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Old 10-24-2017, 01:06 PM
 
20 posts, read 17,337 times
Reputation: 36

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I am a 30 yr old single mom of a 6 year old. I do not make a lot of money, but am wondering how one can survive if they are residing in a HCOL (high cost of living area). My current financial status is that that I make about 36k a year, with child support it is about 39,000 a year. I don't have a lot of revolving debt per se. I started out with 20k with of student loans, but have successfully paid it down in 2 years to 3,000 on my car which I have had for about a year in half I owe about 3k. My credit score is 800. (No credit card debt) Ideally I would LOVE to get a small town home and or condo for myself and my son. I have a shared custody arrangment so there are instances where he is with his father. I really would love to pay about 700-800 dollars in rent/mortage but the area where I live it is hard to find a home in the 100k range. Should I just try to find a roommate? (I have to live within a certain geographic restriction due to my custody order for at least least 12 years.)

I would love to find a roommate, but with my luck thus far trying to find a roommate has been unsuccessful because the men want an "arrangement" where I don't pay rent or pay minimal rent for other "things" if you know what I mean and I have not interest in that what so ever. I do not plan to live in the area forever, but I do have a government job which makes my job pretty stable. If I made about 50k I think my son and I would be very comfortable. I am not materialist or driven by money so I am not one who wants to steadily climb the ladder so to speak. I'd like to be just comfortable.

My final thought is that I saw a small condo for sale for about 89k. The issue however is that it is 1 bedroom. I am not certain how appropriate this would be for a mother with a son over a period of time. The city I live in has a 1st Time Homebuyer's Program, but it MUST be within the city. It is for low and moderate priced applicants, but finding a home is the hardest part. Any advice or wisdom would be very appreciated.
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Old 10-24-2017, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Florida -
8,760 posts, read 10,829,371 times
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First, it sounds like you are doing an admirable job of managing your debt and finances! - If your market area is strong and the condo is in a good child and school area, it might be advantageous ... at least for a couple of years. (Will your Ex help?). The roommate situation (particularly with a child) is always fraught with risk and could create more problems than it solves.

With a 1 bedroom, you could perhaps consider a pull-out or murphy bed, but, this wouldn't be an ideal situation. Nevertheless, if you plan to stay in the area and the RE market is strong, you could likely expect your condo to appreciate enough in 2-3 years to build some growth/property equity. Although condos often provide a better location and amenities (and less maintenance and upkeep for a single woman) than a SFH, you should also be aware of the HOA fees, what those fees cover and the condition of the condo 'reserves.' Could you perhaps rent there temporarily while waiting for a 2-bedroom to become available).

While property ownership provides equity and a tax write-off, there are also other expenses to consider: insurance, property taxes, ongoing maintenance, utilities, etc.. -- Still, as evidenced by your initiative in paying your student loans down $17K over three years, you've obviously developed an ability to live within your means and the discipline to stretch what you have.
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Old 10-24-2017, 02:15 PM
 
255 posts, read 132,258 times
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Do you have family in the area. If so, is living with them an option? Or what about close friends. Are none of your friends willing to be your roommate? If you can't find a roommate and leaving is not an option maybe you should consider looking for a higher paying job to move you into a pay range where you can have a more comfortable situation.
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Old 10-24-2017, 02:40 PM
 
419 posts, read 256,575 times
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Have you spoken with a realtor? I know of one family member whose house never made it to market because someone the realtor knew got in and made an offer before it was listed. Maybe contacting a realtor and telling them what you're looking for would be a good idea so you would be the first person called should something come on the market.

Also, have you looked at the 1 bedroom condo? When I owned a 1 bedroom condo, from the layout I could have sectioned off the dining area and created a small bedroom. Temporary walls, bookcases, or curtains might work. Granted, it's not as great as a real bedroom, but it might work in your circumstances.

Good luck.
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Old 10-24-2017, 02:57 PM
 
20 posts, read 17,337 times
Reputation: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jlong2315 View Post
Do you have family in the area. If so, is living with them an option? Or what about close friends. Are none of your friends willing to be your roommate? If you can't find a roommate and leaving is not an option maybe you should consider looking for a higher paying job to move you into a pay range where you can have a more comfortable situation.
No unfortunately my family is in another state. I am very quiet and keep to myself so I don't have a lot of "friends" per say. I have acquaintences but none that I am actually close enough with of where I would suggest a living situation.
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Old 10-24-2017, 03:23 PM
 
175 posts, read 109,718 times
Reputation: 291
Quote:
Originally Posted by yassin1987 View Post
I am a 30 yr old single mom of a 6 year old. I do not make a lot of money, but am wondering how one can survive if they are residing in a HCOL (high cost of living area). My current financial status is that that I make about 36k a year, with child support it is about 39,000 a year. I don't have a lot of revolving debt per se. I started out with 20k with of student loans, but have successfully paid it down in 2 years to 3,000 on my car which I have had for about a year in half I owe about 3k. My credit score is 800. (No credit card debt) Ideally I would LOVE to get a small town home and or condo for myself and my son. I have a shared custody arrangment so there are instances where he is with his father. I really would love to pay about 700-800 dollars in rent/mortage but the area where I live it is hard to find a home in the 100k range. Should I just try to find a roommate? (I have to live within a certain geographic restriction due to my custody order for at least least 12 years.)

I would love to find a roommate, but with my luck thus far trying to find a roommate has been unsuccessful because the men want an "arrangement" where I don't pay rent or pay minimal rent for other "things" if you know what I mean and I have not interest in that what so ever. I do not plan to live in the area forever, but I do have a government job which makes my job pretty stable. If I made about 50k I think my son and I would be very comfortable. I am not materialist or driven by money so I am not one who wants to steadily climb the ladder so to speak. I'd like to be just comfortable.

My final thought is that I saw a small condo for sale for about 89k. The issue however is that it is 1 bedroom. I am not certain how appropriate this would be for a mother with a son over a period of time. The city I live in has a 1st Time Homebuyer's Program, but it MUST be within the city. It is for low and moderate priced applicants, but finding a home is the hardest part. Any advice or wisdom would be very appreciated.
HCOL area

89K Condo


Pick one. Ha

Thatís ridiculous people use the roommates ads for personals. Iíd say just saving up money for a down payment until you find a 2 bedroom or something you want to pounce on. Honestly, if you buy something make sure youíre going to be in the area for atleast 5-6 years to cover the loss of closing costs, or make sure you rent it out easily.
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:01 PM
 
Location: Portal to the Pacific
5,119 posts, read 5,086,104 times
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I definitely think sharing a 1 bedroom would be okay for you and your son for many years still. My younger son recently turned 11 and he was pretty much my little guy until last spring. Now he's a full blown preteen and needs his space.

That said, you wouldn't want to buy a 1 bedroom now and decide in three years you need to sell it so you can buy a 2 bedroom. It would be more cost effective if you save a little longer in order to afford a 2 bedroom. Would that be something you can do?
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Old 10-25-2017, 08:14 AM
 
20 posts, read 17,337 times
Reputation: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Norrov View Post
HCOL area

89K Condo


Pick one. Ha

Thatís ridiculous people use the roommates ads for personals. Iíd say just saving up money for a down payment until you find a 2 bedroom or something you want to pounce on. Honestly, if you buy something make sure youíre going to be in the area for atleast 5-6 years to cover the loss of closing costs, or make sure you rent it out easily.
Yes that is my definite plan. I plan on staying there for quite some time. Not 30 years, but at least until my son gets about 14 or 15. My goal is to be able to stay in the same city I work in and not add stress with a long commute. My court order states that I have to be in Contiguos Counties, but it would still but a rench in my plans. If I can find a property in this city I can get up 20k towards the closing cost and down payment. If I move to a different city I may possibly find something a bit cheaper, BUT the program would no long apply since I am not in the city who offers it.

Maybe I should have saved the extra money as opposed to putting it towards the student loans, but with the excess my debt ratio would have been too high.
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Old 10-25-2017, 08:16 AM
 
20 posts, read 17,337 times
Reputation: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingsaucermom View Post
I definitely think sharing a 1 bedroom would be okay for you and your son for many years still. My younger son recently turned 11 and he was pretty much my little guy until last spring. Now he's a full blown preteen and needs his space.

That said, you wouldn't want to buy a 1 bedroom now and decide in three years you need to sell it so you can buy a 2 bedroom. It would be more cost effective if you save a little longer in order to afford a 2 bedroom. Would that be something you can do?
That is quite possible. I guess I just have this mentality right now where I want to pay of ALL of the student loans before I start saving. It is only about 3k or so left, but I just have it in my brain I want to zero it out. I pay my car payments in advance so I don't have another one due until January. Next month, I get paid 3 times, so I plan on taking a portion of my extra check and putting it toward the student loans and pay about 500 towards the car. My car payment is only 138.00 per month.
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Old 10-25-2017, 08:18 AM
 
20 posts, read 17,337 times
Reputation: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by StillRoaming View Post
Have you spoken with a realtor? I know of one family member whose house never made it to market because someone the realtor knew got in and made an offer before it was listed. Maybe contacting a realtor and telling them what you're looking for would be a good idea so you would be the first person called should something come on the market.

Also, have you looked at the 1 bedroom condo? When I owned a 1 bedroom condo, from the layout I could have sectioned off the dining area and created a small bedroom. Temporary walls, bookcases, or curtains might work. Granted, it's not as great as a real bedroom, but it might work in your circumstances.

Good luck.
Unfortunately when I got in contact with the realtor that gem was already "under contract." He has placed me on his list so hopefully I can get a head start when these properties become available. With the 1 bedroom I would give my son the bedroom and I would sleep in the living room.
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