How Did You Afford This, Cat H.?

We’ve all seen it: a Facebook or Instagram photo of someone we know showing off a big purchase. Sometimes we’re happy for them, sometimes we’re resentful, but one thing is usually true — we don’t know the whole story. In “How Did You Afford This”, we ask readers to let us know how they were able to afford big purchases in their lives. In this installment of the series, we are starting with one of the biggest investments any of us will ever make: home ownership.


  • Location: ½ Urban & ½ Suburban in Denver, CO
  • Bedrooms: 3
  • Bathrooms: 2
  • Type of Residence: Single Residential
  • Down payment percentage of home cost: 10%

LW: How old were you when you bought/when did you buy?
CH: We closed on the home in 2011, and I was 25 and he was 26.

LW: If you have a domestic partner, are you both on the deed/loan?  If not, why? 
CH: Currently, I am the only one on the deed and loan.  Prior to that, I did have a partner, and we originally bought the home together with both of our names on the loan and deed.  But when we parted ways, I bought him out of his portion of the equity value (original investment and a portion of the increased value of the home) in 2016.

LW: Why did you decide to buy?
CH: At the time when we originally purchased the home, it was actually cheaper to buy with interest rates at an all time low, than renting.  We each had a dog and pet rent and deposits are expensive ya’ll.

LW: How long did you save until you started your home search and what percentage of the value of the home was your down payment? If you have a partner, did you split the down payment?
CH: Maybe 3 months of cleaning up our spending habits (debt to equity) to improve credit scores for loan pre-approval; I am a freak about enhancing my credit score.  I am also a “saver” by nature and had been saving a small nest egg since I became a “working adult” (22-ish).  He had an inheritance that we partially liquidated to help with the down payment, which was about 75% of the down payment.  I contributed about 25% of the down payment, and most of my savings was used for other start-up home costs (ya know, the stuff we forget adds up like moving costs, furniture, cleaning supplies, lawn mowers…).  Regrettably, I was also holding some of my savings to pay for our wedding.

LW: Did anyone else contribute to the down payment? If so, what percentage of the down payment?
CH: I guess you could say his inheritance was contributed by someone else, even though it was his?  That was about 75%.

LW: Is there anything else you want to share?
CH: He had more lump cash, but I had the more stable and consistent income to meet mortgage.  So while he put down more, I assumed more of the ongoing mortgage obligation and other costs.  The home value appreciated quite a bit from the time we bought the home and then got divorced.  That sucked to have to “buy him out” of his original investment AND the appreciated value, and I was cash poor for awhile after that, but it was worth it to now own the home completely by myself.  My new partner lives with me now, and it’s really nice that he splits all the costs with me (even though I don’t need that help, financially).


Did you enjoy figuring out how the fuck Cat afforded this? Find more stories in this series HERE.

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