Trader logo

A Broke Man’s Guide to Buying a House

No millions? No worries! Get ready to finesse the housing game with these expert hacks.

By Nathan ChenPublished 4 months ago 6 min read
A Broke Man’s Guide to Buying a House
Photo by Evelyn Paris on Unsplash

Once upon a time, in a world plagued by student loans and sky-high rent, the idea of owning a house felt like a pipe dream for the broke and financially-challenged among us. But fear not, dear reader, because we’re about to expose the secrets to winning the real estate game without a Kardashian-sized bank account. Get ready to channel your inner Joanne the Scammer and learn how to finesse your way to homeownership with this Guide for Broke Person to Buy A House.

Harness the power of first-time homebuyer programs

Let’s face it, we’re all broke in one way or another. But don’t let that stop you from joining the ranks of homeowners like Jay-Z and Beyonce, who probably have a home on every continent. For us mere mortals, a good starting point is taking advantage of first-time homebuyer programs.

In the words of our forever-favorite TV character, Barney Stinson, “Challenge Accepted!” While you may not be as smooth as the legendary Stinson, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has your back. They offer low down payment options (3.5% of the purchase price) and relaxed credit score requirements to help you get your foot in the door. Look into local and state-level programs too, as they often have grants and other incentives to help you with your down payment or closing costs.

Befriend the fixer-upper

If there’s one thing you can learn from Chip and Joanna Gaines, it’s that turning a fixer-upper into a dream home is a possibility even for the brokest of the broke. By opting for a house that needs some TLC, you can snag a lower price and customize it to your liking. It’s like playing The Sims in real life, minus the cheat codes.

One thing to keep in mind is that you’ll need to budget for renovations. And since we’re all about that #BrokeLife, consider applying for a renovation loan, like the FHA 203(k), which bundles the cost of the home and the renovations into a single mortgage.

Be a master negotiator

Negotiating is an art form, and if you can master it, you’re one step closer to joining the ranks of expert hustlers like Vito Corleone from The Godfather. Remember that scene when he says, “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse”? That’s the energy you want to bring to the negotiating table.

To get the best deal, make sure you do your research on comparable homes in the area and be prepared to make counteroffers. Having a great real estate agent by your side can help you strategize and secure the best price for your dream home. Just don’t go full Don Corleone on your seller – save the horse head for Halloween.

By Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Location, location, location (or the art of compromise)

We all want a penthouse in Manhattan or a Malibu beach house, but when you’re ballin’ on a budget, you’ve got to be realistic. Instead of vying for a home in the hottest neighborhood, consider looking at up-and-coming areas where prices are more affordable. A little compromise can go a long way, and who knows, you might end up discovering the next Williamsburg or Silver Lake.

Remember that episode of Friends when Ross moves to a sketchy area for a cheap apartment? We’re not suggesting you go that extreme, but sometimes venturing out of your comfort zone can pay off in the long run. And hey, you’ll have some interesting stories to tell at dinner parties.

Save like a pro

Sure, we all want to live that champagne lifestyle, but when you’re broke, you’ve got to embrace the cheap beer mentality. Cut back on unnecessary expenses and create a strict budget to save for that down payment. It’s time to channel your inner Marie Kondo and declutter your finances.

Think about it this way – would you rather have that daily $5 latte or be sipping coffee in your own home? Prioritize your expenses, find creative ways to save, and say goodbye to those costly habits (we’re looking at you, online shopping addiction).

By micheile henderson on Unsplash

Don’t go it alone

No one said you have to buy a house solo like a modern-day Bridget Jones. Consider partnering up with a friend, sibling, or significant other to split the costs and responsibilities. Just make sure you have a solid agreement in place to avoid any “Kramer vs. Kramer” scenarios down the line.

Explore alternative financing options

Traditional mortgages are so 20th century, and we’re all about shaking things up. Look into alternative financing options like seller financing, crowdfunding, or even rent-to-own arrangements. These unconventional methods might be the answer to your broke prayers and help you secure that dream home.

Just like how Veronica Mars crowdfunded a movie, you can turn to platforms like Feather the Nest or HomeFundIt to raise funds for your down payment. We’re not saying you’ll become as famous as Kristen Bell, but it’s worth a shot!

Get pre-approved for a mortgage

Before you start your house hunting adventure, get pre-approved for a mortgage. Not only does this show sellers that you’re serious about buying a home, but it also gives you an idea of what you can afford. Plus, you’ll have the upper hand in negotiations when you can prove you’re ready to make a move.

In the immortal words of Scar from The Lion King, “be prepared!” Having a mortgage pre-approval in your arsenal will make you feel like you’re playing with house money – literally.

Be patient and ready to pounce

When it comes to buying a house on a budget, patience is key. Keep an eye on the market and wait for the right opportunity to come along. It’s like stalking that pair of designer shoes you’ve been eyeing, waiting for them to go on sale.

Stay updated on new listings and be prepared to act quickly when you find the perfect fit. Just like how you snagged those concert tickets before they sold out, be ready to make your move when your dream home comes within reach.

Leverage technology to your advantage

In this digital age, you’ve got the world at your fingertips, so why not use it to your advantage? There are countless apps, websites, and online resources to help you find your dream home, compare mortgage rates, and stay on top of market trends.

Channel your inner tech-savvy house hunter and make sites like Zillow, Trulia, and Redfin your new best friends. It’s like online dating, but instead of swiping right on potential partners, you’re swiping on potential homes. And who knows, you might just find your perfect match.

Owning a house is like the real-life version of the game Monopoly – it’s a challenge, but with the right strategies and mindset, you can pass “Go” and collect your dream home. So put on your best hustler hat, follow this guide, and soon you’ll be channeling your inner DJ Khaled and proclaiming, “I got the keys, keys, keys!”

investingpersonal financeeconomyadvice

About the Creator

Nathan Chen

I'm Nathan Chen, a queer Asian writer advocating for LGBTQ+ issues, Asian representation, millennial lifestyle, work life & mental health. Let's explore life's complexities together!

Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

Top insights

  1. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  2. Expert insights and opinions

    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

  3. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

Add your insights

Comments (1)

Sign in to comment
  • Lisa Herdman4 months ago

    These are great insights! Very well written, thank you for this.

Find us on social media

Miscellaneous links

  • Explore
  • Contact
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Support

© 2023 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.