Going Viral: Challenging the 25% Housing Rule in the Pacific Northwest

Hey everyone! Recently, my posts about the harsh reality of housing affordability in the Pacific Northwest took off like wildfire, reaching nearly a million views. It’s clear we hit a nerve, and I’m here to dive deeper into this viral sensation and the robust conversation it sparked.

The Spark That Lit the Fire

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room—Dave Ramsey‘s 25% rule. “No more than 25% of your take-home pay should go towards your mortgage,” he says. A solid guideline, sure, but not here in the Pacific Northwest, not with our sky-high real estate prices. Economist Mathew Gardner laid out some hard truths with a couple of charts showing just how out of reach this rule is for most Washingtonians. For first-time buyers? Forget about it. There isn’t a single county where the average Joe can stick to that 25%.

In my post, I laid out some alternatives because, let’s face it, advising people to just move to cheaper states isn’t exactly practical. Some ideas from our Ron & Don Real Estate playbook included buying with a partner to build equity together, or tapping into family funds rather than waiting on an inheritance.

The Viral Reaction

This post exploded. People from all walks of life chimed in, and while some accused me of overreacting or dodging bigger political issues, many more shared their struggles and fears about being priced out of their own communities. It was heartening to see so many eager to discuss financial responsibility and realistic solutions to this pressing issue.

Riding the wave of that first post, I threw out a follow-up: what would you do if you were in my shoes? The responses flooded in. This wasn’t just about venting frustrations; it was about seeking and sharing practical advice, about community members pulling together to offer support and alternatives.

What Comes Next?

This conversation has shown that while national financial advice is great, it doesn’t always apply as-is on the local level. We need to adapt, to reconsider what financial prudence looks like in contexts like ours.

If you’re feeling the squeeze of PNW real estate, or if you’ve got ideas or stories about navigating these choppy waters, let’s hear them. Join us for a Ron & Don Sit Down—let’s strategize, share, and support each other in finding paths to homeownership that make sense for us here in the Sound.

Stay Engaged

This isn’t just about buying and selling houses—it’s about building a community where everyone can afford to live. Keep the conversation going. Share your thoughts, your frustrations, and your victories. Because when we talk openly and honestly about these challenges, we start to find real solutions.


#RonAndDon #RealEstateBroker #SeattleRealEstate #PNW #RealEstate #Seattle #PNWRealEstate #RONandDON

Ron has been a part of just about every kind of real estate transaction you can think of. He understands that finding the perfect place for you and your family is crucial. Schedule Your Sit Don with Ron today!

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DISCLAIMER: Ron Upshaw, Managing Broker License #22027577 & Don O’Neill, Broker License #95294 are brokers with Kelly Right Real Estate

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