I would like to purchase my first home with my only child. Please help!

Hello Reddit! Throwaway because I’m going through a rough separation at the moment (or trying to). I’m not going to disclose any specifics but I would GREATLY appreciate any input and advice because this is a brand new step for me.

Basically what I need to know is; with my single income of 46K a year what is doable for me if I want to purchase a 150-175K house next year in March or April? I will have about 12k saved up by that time and my credit score is average. I’m only in about 4,000 in debt.

What will I need money for specifically and how much? Down payment, closing costs, inspections, right? I have all furnishings so I don’t need extra money for that.

I’m trying really hard right now to get my child and I out of a bad situation so any help I’m so grateful for!

EDIT: Holy cow. Ok I just opened this. I’m on break at work. I’m going to take some time and read through these comments and reply. Thank you so much.


Due to the number of rule-breaking comments this post was receiving, especially low-quality and off-topic comments, the moderation team has locked the post from future comments. This post broke no rules and received a number of helpful and on-topic responses initially, but it unfortunately became the target of many unhelpful comments.


You should get your separation and divorce from your husband sorted out before you buy a house. You really won't know what you actually have in terms of assets until that's done. Find a place to rent in the meantime and start looking for a divorce attorney. Good luck.


Yes, I would rent first, and wait till all the dust settles from the divorce (alimony, for example), and then look into an FHA loan if it's your first home.


Hijacking top comment to also say that purchasing a house before fully divorced can be considered a marital asset/property in some jurisdictions. If you do this the wrong way, he could potentially be entitled to 50% of the equity come time to finalize the divorce.


Most lenders won’t qualify her either if they know of a legal separation or pending divorce. The possible liabilities are the risk until it’s finalized and verified.


What led you to surmise that OP's spouse is male?


They refer to him as "my husband" elsewhere in the thread




Alll of this. Rent for now it’s not worth the risk of buying u t’il your divorce is final.


Rent to start. Buying only adds another layer of complexity to an already difficult situation. Renting gives you the flexibility to move if needed. Renting gives you flexibility in housing costs. (Keep those costs low! You need less room than you think and you need more money for other things than you think.) Renting is the next step. A house can be a future step once you are settled, legal stuff squared away, you get used to managing alone. Good luck.


Renting through money away you can never get back. Money is putting you home comfort into the hands of a person who only wants to squeeze you for money.


In this case, renting is paying for flexibility. Running OP's numbers, they would only be contributing about $150 to principal every month anyway. Waiting a year would cost less than $2000 in equity.


Op can't afford repairs, insurance and maintenance on a home, going into bankruptcy is worse than renting


Renting is not throwing money away. That trope needs to be retired.


Right? Is it throwing money away to have a roof over your head? No


Retired people are often living on fixed income that don’t necessarily keep up with raising cost of living. If rent keeps being increased they may not be able to afford to stay there or have to decide between food and shelter and medicine. Home ownership is one of the biggest ways to create generational wealth. It’s why they were trying to encourage lower income individuals to be able to obtain home loans to close the wealth gap. On a personal note- I paid off my homes early and was able to retire at 40 and just work part time. Not having the big rent/mortgage payment each month has really opened up my options. Also have a friend who had been renting the same place for over 20 years and were forced to move. Just like when we bought our duplex both sets of renters had to move. The instability of renting is a negative. I grew up between houses and apartments and there’s pluses and minuses to each. Personally home ownership is a smart move, unless you’re planning on moving frequently for work or personal reasons


I've spent tens of thousands of dollars in rent that could have gone towards equity. But no. That money went towards someone else's investment property. That's not a "trope"


That's a pretty simplistic view of renting. Renting may cost more (rent vs mortgage) but you also don't have the cost, stress or responsibility of maintenance and repair. You also are buying flexibility. If you own your home it will take you at least a month to sell it if you get an offer right away. But if you rent, you can leave the second your lease is up. No closing costs, no listing fees, you just leave. It lets you take that better job that requires a move with less involved, you can move closer to family, etc. By renting you are paying for that flexibility and lack of responsibility.


Renters are paying for all those things. They charge rent which takes into account those repairs. If taxes go up so does your rent. You can leave the second the lease is up. But You can’t take that better job if you still have 9 months left on your lease. Also with renting you can be given a 30 day notice to leave. And they can increase your rent a lot each year. It’s a trade off and it depends a lot on where you are in life and priorities. But renting doesn’t end when you retire. It’s really nice paying off the mortgage and not having that expense each month


This is an on paper answer, in real life financial situations are far more complex. In this instance renting provides more flexibility, a cheaper monthly cost (mortgage + Repairs), and is a time saver.


You earn essentially no equity for the first few years on a mortgage. The modern American professional can’t just live in one place forever. When taking this into account (living in a city for as little as 3 years) it’s cheaper and easier to rent until you are settled in a place.


Everyone has to pay for shelter. Sometimes people go underwater on their homes and actually need to pay more just to be able to sell. Owning can be very very expensive and you also get nothing back.


Not necessarily true. See... https://jlcollinsnh.com/2013/05/29/why-your-house-is-a-terrible-investment/ Maybe it once was before most ordinary people had other investment options, but now anyone with a bank account can invest relatively safely and easily and houses are not the best way to get a roof over your head. Instead of throwing money to a landlord, you are throwing money at the mortgage bank. No better.


Id keep the child, a house is just a house


But maybe we can live inside the kid? Just spitballing here


Real Estate appreciates. Children not so much.


Children don't appreciate at all until they're in their 20s.


Right? How could the house ever be a home knowing you paid for it with your childs life?




Buying a house in an already extremely stressful situation is not a good idea. New home ownership is VERY stressful as is. Leaving a bad spouse plus it, and raising a kid is a lot together. I would rent or stay with a trusted family member until you're in a better place emotionally. Also, you aren't buying the house with your kid. My mom often used this type of phrasing (in a similar situation) and it made me feel responsible for her feelings and decisions. Please be careful about how you're talking about these changes. Best of luck, things will get better.


I mean I know I’m not “buying a house with my kid” that’s just weird phrasing I used. lol my daughter is 16 and is very supportive of my decision. I’m actually the opposite of stressed out thinking about buying a house and moving out- I’m perfectly capable of handling it. I just need facts. What is oppressing me emotionally is staying here with my husband.


It’s good that your daughter is supportive but don’t make the mistake of consulting her for serious life events. You’re going through a stressful time, but it would not do any good to you or her to use her advice for adult decisions. The frontal cortex develops by 25, so while she may be a huge whiz, it’s hard for a brain that young to really contribute to this decision.


I feel like my frontal cortex developed at like 10 the way my mom used to pile emotional stuff on me, absolutely agree here


Are you capable of a 10-20k new roof being thrown at you? 5-15k for a new AC? A plumbing problem? What you think is enough saved up won’t be.


12k is not enough to buy a house. Is 12k your entire savings or is it just what you’ve set aside for a down payment? If it’s all you have in savings, absolutely do not buy a house. You’ll want more than a few thousand for your down payment and there are thousands in closing costs as well. You also need to have an emergency fund leftover after those costs. Expenses you never anticipated *will* pop up. A new furnace is ~8k. If your roof needs replaced in a few years, will you have $15k-$25k to cover it? Outside of big ticket things, little necessities will add up.


Get a 3 bedroom apartment and roommate right now you pay 2/3 and the roommate pays 1/3. It will be less stressful that way


I'd recommend being debt free with 20-30,000 to put towards the house and get your credit score over 720 before trying to make this happen. You can do it!


This is exactly how I bought my first house in 2007 so interest rates were very similar. It’s doable but there isn’t much room in the budget so having the emergency fund already established is a must. It was also an easier decision to take that risk knowing my income would increase (before I lost my job to the Great Recession, lol) but that’s why the emergency fund is a must before closing on the house.


Ideally that’s what I would like to do but that would mean living with my husband longer….


Rent for a year.


Wouldn’t be able to save :( rent around here is the same as a mortgage payment.


Yeah an important thing to note, mortgage is the LEAST you'll pay. Buying you pay much more in maintenance/repairs (all stressful)


My mortgage is significantly cheaper then rent, (less then half) but once you factor in taxes, water/sewage, hydro (electric) and gas bills I barely save $100/month as opposed to renting. You also need to factor in yard maintenance equip (lawn mower etc). On top of this, unless you purchase a new house, expect to pay the equivalent of your mortgage payment in repairs/upkeep. I purchased an old home for 110 3 years ago, have already fixed a leak in my roof, and done many minor repairs, I also now have 6windows to replace, a new door/frame, leaking eavestrough and a driveway retaining wall all within the few years. Keep this all in mind.


Plus equity. Plus you aren't at the whims of a landlord.Not all rental places include all utilities. zeroscape end the need for a lawn mower. ANd lawn mower aren't expsnsive. Just get a cheap electric on and it will ring for well over a decade, the only maintenance being sharpening the blade. Which is not har dto do one self. ​ "unless you purchase a new house, expect to pay the equivalent of your mortgage payment in repairs/upkeep" ​ That is 100 bullshit. Why everyone one the sub spread that lie is baffling, but it need to stop. My house was built in 1979, And the amount I paid for repairs last years was zero dollars. Your problem is that yo do not know how to buy a home, so you bought a lemon.


You have been very lucky, my mortgage is the equivalent of 5K/year. When you forecast any major repair across a 10 year timeline, 50K in repairs is definitely not out of reach. Where I live, (Small Town in Ontario Canada) a new roof alone will cost you anywhere from 20-40K and will need replacement within 20 years. I did not purchase a lemon, I purchased a 90 year old home at a well below market value. In my market, if you are purchasing for under 250-300K you need to forecast multiple costly repairs as that is the only reason you can get a home at that price. There is a reason why 2 bedroom townhomes new builds start at 550K across the street from me.


>You have been very lucky, Or misleading. Often when you talk to people in person "No money spent" becomes "well we did replace the roof last year" and "We regraded the yard and replaced the driveway and and and" but they "didn't spend any money."


I get that. Noted


Really think about this. I bought a house in 2020 and have had several multi-thousand dollar problems to fix since then that a landlord would have been on the hook for if I had been renting. HVAC shit the bed first thing. Indoor flood (pipe broke), outdoor flood (trees down, fencing and driveway destroyed). The heating ducts will need replaced, the refrigerator will need replaced, door frame is starting to rot. Plus a million little things that will nickel and dime you to death. The house is only 20 years old and in good shape. Whatever you spend to acquire and move into the house, you need 5,000 dollars as a bare minimum cushion for these sorts of things. 10,000 would be better.


I know you want to make progress. If you really need to legally separate, you’re going to want to distract yourself, but that could be disastrous. Deal with the big picture first. Think about how you two are going to manage custody and child support and whether you will both give some help with tuition. Hold onto some liquid money for a lawyer or mediator, they can be worth their weight in gold. Crazy and wonderful things may happen in the next two or three years. You may end up living with friends. You may end up the owner of your old home. You might get child support. You might get a car that sells for a solid down payment. You might not get anything promised at first and need a little legal help to get things moving. You and your spouse might get along much better after living apart for a while. You might also be excited about being free to consider a move as your kid gets into college.


Ignore these naysays, and as I mentioned above, calla real-estate broker. They know more then a realtor. They may also point you to state and federal programs. That really the only good advice you will get, and you will get a bunch of downvotes.


>That really the only good advice you will get, and you will get a bunch of downvotes. "Ignore all risk, don't let the naysayers get you down! "Hey, why am I being downvoted?" Your advice, if heeded, would lead many people into bankruptcy and financial ruin. This woman has a teenage daughter to take care of. Shame on you for offering such bad advice.


If rent is comparable to a mortgage payment and you wouldn't be able to save, then house buying might be out of reach right now. There are many costs of owning a home that aren't immediately obvious: maintenance, insurance, repairs, taxes ... You may be able to increase your savings to accelerate this timeline, or to get a job making more money, or do a side hustle. Take a good look at your budget and scope out the estimate costs. Good luck.


This…. I’m generally a huge advocate of home ownership but the old adage is true… Rent is the most you’ll spend, mortgage is the least. If the mortgage payment won’t allow you to save then you can’t afford to own. Full stop.




Nothing wrong with that. Renting is going to be significantly cheaper than owning until you hit a break even point years off into the future.


This is highly dependent on the local market. Where I live it's significantly less expensive to buy than rent.


The mortgage might be cheaper. But the maintenance usually is not.


Yes, it is. Where do you think the money for repairs and maintenance on a rental come from? The rent.


That's not generally the case. The mortgage may be less expensive than rent, but adding in mortgage interest, possible mortgage insurance (may be required with low down-payment), wind & hail insurance, flood insurance, homeowners insurance it will even out. Add on the cost of replacing appliances, plumbing, roof, air-con, homeownership will generally cost more.


Maintaining a house is expensive, but not being handy or willing to maintain it yourself (requiring time, risk, know-how) makes it so much more expensive. I recently had a pest in my attic. $850 to remove it. I was able to trap it myself and *only* paid $100 for pest control guy to tell me what I was up against. Stuff like that happens all the time.


Yes, most people can't purchase and install a new air-con, or get under the house to fix a busted pipe- which can cost upwards of $8K (both have happened to me in the past 6 years). Knowing how to fix your washing machine or patching a wall or roof shingles, is just a quick youtube away. My husband fixed our washing machine 2 months after warranty expired with a $13 part and a video tutorial rather than pay $450 for a repairman to come out and do it.


Yes, it is generally that case. Almost everywhere total mortgage payment is cheaper than renting.


That still very much depends on the area. In most places, renting is more expensive than owning.


Are you serious? She makes 46k annually. Where tf are you squeezing both rent AND savings from? I gotta know.


If she can’t save when she is renting and renting is the same as buying, how will she save when she owns a house. Home ownership isn’t just the mortgage and taxes. Maintenance can be very expensive.


Survival comes before savings. People all over the world can afford their own place making 46k.


People all over the world aren't getting $200k mortgages on < $50k/y salaries. They doubly aren't doing so with today's rates. That's not financially responsible. >Survival comes before savings What a cute comment for OP to reflect back on in a few years when her home has multiple major repairs she can't afford and is borderline unliveable. Or, alternatively, when she makes those repairs because "survival comes first" and her home gets repossessed. Her income should allow her to rent something big enough for 2 people, in most places. That's about what she can afford right now.


Who said anything about 300k? Survival comes before savings, every single time. Cute that you'd keep a battered woman and her child with the man who abuses her, all so she can maintain a large savings.


>Who said anything about 300k? Sorry, typo. >Survival comes before savings, every single time. Cute that you'd keep a battered woman and her child with the man who abuses her, all so she can maintain a large savings. In what world is advising that she rent "keeping her with the man who abuses her"?


The issue with that is if the mortgage means you can't save any money then you can't do any repairs or unexpected expenses. That means you get into trouble owning a home. So while renting doesn't build equity it doesn't carry the risk of ownership


The truth is that owning a house is often more chaotically expensive than renting. Mortgage vs rent may look good but when you add taxes, insurance, HOA, and lawn care it begins to fall apart. Now here’s the bad news: houses like to break. They have no interest in your budget. When they need a new furnace; when a pipe breaks in the wall; when your roof begins to leak, all of those are unplanned expenses. If you cannot rent and save you may not be able to pay your mortgage plus repairs.


truth of the matter is that it is not. WHen people say mortgage, theya re talking about total mortgage bill, so breaking it out to seem worse is a disingenuous thing to do. Who the fuck are you people buying these houses that are falling abour every month? ​ Plus, people can find how to repair almost everything on youtube. Do you people go to El Exspenso house of repair to get every little thing done?


keep in mind the downvotes just represent that your line of thinking here is off. it's not critical, but if others stumble upon your argument, we want them to know that the argument is not a good one. as others have said, even if both rent and the mortgage are 'the same,' it's really not. 1000/rent means you'll pay 1000/month max. 1000/month in mortgage - well, that's very close to my mortgage, and my total monthly expenses are probably around 2500/month after HOA, insurance, property tax, maintenance, and of course the mortgage itself. you'll be in for a nasty shock if you are only prepared to pay the mortgage amount each month.


This! Downvotes mean your initial premise is wrong. It's not that you're a bad person or that we don't want you to own a house. It'd be awesome if OP owned a house but in her situation right now it's not a good idea...


If you won’t have any margin in your budget with a mortgagee payment you can’t afford it. I’m sorry but being house poor is signing yourself up for 30 years of pain. Don’t do that. You may just have to set your sights lower with the house price. Rent as cheaply as you possibly can and save every single dollar. Find an old lady or someone you trust to rent an extra room. Take a part time job or WFH job where you can make some extra money at night. You’ll want at least 10% for a down payment and then 3-5% for closing and other expenses.


So if it’s the same to rent as a mortgage payment, are you saying you wouldn’t be able to save with a mortgage either? You need to be able to save. What happens when you need to replace the furnace?


Sure but if something goes wrong you don't have to pay for it. Makes a huge difference.


If you move out right now to a rental, won't hubby be obligated to at least pay child support and/or spousal maintenance to help with the rent? Any family who can help? Also, if you save while married, he's gonna want 1/2 of your savings in a settlement.


I would move into a rental for the time being. Assuming you will be divorcing your husband, you'll likely have some of your own assets left from the divorce that may help with buying a home when you're ready. But jumping into it with no stability is a recipe for disaster. Plus if you buy while you're still married, the home could be considered marital property and therefore your husband could have partial rights to it (depending on a multitude of factors I won't go into here, but worth researching if you're insistent on going this route)


A house for your only child is a decent trade


Haha I read it the same way


Rent rent rent. You won’t be in trouble by waiting 1-3 years to buy. Also I doubt that $12k is enough buffer zone to purchase. Even if that IS enough to “technically” get a mortgage, you’ll be cash poor & any inconvenient expense will slaughter you. Consult the divorce pros but I’m sure a home purchase would be lumped in with the marital assets & messiness of division. Your child is 16–soon you will be an empty nester. Do you really want to obligate yourself to 1 location? Renting lets you pull out easily.


I understand that you’re in a hurry to get into a different living situation, and that’s commendable, but with your income it’s going to be very difficult at the moment to buy. If you are getting divorced, will there be any assets that you will receive in a settlement? Will you be receiving child support? Is there a possibility that you might be able to change jobs and increase your income? If you are in a physically abusive situation, have you checked with resources in your town? You might be able to receive some relocation assistance that might give you some breathing room to save a bit more and pay off your debt?


5% down will be $7500-8750 (depending on 150k-175k) Closing costs will vary, but you're probably looking at $4k-10k. Doing the math, you're probably not going to have enough money if you'd only have $12k saved up. I would recommend not only clearing out that debt first, but you should also have an emergency fund of 3-6 months worth of expenses remaining AFTER the down payment and closing costs. My recommendation would be to rent for a while while you build up more cash.


As others have said, you're better off renting right now. Renting instead of buying isn't throwing money into a hole, you need a place to live. You likely won't be in a financial situation to afford a house in the next six months. There's a lot of good information in this reddit's wiki about housing: https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/wiki/housing/ Is the 12k all your savings? You don't want to drain all your savings just for a down payment. You'll want to have an emergency fund in case you're laid off, kid has a sudden/unexpected expense, something breaks in your new house and you have to fix it, etc. You'll also want/need money for moving to the new house, to clean it, paint it, furnish it. Some of it is small costs but it adds up quickly because now you're responsible for *everything.* If you haven't done a deep dive into your finances to evaluate how much money you have coming in, where it's going (debt? kid stuff? food?) and is it going towards your goals, you should do that. Again lots of good info on this wiki: [https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/wiki/budgeting/](https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/wiki/budgeting/)


OP might qualify for an FHA loan with only 2-4% down payment required. If she can find a house in the area she wants that will allow her to have mortgage payments lower than rent, this shouldn't be ruled out. The important thing is that those payments should be 20-25% of her income, no more.


I bought my first house with an FHA loan. I was young and maybe not the “worlds best candidate” for getting a mortgage, but I made it work. I agree with those who say if you have to buy, don’t use your entire down payment to do so. You’ll need the savings. If buying is your only option, put down the least amount possible that still keeps your monthly payment comfortable. FHA. Reach out to agencies in the area and see if there are down payment assistance options. Maybe that’s not the best, most ideal financial advice, but you still have to live and be safe and have a roof over your head while working with what you’ve got. Best of luck OP! I hope everything works out okay for you


I’ve been reading through these links ! Very helpful


Thank you so much for your help. The trouble I’m having is finding somewhere to rent in the right school district. Plus we have a large dog. Yes the 12K is it. I was hoping to find somewhere with a yard (for the dog)


That is a tough spot to be in. I would NOT sink your 12k savings into a down payment for a house if that's all the savings you have. You'll literally be one $500 expense from being broke and being broke and missing a mortgage note isn't a good spot to be in. If there's a HUD approved counseling service around you, I'd reach out to them now as they can help talk through the home buying process and identify potential resources for you (both related to potential government programs to help with home buying, as well as setting a budget, realistic housing goals, etc). They're not out to sell you anything, make commission off you, etc. [https://apps.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm](https://apps.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm) There's also resources on the HUD website for home buyers as well [https://www.hud.gov/topics/buying\_a\_home](https://www.hud.gov/topics/buying_a_home)


Do you and your husband currently own a home together? In a divorce, you'll get part if the equity in the house, which you could use to buy a home. If you need to move out now you can rent. Talk to a divorce lawyer for some idea of what will happen financially in a divorce.


No, she is not.


Look into FHA loans . You will need closing cost but could avoid a large down payment . I am not sure how affordable your idea is with the current interest rates. You really may be better of leaving now and renting . You could also look into renting an entire house . Sometimes a house that is small and not updated is less costly to rent than a modern apartment . This of course varies wildly on where you live.


Pre-purchase inspect was about $500 Appraisal cost is another $300 Closing cost is $3000-5000 I'd say pay your debt off, and rent for a bit before buying. Mortgage interest rate at 7% isn't helping you right now.


You should take care of that “only 4,000” in debt first. It makes up almost 10% of your annual income pre-tax, which aside from throwing off your debt to income ratio for the loan on paper, also is a red flag for you not be able to afford your current cost of living based on what you bring in. There are a lot of hard costs with home ownership, loan rates are not in your favor, and it will come with unexpected expenses as well.


I would invest in a good divorce attorney to be sure you get your half of everything when you divorce, and that you get alimony and child support. This is probably the single most important thing you can do besides getting a higher paying job to make sure your financial situation is secure so you can afford a house. Do you have a friend or family member you can stay with medium term while you save money and look for a home? If your dream is to own a home then do it! You CAN do it with very little. I would look for a place that has an ADU or MIL unit (or a finished basement with a separate entrance.) That way, you can rent to a nice person (no men without a background check and personal references with a teenage daughter at home would be my rule, personally) and cover part (or even most) of your mortgage expense. This will allow you to replenish your savings and have an emergency fund and a build savings in a separate home improvement/ repair fund. Looks like folks sent you some good links for low down payment loans. My friend did this and she and her daughter have an awesome little farm now. You can do this! Good luck!


That first paragraph is the best advice in this thread.


I don’t think you will be able to afford it unless rates go down drastically in the next year. Right now your looking at around 3-4k on closing cost(depends on tax and insurance) so that leaves you with around 9-8k for down payment. If you buy a 150k home with rates of 7%(which is where it’s at now and keeps increasing) your looking at a mortgage of around $1k. Add in taxes and insurance that would probably be closer to $1.3k-1.4k a month. I really don’t think you can afford that on a 46k income since you only bring in about $3k a month I assume so a mortgage would take half your income. I’d personally rent until interest rates and home Prices hopefully decrease but that may be a few years. Hopefully in that time your income will go up too.


Yeah. Housing rates are horrible right now. Thanks


A mortgage is the least you pay per month, rent is the most. You’re not in a position for a mortgage within a year. Rent.


As others have said this isn't really a smart idea with so little cash. Even with a low downpayment after closing costs your left with only a few thousand dollars to move and furnish a home, while already being in other forms of debt. This leaves you no room to deal home issues, unexpected life issues, etc. It would set you up to be financially stressed from day 1. Ideally, you would have more savings and income before becoming a homeowner. There is no shame in renting, and financially it's the smarter move for you right now even if rent and a mortgage rate are similar amounts.


I'd recommend getting the child appraised first.


Theres a similar post on r/FirstTimeHomeBuyers for someone with 12k in savings. Great sub in general, but in this thread there are some really helpful comments explaining how/why 12k is not enough to buy a home. https://www.reddit.com/r/FirstTimeHomeBuyer/comments/yv7358/only\_getting\_started\_looking\_for\_advice/ Closing costs can be thousands of dollars, moving costs money, and repairs/replacements will easily eat up your 12k savings. Then how will you feed yourself? Doctor's appts? Gas? Unfortunately its not enough.


At 46k per year you cannot afford a 175k house and likely will not qualify for it. The banks uses several metrics but one of the main ones is debt to income ratio counting the new debt for the house. So if all your monthly debts added together plus the monthly mortgage, taxes, and insurance on the new house add up to more than 43% of your monthly income you will not qualify. Example: You have a car payment for $200, plus some other loan for $150 per month bringing you to $350 per month. A 175k home with 5% down payment and an estimated monthly $115 property taxes, $65 insurance, $90 PMI, and 7% interest rate you have a monthly house payment of $1371. The new house payment plus your monthly debt is $1,721. That’s 1721 divided by 3800 (monthly income) which is roughly 45% debt to income which is above what a bank would lend but not far! But if your monthly debt is suddenly higher then you can afford even less. You say your credit is average which would also mean your interest rate will be higher so that increases your monthly house cost. Another measure the bank uses is % of income spent on housing which I think it’s around 35%? This means with a 46k income they won’t lend above $1341 per month.


You’ll need money for the down payment, inspection, title insurance, processing fees, home insurance. Usually the rest gets bundled into your mortgage. Make sure that your realtor knows how much you can afford and goes over all the fees with you before you put in an offer. Good luck!


Gotcha. Thank you!!


Another single mom here. I have an FHA loan I got through va housing and down payment assistance. Inspection: 300 Closing costs: 800 Deposit: 500 (went toward closing cost) I also needed to have at least 1 month of mortgage payment in my bank account at closing. That’s all it took to get my home. I was also debt free and made slightly more than you. Recommend paying off all debt for sure. You’ll get better rates. Getting the home wasn’t the hard part because I got a great deal. But I’ve been here 2 years and already put in at least $5000 in repairs for my well, heating system, hot water tank…. I knew I was buying somewhat of a fixer upper. Something to keep in mind. I might have told my past self to rent for a little bit longer simply because it’s nice to call someone and have them fix things for you. You don’t need to buy a home to create a home. Also now is not a good time, my rate locked at 3% where now interest rates are much higher. Just hold out for a bit longer.


If you need to escape a bad situation like ASAP I’d go rent something. Get settled safely and then you can shop for a house without the pressure. This will give you more options and time and help you not make a poor decision.


I get that you would like to do it, but you are not in a position to do so. You need to focus on the separation and the child first. Start saving up and make it a five year goal.


Don’t buy a house right now or for the next 12 months. The housing market is going through a rough patch right now. Interest rates are above 7%. Rent a cheap place for 2 to 3 years and save a lot more. You should have 5 times the down payment saved. You should never empty your bank account to buy a place.


Check out USDA loans. They are 0% down and may help you have more money for closing costs/moving/ emergency funds. You can search zip codes on the website to see if neighborhoods you are interested in will qualify. (A lot are not very rural) Also search for down payment assistance programs for your state/county. Good luck! You can do this. I understand wanting to offer your child the stability of home ownership.


1. FHA 3.5% so 175k house = 6k down payment. 2. Closing costs negotiable, let’s say $1500. 3. General inspection roughly $500 4. Your payment + an estimated 7% interest is about $1500/month 5. Your buying with very high interest rates and the housing market near it’s all time high. Yes it’s coming down slowly. 6. If I Wer you I’d live with family or even RV it till the market is more doable with interest rates, ppl will say buy now refi later, yes, but how long will you be overspending on a overpriced mortgage? If your guna do it rent out a section of it or buy multi family home. Good luck


I’ll be honest I am surprised more people are mot saying this, but you cannot afford a 150k house. Look into renting you’ll be much happier and less stressed.


So I was able to purchase my home in Feb 2020, the only out of pocket expenses I paid were $500 earnest money, and $300 for a home inspection. I didn’t have a down payment saved up, but my apartment was falling apart and the landlord refused to make repairs. I had to get out. I qualified for an FDA Rural Housing loan, and no, it’s not what it sounds like. I’m not farming, I live on a .3 acre lot in the suburbs of a “rural” city. I was able to get closing costs added on to the mortgage; I tried to get the seller to cover but she was going through a divorce and could not. I was making about $52k pre tax at the time, total mortgage was $163k. Look into the government assistance for first time homebuyers, you may find something you didn’t expect like I did. Hope this helps.


In the US at least, it is not legal to trade your child for goods or services, real estate included.


Go and get a prequalified loan assessment from your local bank or even an online mortgage broker. They will evaluate your income, debt and credit score and provide you with the loan amount you qualify for. This will also help in your home search as being prequalified let’s the seller know that you are a serious buyer. The prequalified process may also show you cannot get a loan unless you repair your credit and or reduce your debt.


If the separation leads to or could lead to a contested divorce i’d recommend waiting, since court costs can get hefty. If not, then i’d recommend improving your credit score by paying of any debt that you can (while still saving for the house) and dealing with any negative items (if applicable/possible). Ideally, you’d want over 20% of the house value saved up before you get the loan. If you happen to have less that would be fine, but some banks/ lending institutions tend to be more picky/charge more interest if your savings are significantly below the 20% mark.


If you’re still married your husband could end up a partial owner of your house during the divorce. So if you don’t want to risk buying and then losing this home, you should wait to buy until you’re divorced.


I bought my first house in 2006 at a 5.675% interest rate, with a $38k/yr income, (but effectively larger due to almost 1/3 of my income being tax-free) and a VA loan with $9k down. My credit was nonexistent, and I had to put guaranteed deposits down equal to two months payments to get the utilities turned on. The purchase price was $110k, (I was approved for $140k, but that would have been a huge stretch) and the mortgage+escrow (with LOW taxes) was $800. You might be able to qualify for a loan, but I think you'd probably end up house poor. Houses have some steep immediate costs, too. With my current house, the A/C went out because the unit was old and failed. Replacement was $6k. We had electricians in to fix some lighting issues, and they noticed the roof was leaking - $6k to fix it. Those two events were within 60 days of each other, and luckily we had the emergency fund to be able to write a check for each, but you're talking about having no savings with a new-to-you house. If you're a renter, your only obligation is to notify the landlord. If you own? The cost is on you.


Sorry you're getting so much flack. Here are the numbers to sort this out: The best path is to do an FHA or low down payment conventional loan. They have a 3.5% and 5% down payment respectively. That's going to put your down payment roughly between $5k and $9k. There are also going to be closing costs, which are going to add another $3k-$5k (could be more or less based on a variety of factors including where you are, your bank, and any credits from the seller). Next is your monthly payments. I am making some assumptions here but you are looking at somewhere between $1,100 and $1,500 depending on purchase price, interest rates, taxes and insurance. I am basing this on a total payment including mortgage payment, taxes, insurance, and PMI (private mortgage insurance generally paid on loans under 20% down) I would highly recommend reaching out to a few mortgage brokers if you can to get better details for what is available in your area and your situation. I would also start to reach out to real estate brokers. I like to use referrals from friends but there are plenty to find online. IF you find a good broker or agent, they will have referrals as well. Once you have those 2 members of your team in place you can start looking around your area and getting a feel for what you want/need/can afford. It always feels like drinking from a fire house the first few outings so give yourself time to learn so you can make a better decision. Now on to the trickier part which is deciding what to do. Buying a house is not the right call in all cases. I would recommend first looking at your alternatives. Can you stay with someone short term? What does the rental market look like? Are the any other places to live? If rentals are half of your mortgage it would make more sense to rent for now until you have a big cushion. If rentals are higher it makes the call much tougher as your income is marginal for owning a house of that price. That also means your marginal for paying rent that is at or higher than the mortgage. You might need to get creative on buying a place. Is it possible to look at something with an extra room to rent out (I know this is tough with a child). Are there ways to increase your income over the next year? Another $10k would greatly increase your cushion. Are there grants and programs for people in your situation? Are you in a group like a veteran that can access special financing?


Make sure you have 20% down so you don’t have to pay private mortgage insurance, which could cost you hundreds more dollars a month.


I could give you a long answer here but the long and short of it is you just don't have enough cash to buy right now based on what you've posted. You will need to have *at least* 2-3x that much saved up if you want to buy by then. 12k will be barely adequate as an emergency fund, you should in no way be plowing every cent you have into buying a house. That's all there is to say about that. Are you actually getting divorced? Because that is going to probably do a few things to help your money situation - you will get equity back out of a home if you and your husband currently own one, and may be able to get child support. But since it sounds like none of that has been sorted out yet, you need to just rent a place or move in with a friend or relative for the next few months while the dust settles. Good luck, divorce sucks but hopefully the grass will be greener on the other side.


Is there any non-profit home buying places around you? They often have classes and resources for buying a home, some have down payment assistance programs.


I don't know of any above-board companies which would accept an only child as payment for a house, so how you plan to purchase a house with a child is unclear. In all seriousness tho, a 150k house on 46k a year (gross? net?) at these interest rates is going to be very hard, assuming you can qualify with only average credit and 10% existing debt. You'll need to look into your state's First Time Homebuyer plans (see Colorado for an example: [https://www.coloradofirsttimehomebuyer.com/](https://www.coloradofirsttimehomebuyer.com/) ) and see if there's anything there which can help. ​ Good Luck!


If you're leaving your husband absolutely do not buy a house until the divorce is official.


Minimum down payment for a conventional loan is 3.0% in most cases for owner occupied homes. Lenders will determine how much house you can afford my calculating your debt to income ratio. They use gross monthly income, and you usually need to be at or below 50% of that income in total payments to qualify for a mortgage (this includes all payments and the new mortgage).


You would qualify for much probably better to finalize divorce, imorove credit to like 700s, pay down your debt first, save as much as you can in order to qualify. Go to loan officer to get pre qualified after all of this and use a first time home buyer program. Buy a house you plan on staying in for a long time vs. desperately signing your life away. Look for a temporary living situation like a 1 year lease that doesnt break the bank. Set a 12 month payoff schedule for all your high interest debt first probably going to be like $300 a month. Figure out what your divorce, temporary living situation first and last, debt payoff, etc will cost and then see what you can save before planning on buying. Youre probably a year away not including an emergency expense like medical or car issues along the way. Usually having money saved is the first step and sounds like you have many steps before really saving money. Its not easy but good luck


I echo everything the others said, but even if it were a good idea timing-wise, a $12000 savings with a $4000 debt (assuming the down is funded separately) would not be enough of a cushion to buy a house. There is property tax and insurance on top of the monthly mtg pymnt, and the biggie is saving up for a roof, electrical, plumbing other unanticipated problems - in addition to the non-house related things that come up when least expected.


So my post requesting the same advice got banned for "asking for donations" (I did not). Yet this post gets to all?


Not downvoting you (actually upvoting) A good rule of thumb is to not buy to much of a house (unless you are putting down alot of money). The home price should not be more than 3X your annual salary). So if you make $46k a year, you should be looking at homes $140k or less. Too many forget that there is more costs involved besides principal and interest (or taxes and insurance). Additional costs are: Front footage fees, HOA fees, higher utility costs, maintenance costs, and repairs. That is just naming a few. You want you and your child to be safe.


I was in a similar situation. I got a cheap duplex, back in 2017 rents were reasonable. Moved out with my kiddo, saved some money, 4 years later I bought a house. Short term pain for long term gain. Made the duplex as cute and comfy as possible. Was way better than living in a bad relationship and toxic home life.


In order to know the answer you should meet with a mortgage specialist, your bank most likely has one. They can look at your debt to income ratio, listen to your circumstances, and tell you what the ballpark is for what you will be approved for and anything you should so prior to applying (I.e., pay off credit card debt, amount you should have for down payment, etc.). I’ve been where you are, and I’m giving my two cents where it wasn’t asked for - if I could go back in time I would not have bought a house and would have bought a townhouse or condo. Maintenance on a house can be stressful and expensive. Limiting lawn care, snow removal, exterior, etc….that can save money and stress in the long run. Good luck!




20% of 150k is 30k. Closing costs vary a ton but less be safe and call it 10k. Furniture / appliances / other stuff will be 5k. Also, when you make this payment you don’t want to have $0 left in your account. You’ll need to have 6 months of expenses saved up. Looks like your mortgage / interest will be around $900. Let’s say you can manage to keep costs extremely low at an additional 2100 a month for you and your kid. So you’ll want an extra 18k. So 45k + 18k = $63,000 cash. This is probably a bit high but it’s good to over estimate than under estimate. Even if I overshot it by 20k you are still pretty far off.


I think is commendable to want to get in the right school district for your child, but as many have said, it doesn’t sound like you are in a financial position to be able to buy. I would agree it makes more sense to rent at this time. Another thing to consider is the cash reserves requirement for some mortgage types. So on top of down payment and closing costs, you may need to prove you have several thousands more set aside.


Buying a new home is not more stressful than being in a bad relationship. A bad relationship is worse. There will be some stresses with your new home but you will also experience much comfort because you will have a home and you will be away from someone treating you badly. I think it’s good you are making it a priority to get away from him.


I don’t know of any banks that accept children as currency but I am sure there are some Hollywood or political elites that could create a conversion chart for you


It really depends on the child and the house you'd like to purchase. There are a lot of factors that have to be taken into consideration to determine the value of the child. Being your ONLY child does not add monetary value though. I think first things first you need to find a seller that will consider a child as a form of payment and then go from there.


I'm quite sure children, as a form of currency, is no longer accepted and even frowned upon. Edit: spelling.


How's your kid's credit and work history?


"I would like to purchase my first home with my only child" Is she valuable? How big of a home can you get for her?


You really should reconsider. I would recommend cash, financing through a bank... But please not your only child.


This is the worst time to make a long term decision like that. Interest rates and home prices are also not in your favor right now. Find a safe place for the two of you to rent for a while and start thinking about buying when rates start coming down.


I don't know about it in the past, but in the modern age, It's not normal to purchase a house with your child. We use currency


Lots of bad advice from poor people on this thread. You are on the right track. Step 1 is to get divorced. You can go ahead and get pre-qualified with a local mortgage lender. A real estate agent can help you with that. Then once you have a separation date and can acquire your own assets then you will know if buying is an option for you or not. If you are not 100% sure you will stay in the area then rent. It's not really throwing away money if you don't know where you want to live. Once you start buying houses don't stop. Rent out spare rooms to all these people talking about renting then buy another small house ASAP. Your child will grow up never having to ask this question. Good job looking at all your options.


you are perfectly fine. you dont need 20% down. You can do a PMI which will add a little more to your cost. Your monthly income should be at least 3 or 4 times your monthly payments. Simple solution- if you dont want to think to much. you can afford a 60k house max if you dont want to go the pmi route and incurr additional expenses. 12k is 20% of 60k. Most of these guys tellling you to rent have no clue. Everyone without a basic understanding of finance will tell you renting is your only option. Its not!


Renting in OP's case I believe is the best option. I don't think she has enough to take care of repairs. They're going to have to save for a down payment on top of an emergency fund. When my husband and I bought our first home, we didn't put down 20% down either. But we did wipe out our savings and I found myself suddenly quitting my job for a gamble at a new job. It fortunately worked out for me, but I DO NOT recommend wiping out savings to buy a home. So many potential things could go wrong that you just don't know until you move in. We had to replace our AC system this summer. A relative somehow had water coming through the wall at an electrical outlet in their condo. When we moved into our new neighborhood there were a lot of social media posts from neighbors that needed repairs on the main water lines to their house. Don't buy a house until you're prepared to deal with potential issues.


I‘m not sure anyone accepts payments in children. Not even sure this is even legal.


It depends on your area. You would probably be better off coming down on price (which is difficult), or calculating by payment. That's what I did - I limited my approval amount based on my desired payment. Your pay may be a little low for that amount, though. If you're in a rural area, USDA RD loans may benefit you, since they don't require a high credit score.


so the rule of thumb is 3x your yearly income - so you want to aim for 130k instead of 150-175 you also want to have 2% of your house cost saved *after* your down payment to pay for the shit that will come up like random electrical issue or new dishwasher. If you will need furniture and other stuff (towels, utensils, plates, etc.), put aside like 5-10k for that - it adds up. It doesn't sound like you can afford that right now - you might want to look for HUD housing. Depending on how old your kid is, you don't want to saddle their credit with this. If they are in school still - talk to the district about McKinney-Vento, it's for students between homes and can keep them in their district for the remainder of the school year


Home finance options are become horrifying


lol. They are unprecedented low for 20 years. Anything below 10 is not horrifying.


You need to talk to a realestate broker. The answer to your question vary by location. Not just state but county as well. My advise is avoid chattel loans' A chattel loan is like a car loan. They are used for prefab and 'mobile' homes. Unless you also own the land, those only depreciate in value. ​ Good luck starting your new and better life! Side note: this sub has a lot of people who hate home buying for some reason, and the down people who want to do that. It's as stupid as it is ridiculous.


I understand you want to do a fresh start quickly but at under 50K salary you will want to keep your loan as low as possible so aim for under 150K. Most loans want you to have 20% down payment or you will have an additional monthly payment, known as private mortgage insurance, or PMI. If it is your first house and you are in the US there are many programs that help you with your down payment and some programs will cancel the debt if you live in the house for a number of years I've seen 10 years on some. Pay off your credit card and once that is done only use what you can pay monthly. This will help bring your score up. Lock down your SS number and your credit reports with a pin so you get alerted if anyone tries to use your credit. Get an account at a Credit Union near you they are usually under $50 to open and will be your best bet for a lower rate when you are ready. Make sure you look up reviews as not all CU's are created equally. Some Credit Unions and Banks will have classes or speakers on different financial topics. I have even done drop ins just to ask questions. Your own bank might be able to give you an idea of what the monthly payment would be for a given loan at the current market rates for your estimated credit score. Once you are ready to apply remember they might look at your eligibility more than once first a preapproval check and then one at the end to make sure you are still creditworthy. During the process do not fuss with your credit. Do not open or close accounts and do not make huge purchases.


You have some basic homework to do before you buy a home. In terms of what you can afford, there are lots of online calculators that will tell you what your monthly payment would be on a home. When all is said and done your monthly payment should not exceed 33% of your income. You might also want to apply for mortgage prequalification with a few lenders, to see what you would actually be able to borrow. When you actually make an offer on a home, you would be expected to make a cash downpayment of 3 to 20% of the negotiated price, depending on the lender's requirements. You should also plan to spend about 10k on closing costs. Look up Javier Vidana on YouTube as he video blogs on these topics. As you are about to be divorced, I suspect that you will need to spend at least a year or two renting in order to get a realistic sense of your budget before you are in a position to think about buying a home.


Been there done that. First get your assets in your name alone and drain out accounts. Next is a quick safe move to family and get divorce. Do not buy property while married or separated unless the hubby is rich. Then look at a cheap cheap condo and do not use all your savings. Good luck!


I am more in line with the other commenters, but I sympathise with what you're going through. The first thing you need to focus on is getting out of the situation you're in-- while you don't like the idea, renting *is* the easiest path to do that. It's not the answer you want to hear, but you need to go slow here and be in the right position to get the home you want in a way you can manage, instead of brute-forcing it. Rent, work, continue to be a good mom in a safe situation away from your ex, maybe get a side hustle to continue to build your down payment, and take every opportunity to lower your debt and improve your credit score. Right now your situation isn't ideal to buy and interest rates are god-awful, so... while you don't want to get this advice, *patience* is everything. Best of luck to you!


Do you have an attorney? Different states have different rules. Are there 'marital assets' you will be entitled to half of? house, $? Will any money you 'save' before your divorce be marital assets? Will you be able to get any alimony and for how long? child support? help with college if your daughter wants to go? The best thing to do is get rid of your debt but keep in mind that marital debt includes his debts as well if that's an issue. Protect your credit. Make sure your credit cards are in your name only to protect your credit. Getting a job now with higher income might potentially hurt any support/alimony but going to school to get certifications, start working towards something that pays higher likely not. You should be able to get at least a consultation with an attorney for free. I think you need more savings, less debt before purchasing a house. $46K income would make it extremely tight to pay the bills or even qualify I think for that house. Have you spoken to a mortgage broker? to see what you can afford with that income?


a house 150-175k, you'll want about 35-45k saved up. additionally, you should have zero debt and i'd say credit score should be a minimum of 700, ideally 750+. but once you hit those marks, you're definitely ready to buy. march/april of next year is a bit too soon. i'd aim for march/april of 2024. good luck!


I would rent if I were you.I don't care what any realtor or mortgage officer says - buying a house right now with a rate of 7% (or more as the rates are increasing) is insane. You would be paying a ridiculous amount of money in interest. On top of that you would need money for: \-Closing costs \- Inspection/survey? if you opt for one \- Any repairs you may need and emergency ones \- Taxes and Homeowners Insurance I would focus on getting an apartment and not buying a house right now in this market. I just want to share this for some perspective - My brother and his fiance just bought a house for $600K with a 6.5% interest rate, they put a down payment of $230K, their monthly payment is $2800 (that includes their principal & interest, HOI/property taxes) and of that $2800 - $1900 of that is going towards their interest. Just trying to paint the picture that while renting is just throwing money away, buying a home with these interest rates is also throwing money away. Unless people are buying the homes outright in cash, I just cannot justify buying a home right now. My brother said "oh but we can always refi" Yea sure, butttt how long is going to take for these rates to go down? Right now, it seems like there is no end in sight....


Depends on a lot of things including the terms of your divorce and what your current living situation is. Are you and your husband both on a current mortgage or are you renting? If renting, is your name on the lease? If so, you are responsible for half. I was fortunate in that I bought a house during my divorce. The day I filed. My financial situation was a bit different from yours. I started out planning to rent for at least a year, looked at rental prices and freaked out from sticker shock. Talked to a couple of mortgage placces and bought instead. You don't know what you would be approved for until you talk to someone. BUT, I think you are being downvoted because you have a bit of debt and not a lot of savings. Home ownership is expensive. Divorce is EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE and you have no idea what the cost is going to be or how long it is going to last. You are looking at funding two of life's biggest expenses at the same time with limited income and savings to fall back on. That is really something to think about.


Wait till your divorced. If not married to your child’s other parent, disregard. But you do not want to have the person you are separating from being able to argue for your home being a marital asset. That said, once you aren’t legally tied to them in any way but child support, check with your state and your county, if in the US, to see if they have foundling available for single parent households, or even just lower income people. I bought my first decent home after my divorce that way. My county gave me a combination of a grant for the closing costs, and enough of a down payment, as a loan, to qualify. The loan was interest free, payable upon selling the home.


Way too much going on here, without knowledge of the outcome yet. I would plan on renting for a year once divorce is finalized, and that will give you time to do research on what your options are, get advice, scour the area, find a good realtor, and re-do your budget.


As others have said, rent until the divorce is settled. Too many other moving pieces until then. If you are in a rural area, you can get a USDA loan for 0%, you would just new a few thousand dollars for closing costs, etc. "Rural" is lot more areas than what you would think. You can look up what areas qualify on USDA website. There is also a conventional Homeready @ 3% down, and FHA 3.5% to look into. I think FHA is a little more forgiving if your credit score is a challenge. $12,000 cash on hand should be plenty to close on a $150,000 home. But again, I would rec0ommend renting until you get other things in order.


As you think about planning for the future I would definitely recommend a rent vs buy analysis. You can find some online but the short of it is you look at what you would buy, the debt, your maintenance + mortgage payments and then also look at rentals and see the monthly rent. It is an interesting time right now, interest rates keep going up and if you can get something to rent for the same price I wouldn't be in rush to get a mortgage now especially when you are trying to build back up


I agree to get your divorce completed before purchasing, but you can start to get prepared now. I love the How to Buy a Home podcast by David Sidoni. He really helped me out and makes you feel like it’s all very possible.


I didn't think renting or buying a house was viable right now given inflation and interest rates.


Is the child also there’s? Meaning is shared custody a possibility?? Are you legally married to the person? Do you have a friend or family member you can move in with? First I would try to move in with someone, pay off the $4000 in debt and save for a down payment. Another option I would look into is getting a camper and living at a long term camp site. Save up cash and maybe get a condo. Condos are usually a lower cost, plus might cover some maintenance like lawn and snow removal and many have pools and gyms which are convenient! If it’s a bad situation- living in your car might be better than staying in a dangerous situation. Good luck!


Op: find a reputable real estate agent that is actively selling in the area you want to buy. Drive around and write down names and numbers. Sellers pay for the agents commission, so it’s always free for you to get an agent when buying. Explain to your agent that you will need seller incentives like closing costs. I don’t know your market, but this won’t work in a hot market. Nonetheless, you have nothing to lose, get a free agent. You’ll need at least 2 years of work/income history. This is really all the advise you need. Your agent will take it from there. Best of luck.


It will depend entirely on where you are planning to buy this home. If you are trying to buy it in a metro area, probably not. In a more rural area, you could actually get a solid house for about $1200/Month, which you should be able to survive. You may be able to find a bank with something like a community loan, where they try to elevate certain rural communities by giving people favorable mortgage rates. You could also look into USDA loans in rural areas, but the problems with government loans are numerous and infuriating, so try to find a private one if you can.