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Dave Ramsey’s House: Living Like No One Else

Written by Nickel - 63 Comments

Debt reduction guru Dave Ramsey is well known for encouraging his followers to “live like no one else so that you can live like no one else.” Sound advice. But have you ever wondered how Ramsey himself lives?

I recently ran across an interesting article that provided details about Ramsey’s new mansion just south of Nashville (pictured below). Based on what they had to say, it seems that Dave has a taste for the finer things in life…

According to tax records, Dave’s house spans more than 13,307 square feet – not including the 1,454 square foot garage – and sits on a parcel of land that Dave bought or $1.5M back in 2008. Though the market value of the land has reportedly dropped to $750k, the total assessed value of his home is $4,909,200.

Curious what it look like on the inside?

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.

Oh, and if you’re wondering… There’s no record of a mortgage on the property.

If you’re interested in moving into the area, you can make an offer on Lee Ann Rimes’ house right next door. While the $6,499,900 price tag might seem a bit shocking, that’s a bargain compared to the original listing price of $6,950,000. Beyond that, she’s apparently never lived there, so it should be in great shape.

Published on October 15th, 2010 - 63 Comments
Filed under: Debt Reduction, Mortgages, Real Estate

About the author: is the founder and editor-in-chief of this site. He's a thirty-something family man who has been writing about personal finance since 2005, and guess what? He's on Twitter!

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63 Responses to “Dave Ramsey’s House: Living Like No One Else”

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  1. 1
    Paul Says:

    I’ll assume Dave used cash in hand to negotiate a good price … say $4.5M. At $25 per Financial Peace U. student (let’s say he personally profits one-fourth of the $99 tuition price, after paying his staff and other expenses), that translates into 180,000 students funding his mansion. I’m sure he’s had at least that many FPU students. But I don’t disparage that. He is earning what he gets, and his FPU course is a positive motivator for many people. God bless free enterprise!

  2. 2
    Financial Samurai Says:

    LOVE IT! He’s counting his blessing, and when he’s on the crapper, he’s thinking to himself “oh baby yeah!”

    Bless Capitalism for sure!

  3. 3
    Aaron Says:

    Guess he is living his motto!

  4. 4
    Roshawn Watson Says:

    I absolutely love it! If anyone has done so much good for the finances of so many, it’s him. I glad he is prosperous.

  5. 5
    Kevin Worthington @ kevinworthington.com Says:

    When I saw the link on Twitter to this post, I was picturing something much more modest. I thought his lifestyle would be more like Warren Buffet.

    I guess he can afford it, and I’m sure he paid cash, and that he practices what he preaches. He can truly afford it, and I’d venture to guess that it’s paid for.

  6. 6
    BG Says:

    Dave is a great example — went from bankruptcy to this — and no MORTGAGE!

  7. 7
    Jason Barr Says:

    I would just like to point out that Dave didn’t get rich by clipping coupons. You don’t save your way to something like this. “Build a business” is what he means when he says “Do what I did, and you can live like I do”.

  8. 8
    Prince of Thrift Says:

    awesome…great motivator to dream big (Think Big). As I like to say (partially due to the city I live in) “Be weird, be DebtFree4ever”

  9. 9
    Jason Says:

    Interesting,

    Well at least he has 16 shower heads, I know how inaccurate my 1 shower head is at home, it just spays water everywhere.

  10. 10
    Prince of Thrift Says:

    That’s awesome. A great inspiration to aspire to that. It does surprise me that he has such a big house and not something more modest.
    As I like to say “Think Big” (aka Dream Big)…or based on the city I live in I also like to say, “Be weird, be DebtFree.”

    (posted a comment earlier but it never showed up)

  11. 11
    Ninja Says:

    What a baller. What a baller! Fricken huge house. How long you think it takes to clean?

  12. 12
    Ben Says:

    Looks cool but my god I could not imagine having a house that large, I would have to change my lifestyle entirely to properly utilize a home of that size.

  13. 13
    Bubba Says:

    …somehow it reminds me of the typical media stories exposing the luxurious secret lifestyles of “humble” TV Preachers/Evangelists.

    Ramsey’s no crook, but is a bit deceptive. He’s essentially a media performer/salesman hustling standard financial advice available in a thousand other places… and free in the public library & internet.

    The trick of such successful media marketeers is convincing masses of people to buy otherwise free stuff… thru slick personal performances & media packaging. That gig pays VERY well for some, like Suzy Orman, Tony Robbins, etc.

    Ramsey attempted to get rich the old fashioned way — but went bankrupt quickly in the real estate business; if he’s so smart now, why isn’t he making mega-millions in standard business investments (??) Instead of course, he discovered how to mass-market hot air — where the real easy money is. TV preachers discovered that too.

  14. 14
    Dance With Who Brung Ya Says:

    Hat’s off to Dave for being able to live like no one else (at least most folks). Wonder how much cash is in the utilities envelope each month?

  15. 15
    Noah Says:

    Very impressive. I am happy for Dave and his family. He has done so much for so many. God bless him.

  16. 16
    Erik Says:

    Dave would say that if you have met your financial goals and obligations, then go ahead and spend your money on your desires. But Dave does use Christianity to support his money philosophy, and IMHO conspicuous consumption is not very Bible-friendly.

  17. 17
    almost there Says:

    Hmm, I can’t even think about the maintenance cost of a house that large. But he can afford it. I wonder if he sounds the whiskey barrels on a regular basis to see if the help it helping themselves. But hemost likely has hidden cameras in every room to keep track on what goes on.

  18. 18
    Mary Says:

    Dave deserves it, and I’m wondering what the point of this post is. He dug himself out of millions of dollars of debt and almost lost his marriage. Now he is insanely successful with great children and a beautiful home. God bless him, because he has changed my life and soooo many others. Is this post to criticize a man who pays CASH for the finer things in life?

  19. 19
    Mike Says:

    I might actually build something like that if I decide to retire on another country. Of course, I’ll probably need a harem of wives to utilize the space properly.

  20. 20
    Jermaine Says:

    He lived like no one else, and now he lives like no one else. Great example, and inspiration!

  21. 21
    The Biz of Life Says:

    He has every right to a house like that, but it seems like overkill to me.

  22. 22
    LISA WILSON Says:

    Well, if we all just make up a finance course I’m sure we can roll in the bucks too.It doesn’t really follows the gospel to be able to give & help others & live a life of properous ease. Read the Bible story about the rich man and Lazarus.

  23. 23
    Scott Says:

    Awesome! I owe a lot of my current financial success to the teachings of Dave Ramsey. I was in a dark debt ridden place driving a nice BMW when I heard the bumper to his show (where a paid off mortgage is the new status symbol of choice…) which had me start listening just long enough to get hooked. Now my family is debt free except for the house and hopefully someday soon will also be living like no one else. Go Dave!

  24. 24
    Debt Kid Says:

    Holy smokes. Well, if you got it, flaunt it right?

    While some other people could get some serious flak for this…I mean, Dave is so successful, he could probably finance a much, much more expensive place. So, if this is really paid off…well, good for him.

  25. 25
    Sam Burton Says:

    Dave practices what he preaches. He gives to God FIRST. He is generous and honest. Real estate is his love. I do not aspire to a home like that. I’m a farmer at heart. But I certainly do not begrudge it. I look on Dave as someone who has gone where I am going. His paid for home is like a land mark for me. I am making different choices, but I can only be happy for him. And those who accuse him of avarice, must not actually listen to his show and must never hear how much stuff he GIVES AWAY to callers who are in tough circumstances. Well Done, Dave. But I am going to follow him around and pick up the loose change he drops.

  26. 26
    Blaine Moore Says:

    Wow, his garage is bigger than my house…

    That said, it doesn’t bother me. He’s welcome to do whatever he wants with his money, just like I’m welcome to do whatever I want with mine. If he feels a need for a large house then he’s welcome to it; if I had the cash, I’d have a larger home than I currently live in. Granted, no need for me to have something as large as his house, but we don’t entertain that many people very often and don’t have a very large family, which are the only reasons I might go that big.

  27. 27
    Cora Says:

    Doesn’t anyone on here realize that he made all his money off of other people. Charging for all his financial classes and help. Myself I find it pretty disgusting.He stresses living frugally and I sure do not call that house frugal.

  28. 28
    Southerngirl Says:

    Wow. Since is such a big advocate of giving…just wandering how much he gives to charity? Also, being a “christian” what is he doing with a bar in the basement??

  29. 29
    Tina Says:

    No different than Ronda Byrne who wrote The Secret. They have both become very successful preaching what they believe!

  30. 30
    Chris Thorpe Says:

    Hmmmmm… Well, Nickel, it seems like being bad at math hasn’t really slowed Dave down. On a more serious note… I’m going through Dave’s Total Money Makeover book at my church right now, so seeing this was a bit disconcerting. Dave always says that when you play with credit cards you’re gonna get burnt. What about playing with whiskey? Just sayin’

  31. 31
    Jared Says:

    I’m unclear about the purpose of this post. I have a hard time believing Nickel would spend the time writing a purely FYI post about Dave’s house.

    I’d have rather seen you come out and made a statement either way. Do you like that someone has been successful and can afford the “finer things in life?” Or are you turned off that he’s living in such an extravagant house? Take a stand!

    Personally, I think its great. Truly the American dream in full display.

  32. 32
    Greg Says:

    Well, good for him. I guess. I don’t agree with him on a lot of things, but what he does with his money is up to him. The only thing that has somewhat bothered me ( and I am willing to admit I might not be 100% on his “preaching” here- it’s mostly based on what I read from his followers) is that while his followers all preach the no credit lifestyle ( supposedly based on his teachings), credit/debt HAS been utilized to improve his lifestyle and that’s a verifiable fact. At least it appears he makes good use of “good credit” for the right reasons and apparently he has a mansion mortgage free. Good for him.

  33. 33
    working a poverty wage job Says:

    Down right disgusting and shameful. GREED, GREED GREED. He probably only pays his workers minimum wage. He’s not worried about his carbon footprint.

  34. 34
    HS Says:

    That is the ugliest house and look at the landscape all around it.. looks like dead trees.

  35. 35
    Nickel Says:

    HS: I would imagine that this picture was taken in the late fall or winter, which would explain the leafless trees.

  36. 36
    Chris Thorpe Says:

    Nickel, I’m hoping like Jared that you’ll “Take a stand” and give your thoughts about Dave’s house. The comments so far have been pretty polarized–either very positive or very negative.

    Aren’t you glad you jumped into this quagmire? :)

  37. 37
    Nickel Says:

    Chris and Jared: I don’t have a strong opinion on this, I just thought it was interesting. It’s his money and he has every right to do this. At the same time, I don’t personally see a need for a home of this magnitude no matter how much money I might have. Who knows, maybe my opinion might change if I was ultra-rich, but I doubt it.

    As things currently stand, we own a rather nice house. And yes, we own it outright. While we could afford to live in a bigger, fancier house than what we have, we don’t. I just don’t see the point. Honestly, I think a home like this would create more headaches than it would be worth. But that’s just me. :-)

  38. 38
    Holly Says:

    Jebus. His garage is bigger than my home.

    Honestly homes like that are just so wasteful. He could live in a different thousand square feet (or size of a small ranch house) every month and still have more than a thousand square feet unvisited.

    It is his money, but the natural resources used to build, furnish, heat and light that house belong to all of us.

  39. 39
    Chris Thorpe Says:

    Nickel,

    Thanks for your comments.

    Here’s are a few more thoughts I had.

    I was just listening to a sponsorship drive for Compassion International yesterday and they were talking about families of six people who live in shacks that are only about 32 square feet (about 4′ x 8′)–that works out to be an area about 5.33 square feet per person. That gives each person an area to sleep in that’s about 1′ x 5′ 4″. When you consider that Dave’s place is over 13,000 square feet, the largesse begins to sink in. I once toured a home that was 10,000 square feet and I couldn’t even imagine what all the rooms would be used for.

    You mentioned that the money is Dave’s, but if he’s following the Christian principles he advocates, the money is technically God’s and he is just a steward of it. I just thought he would be a bit more concerned with “sending more lumber on ahead” (to build an eternal mansion).

    I took a stab at sending an e-mail to Dave through his website. I’d be interested to hear his perspective, but I’d be surprised if I hear back. One can hope though…

  40. 40
    vicky Says:

    He earned it, so what’s your point?

  41. 41
    Chris Thorpe Says:

    Vicky, If you were asking me, the point is about stewardship. Below is a question from Dave’s website about using the envelope system where he talks about stewardship (or being a good manager of God’s money). I’m just saying that based on my understanding of the Bible, I don’t believe that Dave managed God’s money very well when he “invested” in his home. I believe that God is looking for something that will have an eternal impact, and I don’t see how this home fits in that category. I guess that’s a point that Dave and I (and you and I) will just have to agree to disagree about.

    Here’s the question and answer:

    Do Rich People Need The Envelope System?
    Craig asks if you ever reach a point during the Baby Steps where you stop using cash and the envelopes. Dave says he hasn’t.

    QUESTION: Craig on Twitter asks if you ever reach a point during the Baby Steps where you stop using cash and the envelopes. Dave says he hasn’t.

    ANSWER: Well, I’ve become worth several million dollars, and we haven’t. We still do the envelopes. If you talk to my wife Sharon and know her well enough to get her to open her purse, you would find a deluxe envelope system from the Dave Ramsey bookstore. She carries one of those envelope systems in her purse, uses it every day. We still do a written budget every month. Why? Because we’re responsible spiritually for handling that money well. Those of us who are Christians call that stewardship—to be a good steward or manager of God’s money. It’s not a freaky thing. It’s just a matter of common sense. I just want my money to behave. I want it to do what it’s supposed to do.

  42. 42
    Olivia Says:

    I’m trying to think objectively about this. Solomon was a very rich man, as was Job. God doesn’t criticize their wealth. For me, it would be a frightening thing to have that much money and to stand before God on it’s use. I would never want to be in Dave’s shoes. My first inclination would be to give it all away to good causes. But that’s not the answer either. It is a stewardship, a trust, as someone else mentioned, it’s God’s money. The question that needs to be answered is not how we feel about it, but what does God think of it? And since we really don’t know what Dave does with his tithe or giving or what his spiritual life looks like, we can’t answer that. Since few of us are on a first name basis with him to talk to him, the best thing for us to do for him is pray for him.

  43. 43
    B McKay Says:

    Three cheers for Dave and his success, and three cheers for capitalism.

  44. 44
    J Says:

    I think Dave Ramsey is an admirable person who has done great work to help many back on their feet, his prosperity is his just due for that work. However, “stewardship” is also defined as caring for and nurturing God’s earth. No One “deserves” to squander the resources and health of the planet as a reward for good spiritual or financial practices. The ecological damage created by building and maintaining a house like this is about as far from good earth stewardship as you can get.

  45. 45
    vicky Says:

    It sounds to me as if he is doing everything right. The same basic principles apply to us all. If you make $50,000 a year, then you will buy an appropriate-sized house, say, one that costs $100,000. If you make 2 million, then you or I most certainly would not settle for that same $100,000 house. And if you say you would, then I would question your honesty.

  46. 46
    Chris Thorpe Says:

    Olivia, I appreciated your thoughtful comments. You raised some VERY good points. I should be less quick to judge–especially knowing that I’ve done some pretty foolish things with my own money over the years. Thanks again!

  47. 47
    Ed Mahoney Says:

    Seems a bit excessive no matter how much money someone has. I don’t think this quite follows the communal living and sharing of the early Christians. Additionally, there is a limit to our natural resources. Stewardship applies to more than “money”.

  48. 48
    Bigbrim Says:

    Wow…I agree Bubba(Oct. 16th) & Vicki(Oct.23rd). All of us would possibly have smaller homes if we all lived within our means.

    The more money/wealth you have, the more you want. Yes, WANT…not need. Does Dave NEED a 13,307 square foot home!? I’m not in his shoes, so I wouldn’t know. But maybe with a wife and 13 kids it would be needed.

    Yes, he found his avenue to fame & fortune by consolidating facts that can be found FREE in a library or online. Then to create a package & sell the information. Remember Carleton Sheets?

    Not mad at’em….Dave congrats to you…..I’m still working & driving around looking for my avenue.

  49. 49
    Franklin in Cool Springs Says:

    We just updated the original story on CoolSprings.com with Dave Ramsey’s average monthly electric bill for the last 12 months. $1,285 per month average.

  50. 50
    TJ Says:

    I love it! No mortgage on this mansion! He has earned all of it, better than a 19 year old kid that plays basketball and is broke by the time he is 40. Dave has changed lives, myself included! And yes I am paying to see him live in Nashville in February and I don’t care what he makes off of me. I might drive by the house and take a pic! We have paid off over $60k and went to a 15 year mortgage with his teachings!!

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