How to Afford a Home and Get Out of Debt

There’s no denying that times have changes. Interest rates are high and the price of homes are even high. Astronomically high if you want to live in a major city.

I’ve been a home owner for a few years now and as luck would have it I bought my house right before Covid at a very low price with a low interest rate. Since then my house has nearly doubled in value.

I thank the Lord every day for the blessing he gave me. It was only through sheer dumb luck that I found myself in this situation. At the time many people warned me to save up more money and wait a little longer. That was the responsible thing to do. I’m glad I didn’t listen to them.

But with the market the way it is and the environment I work in I can’t help but feel sympathy for those that haven’t had the luxury to get into the market before Covid flipped the world upside down.

I wanted to write this post for anyone fresh out of college or on their own to read for ideas to get a good start. I’m not expert in these matters but I’d at least like to toss some ideas out there. Some reasonable and some more ridiculous and abstract.

Resources to Leverage

  1. Family
  2. Remote work
  3. Church Community/Friends
  4. Patience

Move Back in With Your Parents

Ouch! Yea this sucks but honestly this is the most practical option. Hear me out.

If you are fresh out of college the allure of working at an entry level job in the big city for $60k a year is tempting. Many people have never made that much money in their life and it sounds so good on paper.

The issue is that $60k won’t get you very far in Arlington, TX where the average home might be $480k. It will get you even less in Arlington, VA where $800k will land you a shanty in the ghetto.

I am joking.. but only slightly.

Even if you were to take a full-time job at a lumber yard in the town your parents live in you’d net $30k-$40k a year. If you have parents that are nice enough to let you live with them a while without charging rent then all you need to do is behave yourself for a year and you can get 10% down on a house in the city.

Even better if you have remote work. Many remote jobs pay a lot. Especially for programmers and other professional positions. If you make $80k or $120k then you could have well over 20% down in the first year.

Do you have student loans? Credit card debt? This is the key to dealing with these scenarios as well. Focus on paying off your debt, then focus on getting a large down payment for a home. Paying these debts off quickly will go a long way toward getting ahead in life.

Get Roomates

If moving in with your parents is not an option it’s a great idea to work out a deal with brother(s) or sister(s) to split rent with them. The cheaper the place the better. Roomates work well too. Most towns have those cheap “college” apartments where you can split rent across 4 rooms for a unit. This works well enough. In the rural area I live now a 1 bedroom can cost $900/mo for something worse than mediocre. That price will run you $1700+ in a city. Splitting that 4 ways will save you a ton of money.

A Spouse is Also a Roomate

I often hear single people complain they cannot afford rent or a home on their own. I feel like they often overlook that our parents could afford a living because both parents often worked and shared a single living arrangement.

So if you are married and your spouse is patient try to find a cheap apartment or rent house for a while to save up for a down payment. It’s not as effective as free rent from parents or splitting rent 4 ways with roomates, but it’s definitely better than paying for everything on your own.


Now is where I get into the more extreme examples. I don’t mean homesteading in the traditional sense, but more so in the sense of building your home yourself.

This is a daunting task, but don’t worry, I think it’s best to start small.

The key would be remote work mostly. You will likely be living in a remote area to find affordable land. What I suggest is buying a plot of land in a rural area way out in the sticks. You should be able to find something like 2-5 acres for less than $70k.

Next you have two options. Option 1 is to start with a cheap used camper, option 2 is turning a shed into a tiny house. Something like the Tuffysheds that are sold at Home Depot or Lowes. On the extreme high end they can be purchased for $15k built for you. However if you are handy at all you can get them for $5k and put it all together yourself.

The camper is definitely the simplest solution but the shed has more potential. When it’s totally built you will at least have a place to sleep. You will still need water, electricity, and septic. All those things cost money.

When looking for a plot of land look for the availability of these resources. I’ve seen electric companies charge as much as $20k to run a wire to your house. You don’t want to be in that situation. So check the prices on running water, electricity, and septic before you commit.

After all of that is done you will want a heater and an a/c unit. You can get a propane tank and use a propane heater and a window unit for a/c. Simple enough.

Your shed will not have insulation or fixtures or furniture. Those things can be added over time as needed. Eventually you will end up with a tiny home.

Over time you can expand the shed, add another, or save up and build an actual house on your land.

In the end you will greatly multiply the value of the land you purchased many fold. It would be a lot of work, you likely will not get a female to walk on your property, but it doesn’t have to be forever! lol

Move to Another Country

I couldn’t decide if this is the most extreme or if the homesteading was. Hehe. Well the key here is remote work. If you can land a job at a US based company you can move to a country with a cheaper cost of living and save up for a long time.

A few examples I’d look at are Guatamala, El Salvador, and Thailand.

All three have a very low cost of living. Guatamala and El Salvador will be in similar timezones to the US. I believe Guatamala is in CST. The language is easy to learn and most people in the US know at least some Spanish already.

Guatamala is the only other country besides the US to have the right to bear firearms enshrined in its constitution so that is a plus. Guatamala is also a great mission field if you are Christian.

El Salvador recently took drastic measures (understatement of the century) to reduce it’s crime rate. Forget being the most dangerous country in the world 3 years ago. Today it is now one of the safest. Investment in the country is booming and the cost of dual citizenship is fairly low.

I know less about Thailand aside from several people telling me that it was a joy to live in. Many people commented on how low the cost of living was. For example the most luxurious meals might cost $10 and rent for a month in a top of the line apartment might be $85. A big downside to Thailand is literally how far away it is and how drastically different the timezone is. An 8am-5pm job in the US might be in the middle of the night there.


I often feel bad for those graduating college now, I get the impression that the zoomers are completely jaded with it all and no longer have hope for the future. I want to help them out if I can but all I can really do is provide advice for now.

I get it, no one wants to move back in with their parents. I had to do this for a while and it was terrible (and I was married when we had to move in).

I think the reality is the world our parents grew up in was an anomaly. It was a golden age of prosperity like the world has never seen. We forget that for most of human history very few people owned their homes. Most living arrangements consisted of grandparents, parents, kids, and sometimes grankids all sharing the same home. Things are not that bad (yet).

A family that I was friends with in college used to tell me that they had a motto that whatever crummy situation they found themselves in they’d say they could handle it for 1 year. Then they’d re-evalulate.

If all you had to do was spend 1 more year after college living with parents and that’s what it took to pay off your debt, it’s not that bad. You can deal with it. Time will pass faster than you think. If you did that for 4 years and paid off all your debt and got a 75% down payment on your home you’ll be glad you did it when your monthly payments on your house are $450/mo.

I hope this help!

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