a World Standard not GOD’s.

      “Where your treasure is your heart is also”…we are to send ahead our treasures to the Heavenly Kingdom.

  28. laverta says

    I think spending our time discussing whether or not Dave Ramsey is doing God’s will living in a giant house, could be better spent looking at how we can do God’s will living in our house. Whatever we do for the least of these my brother we do for Him. Who are the least…certainly young children who are dependent on adults for physical, social, emotional, and spiritual nurturing. How are you doing treating the least of These…children? The mentally ill, are the least of these. How are you doing treating them? There are other least of these… How are you doing with the least of them? Let’s focus on the least of these and take our focus off of Dave, except to pray for him that he puts his faith and trust in God at all times and not in material things…then he will be ok.

  29. Oregonsun says

    If this is construed as success for a professing Christian then what must the unsaved think success is?

  30. says

    What a gorgeous house!!

    Yes it is a large house and yes there is continuing ‘debt’ that goes along with this house however if his income is proportionate to this house it’s the same thing as a family whose income is $100k and their house is valued at $200k. Congrats to him though for appearing to have followed his own advice!

    Thanks!
    Brooke

  31. says

    Looks to me he’s “living like no one else” because he spent the time “living like no one else”. I don’t fault him at all for this house. King David lived in a palace. King Solomon was extraordinarily wealthy and they both had a heart for God. I believe that states that position in life isn’t necessarily a factor for the level of Christian you are or can become. If I have a problem with how much money he made off of “my” contribution to his bottom line by purchasing his books, listening to his radio show and attending his events; then every single person that ever contributed to every dollar I made should be livid with my life. Because I’ve WASTED so much money that I can’t live like this… yet.

  32. says

    While I am glad that Dave practices what he preaches, I am not sure that this is what should be done with excessive wealth. How many children around the world could have been feed with the money? It is one thing to have a nice house but that much square footage for two people? I will say that I do not have the money, so I can not pass judgment until, I have a decision and the money to back it up!

  33. FPU Graduate says

    The body of Christ is made up of many members, each one with a specific strength and task to perform for the good of the entire body. The eye cannot say to the foot “I have no need of thee,” nor can the foot say “because I am not an eye, I am not part of the body.”

    Dave Ramsey is part of the body of Christ. He isn’t disqualified by the size of his house or whether he is rich or not. How do we know whether God’s purpose in his wealth is to free some missionary up from having to work so they can spread the gospel or help bring medicine to the poor because of Dave!

    Perhaps Dave, as was described in Jesus’ story about the “talents,” was like the servant who took his 10 talents and doubled them. That servant was the recipient of the dirt-covered talent from the one who buried his and got in trouble. If Dave’s faithfulness, wisdom, and smart business moves places him in a big house, perhaps that was as God willed it. He who is faithful with little will be given responsibility over much. Perhaps THAT is the signal that should be sent here. But, it isn’t my signal to send, so I’ll just leave it at that.

    Dave doesn’t get his assignments from any one of us; he gets them from his Master, which, by the way, isn’t mammon. As he says in his seminars, poor people can just as greedy and serve mammon just as easily as rich folks. The best way to show mammon who’s boss is to 1) Tell it what to do, and 2) Give a lot of it away. That’s all Dave teaches.

    Dave will give account at the judgment seat. Was he faithful? Was he obedient? Was he loving? Only God will know because He judges the heart, not just what is seen on the outside.

    Though I am not his judge, I suspect Dave will be greeted with “well done, thou good and faithful servant” because he took what resources God gave him to manage and blessed others with them. The most valuable of those resources being the godly wisdom that he dispenses freely every weekday at 7pm in Oregon.

    I really don’t care what size his house is. A man ought to be measured by his character, not his clothes, his car, or how big his house is (or isn’t).

    For all you haters out there: What has he done to you? For me, he helped me navigate my way from $57,000 in consumer debt to zero in about 5 years. I saved 10’s of thousands in interest and all it cost me was a lousy hundred bucks!

    And, if Dave slips once in a while with a comment about his wealth in an effort to underscore a universal principle about money management, I’ll forgive him. If he grins just a little too widely while waiving at us from his front porch, I’ll forgive him that, too.

  34. jmd says

    Very interesting that those that might have a different perspective on the wisdom of Dave Ramsey’s home are called “haters.” Personally, I did not detect that atmosphere. Maybe we just shouldn’t have comments if all viewpoints can not be considered without resorting to name calling.

  35. Melissa says

    Even if he didn’t pay cash he deserves to treat himself for all he’s done and all the money he saved!

  36. Sandra says

    Simply put “it’s his money, he earned it not you he can do what he wants. I don’t see you paying the utilities,taxes,insurance,etc.”

  37. says

    I’m a bit surprised to see that Dave has a house this big. Just from his general attitude when I’ve heard him speak and what I’ve read of him he didn’t rub off on me as a guy who’d want own something like that. To me, it seems a bit over the top to have a house that big, and I think there’s a lot better ways to spend $4+ million, but that’s just my two cents.

    • says

      Then, by all means, YOU should go out, make $4 million, and spend it differently. Then come back here and write a guest post about how you spent it, and watch 200 people tell you you spent it all wrong (no matter what you did.)

      It’s possible for anyone with enough means to comment on this thread to make $4 million. So go do it!

  38. Ron says

    I think the question is not whether Dave Ramsey can buy a house and property worth $5 million, but whether he should. In my opinion, it’s as much about issues of safety, security, and privacy as it is luxury. As a very visible person in the culture, he and his family have issues we as average folk don’t have to think about or deal with. Unfortunately you don’t see $200,000 homes in gated communities. I’m sure if Dave could have gotten away with something less extravagant, he would have.

    • Gary Bradford says

      In deed there are gated communities comprised of 200-250k houses and plenty of highrise condominums in Atlanta for 200-250k (all with secured buildings). This agrument does not hold water.

  39. ken says

    Hey Dave, very good buy and great deal! To all posting negative comments here, If you had a million bucks, would it be excessive for you to pay $50,000-$100,000 cash for a house?? I think not! Everyone would say you made a smart buy or your being too conservative. Now if Dave wanted to put this same house on a beach in southern california, it would probably cost $15,000,000 , just because of where its located! But if he decided 5 million is a good buy for him, i imagine he would be buying a 5000 sq ft house on a southern cali beach. he isnt dumb with his money. its all relative to how much your net worth is and how much you have! 5 million is not a lot of money for him and is a great deal for a small castle, lol! Our home is the largest purchase and percentage of net worth for most people in life. This is not a large part of his net worth. Think about it. He still gives more money, percentage wise then most of the people reading this blog, so give him a break . God judges his heart, and knows whats going on inside him,not us. Let him enjoy life given by God and reap the rewards of good smart choices and reaping what he sewed.

  40. Ray Cofer says

    I am always amazed to see several poster display their envy and jealousy. It is nobody’s business what house he builds or what he pays for it. He earned it and deserves to have this house. We live in a culture now that wants to tear down everyone who is successful. This includes the government. This man has seen both sides. he has been broke and now has built a multi million dollar business. it was not off the “back of the desperate”. Before you rip into Dave Ramsey, maybe you should look at what you have accomplished. None of his ideas are particularly brilliant (he doesn’t claim them to be) but merely common sense. He will always have a big audience because the majority of peole cannot control themselves or stay with a discipline long enough to be successful. I’m one of his advocates because he took me from being 100,000 dollars in debt to being debt free with not mortgage payment, car payment, or credit card payments. His FPU has helped thousands. I applaud his personal success and wish him many years of success and happiness (as I do Bill Gates, T.Boone Pickens, Warren Buffet, etc, etc)

  41. Susan Gwin says

    Many people think christians must live in poverty. Dave is an example of someone who has been blessed and who has blessed many others. I on the other hand, will have to wait until heaven for my mansion.

  42. The Claymobile says

    Would some of you Ramsey defenders please explain to me why a couple with no children at home needs a house with 13,000 sq. ft.?!?! Here are some more questions for you to consider. How many Christian based orphanages, hospittals, and churches would that house build in third world countries??? How many evangelists, lay leaders, and pastors in third world countries would that house pay for??? My goodness, the garage is as big as a 3-bedroom house in my area!!! Talk about EXCESS and a WASTE of the money Jesus has allowed you to make!!! The property taxes are more than my wages I made at my poverty wage/no benefits job that I made last year. Seeing such WASTE and EXCESS by a well known Christian makes me ashamed to be a Christian. Oh, by the way, I feel the same way when I drive down the highway in my $2000 clunker pickup and my fellow Christians pass me in a SUV that costs $50000!!! I could buy 25 pickups like the one I am driving for the price of that SUV!!! One final thought. God issues warning after warning in His word about the dangers of riches, materialism, and loving money but my fellow Christians ignore these warnings and poo poo them. Why? Could it be because they are in bondage to them? I am sure I will be attacked for expressing these thoughts but I felt like they should be expressed because I believe there are others who feel like I do.

    • Ken says

      And if you owned a small, tiny, cheap house, your property taxes would be more than the average wage of millions of people in Thailand and the philippines! So that must mean you are bad too just like Dave right????? You have a $2000 gas gusling pickup when millions of them have to walk or wait for tricycles! What a waste they think that is! Do you live in an average sized apartment? They have 12 people living in an apartment smaller than yours! What a waste! No you just dont want to live as poor as them and Dave decided not to live as poor as you. Hmmm, made ya think didnt I? What have you done to help others more poor then you? If nothing, then SHUT UP and get back to work and change your life, you cry baby :) .

      • JJ says

        Is that kind of anger really necessary? Seems kind of sad to flame someone like that for their opinion. If you disagree, there are respectful ways of doing that. Show some respect for our host here who allowed comments in the first place.

  43. LPaul West says

    The comments have been very thought provoking. After reading almost every comment I have come to this conclusion. For those that would be negative about Dave’s house (for whatever reason)…. I think one needs to evaluate the deep, secret, desires, and motivations of their own heart…. TO BE SURE that the smallest amount of jealousy and/or envy has not influenced their attitudes. I would include myself in this category. I also would say, unless we are willing today, in the now, to give to charity or bless someone else financially with a large percentage of our income as exemplified by Dave….. I am not sure we need to be too critical. Dave is ultimately in God’s hands and will answer to Him.

    • Gary Bradford says

      I have read over and over in this posts that Dave Ramsey exemplifies charity by “giving” a large percentage of his income away but there is no foundation for this statement.

      Almost ALL businesses, whether private or public have debt, Dave Ramsey’s is no exception.

      Can we be sure that his Estate is not mortgaged and that his Corporation is responsible for the mortgage because almost ALL Corporations give to their executives in this manner?

      • says

        I think the foundation for the statement comes from Dave himself – he talks about getting into good financial shape so that you can give above and beyond the tithe. He’s also talked about his charitable foundation and other giving as an encouragement for others to be able to do the same. So I think his charitable giving is pretty well documented.

        I believe it has been found that there was no mortgage recorded for his home at all, not that it wasn’t under his name.

  44. LPaul West says

    Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.
    Proverbs 24:3-4/KJV

  45. Lee says

    “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
    MT 7:1-2

    • says

      So, so true. So many people are willing to condemn others for “luxury” because its better than their lifestyle — when at the same time by the same standard they live in even more extreme luxury contrasted with the rest of the people on the planet. God is not a God of double standards.

  46. Shell says

    I appreciate the comments by Paul Williams and Jerret. Putting all dollar amounts and percentages aside (and I really have no idea how much Dave tithes) to me it is not about any of that or if someone christian or not is “entitled” to enjoy 90% their money whatever the amount amassed, paying in cash or not. Unless Dave is taking in 100 orphans or stranded familes, the house is obviously far far far larger than a single family by any means would need and therefore I think it shows excess and waste. For those asking when is big too big (and who’s to judge)……let’s just say this one obviously is not straddling the line on that question. Am I the only one that read that it contains a full bar and whisky barrels? I don’t want to judge but I did sort of wonder when I read that….I just don’t equate strong christian principles with someone forking out more money to build a full bar and decorate with whisky barrels in their mega mansion. All views aside on whether drinking in moderation is ok …..just not sure why a christian would desire this to be a part of their daily living environment. Finally to answer one of the questions asked early on in the posts about what message this house gives out…..reading this about him makes me more wary of his motives and goals. It makes me think his goal is to live life large which makes me wonder if his focus is as much on God as everyone seems to say it is. I honestly don’t know…..but the mega house with the mega luxuries mentioned makes me start to wonder where his focus is and I think that is the problem. I have not taken the course or had a need as I already have what I know of his philosphy in practice before I had even heard of his books as it is just common sense for me. If he is providing a good service based on biblical principlas then I hope that advice and business continues to prosper and to help people.

    • Gary Bradford says

      It is impossible to be a witness to an alcholic or a memeber of AA who needs the saving grace of Jesus Christ when your personal home is fully stocked with liquor . As a witness, we are NOT to be a stumbling block to the LOST !!!

  47. says

    Seems to me that Dave has successfully reached the point he encourages everyone to get to so they “live like no one else”. Dave didn’t force the money out of anyone’s hands to participate in his programs or buy his books. Why should we judge his success? I like the comment earlier that spoke of whatever he was doing with his other 90% is his business. I don’t have any details, but I’d venture to guess that he gives far more than the 10% we all think it the target for giving.

    • Gary Bradford says

      “Live like no one else so you can LIVE like no one else!” …a catchy phrase isn’t it? A matter of fact, 42% of ALL homeowners have no mortgage and 50% of these people have NO debt. Seems like there are alot of people already living like no one else if the premise of FPU is to be debt free (by the way, most did not learn this precept from Dave Ramsey). Is the ultimate goal of this program to amass financial wealth and then exemplify it through materialism with no debt?

      Mortgages- Earlier on in these posts it was asked if Dave was “hypocritical” to his teachings by holding a mortgage on his personal residence. If mortgages are bad, why does Dave promote a particular mortgage company on his radio show and website?

      Credit Cards- This type of debt is a no! no! as stated in FPU. Our church encouraged credit cards as the preferred method of payment for FPU. Does the Dave Ramsey website accepts credit cards?

      Hypocritical? Maybe

      Mixed Messages? Certainly

      • says

        I think the premise of the FPU program is to get your financial house in order so that you can build wealth to prepare for the future – as many verses tell us to do.

        “A sensible man watches for problems ahead and prepares to meet them. The simpleton never looks, and suffers the consequences. Proverbs 27:12″

        He also wants people to get out of debt and in a good financial position so that they can “give like no one else”. In fact an entire lesson in FPU is devoted to giving.

        Dave has taught consistently that while paying for a house outright is preferred, he knows it isn’t possible for most folks. As such he has said that mortgages are one of the few places he would allow for debt, but only within reason. I said it may have been hypocritical of Dave to have a mortgage on this post given his stance that if you’re able to pay cash for a house you should. He did pay cash. No hypocrisy there.

        Not sure why your church encouraged credit cards as the preferred payment method, they certainly didn’t at our church. His website accepts credit cards mainly because they can’t really differentiate between debit and credit cards on their end, or it is prohibitively complicated. They ask people to use debit – knowing that not everyone will. Can’t see why that should be a problem except for people who like to engage in “gotcha” type nitpicking.

  48. mom of 26 says

    WAY TO GO DAVE, AND THANK YOU!!!!
    I have taken over 26 homeless teens into my 5 bedroom, run down farm house in the middle of nowhere and the one thing they all have in common is idolizing the rich and all their toys and things! They make fun of us for driving autos with over 200,000 and grip that we don’t have money to just hand them.
    Dave has not only helped us through his ministry to be able to help these kids, but with his new house, I now have someone that is a Christian that I can teach kids how God blesses those who do it right!
    I’d love to have a home this size. We are about to begin to take 12 kids at a time and because of Dave, I think we can budget to meet thier needs. And 8 of the 26 kids we’ve had have become permenant members of my family.
    None of us know what’s in Daves heart or how much he prayed about building this home. All I do know is I can now show kids that not all Christians are poor in money. Thanks again Dave, you rock!

  49. Zac says

    I have been reading some of these comments in response to Daves house. I am a fan of Dave and really think his (in my opinion) Common Sense approach to becoming debt free is really good. He didn’t create debt free he just put it terms more people can understand. So back to the topic of the house. IF he can pay cash for it all then who are we to judge him for it. He worked hard for it. He should be able to spend his money the way he wants. If he wants a HUGE house…. Then let him buy it. I know If i didn’t owe anyone anything, I would have done the same thing. (If that was what i wanted in a house, which it is not). My point is this. If he owes no one let him spend how he wants. Don’t criticize him for something he worked hard for and paid cash for. For the ones who are criticizing him. Why?.. Are you jealous because you are not debt free. I would recommend you taking his class.

  50. says

    Hey guys,
    I just found this discussion from a twitter link. Wow. Thanks for all of your concern about my soul, my reputation and my witness. Please continue to pray for me because wisdom is sometimes elusive. The teacher in me has to reach out and help with proper biblical and life view points for some of you.
    First, None of this is any of your business nor is it your problem, however in an effort to teach I have always been overly transparent. So I will try to help.
    1) We tithe 10% of our before tax income to our local church
    2) We have a family foundation that God allows us to give many times what our personal home or other items cost, so we give much more of God’s money to his kingdom that we live on percentage wise.
    3) No Gary, we don’t have any debt any where of any kind. No corporate debt, no credit cards, no mortgage debt, no blind trusts, and no kind of debt no where no how. Didn’t you hear? I don’t believe in debt.
    4) Before making a large purchase of any kind we ask God if that is what he wants us to do with HIS money. Like you I sometimes hear clearly and other times I am not sure. In the case of our home I was very sure.
    5) Our home is a very small percentage of our net worth.
    6) In the two years we have lived here we have had many many functions to fund raise for ministries, charities, and community causes. Millions of dollars have flowed through those events. We view our home, like everything in our life, as a tool to be used for the kingdom.
    7) Yes, it blows my mind how much it costs to maintain a lot of things God has called me to manage. We have a 64,000 square foot office building (paid for) that we spend a lot of natural resources and money to keep operating and from where I came from it is sometimes hard to emotionally grasp the zeros. However, I man up, and step up to do what God gave me to do. It is weird some days though.
    8) I used to say ignorant things like “what does anyone need with a ——- like that when I was immature. Now I have been blessed to see how God uses people who are obedient when they are broke and when they aren’t. I was with a really Godly guy a few weeks ago worth 2.2 BILLION. He gives 300-500 million a year. Some of you sent him hate mail worried about his soul because he bought a $110,000 car. That does not make him wrong, that makes that person silly, foolish, and spiritually immature. Note: God gave HIM 2.2 Billion to manage, God did NOT assign you to help.

    Thanks again for your concern and please continue to pray for me as I am perfectly capable of messing this whole deal up. So far though, I am not inconsistent between my message and my life. So far I have managed to keep God First, Sharon Second, my kids third, and serving all of you fourth. I am having a blast and I thank all you who do understand.

    P.S. I will not be visiting back to see your comments because I already know what they are: Some get it, Some don’t.
    Yours In Christ,
    Dave Ramsey

  51. MM says

    I’m not going to argue one way or another about whether it’s right for Dave Ramsey to own this house. I do just want to respond to the comments of “who wouldn’t want this?” in the article. I really honest to God would not want this. I feel sort of sick inside looking at it. I just spent some time recently following the bloggers with Compassion International traveling to the Phillipines and looking at the dire poverty people live in. I know people who truly sacrifice, who serve the handicapped weekly, who live in poverty themselves and scrimp and save to budget yet still sponsor much poorer children over seas. When I see something like this I’m only reminded of the poor widow and her two mites. Honestly when I read Dave Ramsey’s book I was all gung ho about paying off debt but I honestly can’t get on board with wanting the second part of “live like no one else” if it looks like that. Sure I desire ease and security but I don’t desire extravagance. I don’t care how great the dollar amount is that you give. Read the Gospels. That’s not what matters.

    ” 42A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. 43Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; 44for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.” “

  52. says

    Even though I’ve had some pretty harsh critiques of Dave Ramsey in the past, I just want to say BRAVO to his post above.

    Dave has managed his money in a manner more biblical than probably most of the people who are going to blast him because of his private decisions.

    You go, Dave — and you certainly handled the criticism with a teacher’s spirit in a manner I’m not personally strong enough yet to have done myself if I were in your shoes. God bless.

  53. Melissa says

    To all of you Judging Mr. Ramsey….

    Jesus said “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Matthew 7:1-2

  54. says

    Very cool to see Dave’s response to the thread. It really isn’t anyone’s business, but his response just shows that Dave is practicing what he’s preaching and that makes him a great teacher!

  55. me says

    Dave has changed our lives. We are weird for sure!

    With that said, the house seems hugely ridiculous but to each their own. We live in a paid for condo. Small, but paid for. Thanks, Dave!

    And, as a side note-the only person’s salvation I worry about is my own. :)

  56. me says

    One other side note- the carbon footprint of that house is ridiculous too.

    Less is more.

  57. says

    I find myself very distrustful of those who would accumulate a level of wealth that affords them a house of this size, yet invokes the name of God, suggesting that God deemed this to be so. If only because any wealthy person could make the same claim. When I look at my house and Jane and I agree that we’d like one about 2/3 the size, it puts a different spin on anyone thinking a house 4 times the size of ours is reasonable. A million dollar home would suffice for 99.9% of those on the planet, and the $4,000,000 can feed the hungry for a long time. At $1/day, this is 10,000 people for a year or 100 for a lifetime.

    Mark 10:25 It is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

  58. Frank says

    “The Hungry” need to learn how to feed themselves eventually, for their own sake.

  59. jmd says

    Whether it was Dave R. or not is not what I am responding to. I would not expect a person that has accumulated such wealth to care whether anyone agrees or not. Nor do I think that perspective is wrong or correct. I simply see this as a matter of perspective.

    I am neither a hater nor endorser of Dave R. I believe he is a businessman that has provided a valuable service while maintaining he is a Christian. Take it or leave it.

    Whether I could or would to choose in such a home is actually moot. I could say more but will leave it at that.

  60. MM says

    I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be cast off with the goats because I just decided the hungry better learn to feed themselves.

    31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
    34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

    37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

    40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

    41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

    44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

    45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

    46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

  61. says

    The economic conditions now are completely different than the conditions of the past. During the information age, anyone with a library card can do just fine for themselves.

    Widows and orphans are different, but the vast majority of the so-called hungry fall into the “don’t work, don’t eat” camp.

    • says

      Wow, Shaun. You really believe that the vast majority of the hungry (worldwide) are just refusing to work? I’m certainly not the most well-informed about world issues, but I’m pretty confident that is not the case in most of the poorer nations.

      • says

        In America, absolutely. As far as worldwide, it’s certainly a different situation, though even then the economics are often still different than during Roman times when all business was political.

        The principle of feeding the poor wasn’t just because they deserved our resources due to poverty — it was a movement of justice. They were being beaten down with literal murder and fraud, as evidence by James’ review of the situation.

        The goal is justice — hence the “don’t work, don’t eat” line that we absolutely CAN’T ignore. I don’t give money and never will to a charity that doesn’t include some type of a works program. It’s unbiblical and doesn’t systematically kill poverty.

        That’s why the best charity I’ve seen lately would certainly be microloans — you can help someone who’s hungry literally start a business and get on their feet. Now that’s biblical charity.

  62. Jim says

    Wow, all I can say there are a lot of blinded people in this world. But then again Its no surprise that people are ridiculing Dave like this, after all look what the world did to our savior himself.

    Dave keep up the good work, we are starting our 17th FPU class this fall, and we have seen over 400 peoples life’s changed for the better both financially, their marriages, and the ability to give to good things to the needy, whereas before they just couldn’t. All of this through Dave’s teachings in FPU.

  63. The Claymobile says

    Some random observations. From the reactions of the “Ramseyites”, a lot of my fellow Christians worship Dave as a idol in their lives. They also have bought into this American/wordly principle that big is better. To the Ramseyites who are found of quoting Matthew 7:1,2, didn’t the writers of the epistles make “judgements” all through their letters? Dave says that he uses his house to hold functions to raise money for charities etc.. Couldn’t he hold those functions in a house that cost $200,000? In my previous post I asked a question of the Ramseyites that no one still has not answered. Why, oh why, does a couple with no children at home need a house with 13,300 sq. ft, ??? Here are some more questions for you Dave idol worshipers to ponder. Why does a Christian need to build a home with a full bar and builtin whiskey barrells? Doesent that destroy your Christian witness? How can you tell somebody about Jesus with a beer in your hand? Isn’t that a oxymoron ? Does spending that huge amount of money on a mansion a wise use of the money that Jesus has allowed you to make? Dave and his fellow worshipers have bought into the worldly philosophy that the ends justify the means. I find that philosophy nowhere in the Bible. Finally, did anybody notice the arrogance in Daves responce?

    • Gary Bradford says

      Once we accept the Saving Grace of Jesus Christ and become a witness for Him, we are to be mindful of ALL of our actions (in word and deed) and NOT be a stumbling block to the Lost.

      Yes…you can not be an effective witness to an alcholic or a recovering AA member if you possess a fully-stocked liquor cabinet in your home!

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