My uncle is a "debt averse" person, like you said. He hates the idea of being in financial debt of any kind. My dad helped him build his house back in the 80s, and there was only a little debt he took on to build it and he hated life until it was paid off...which he did within a couple of years. That was the last debt he's ever had. Everything else he's wanted (new tractors and farm equipment, machinery for his paint shop, etc) has been cash. Also, when his parents house became available (same neighborhood), he bought it from them and rented it out. He socked that money away, and then when another house in the neighborhood became available, he bought it for cash and rented that out as well. He continued the cycle to end up where he is now...which is owning much of the block he's on, debt free, and lots of cash coming in every month.
Its a beautiful thing to watch from a distance, but I don't have the discipline.