Buying A Home

I Bought a House When I Was 22. Here’s How.

Beth Trach
Written by Beth Trach

It didn’t take long to realize that I wasn’t cut out for apartment living. I’m an introvert at heart, so being surrounded by neighbors on two sides, plus above and below, was a lot. The couple whose apartment abutted our bedroom wall fought nonstop, while the family upstairs had two rambunctious girls who would practice their gymnastics moves in the living room.

It was loud.

But the last straw was a “house” party in the apartment below ours that spilled out into the hallway and up the stairs into our hallway. When they rolled their eyes at my polite request to keep it down a little, I knew I was done.

I thought it would take me years to save up for a house of my own, but I was out of that apartment and into a house of my own after only eight months on that first — only — lease. Here’s how I did it.

My Background

Before diving into tips, there are a few things you should know about me. First, things happened fast for me the year I bought that house. I graduated college a few days after my twenty-second birthday, and I was about six weeks later. By the end of the summer I had moved several states away (to the less-than-thrilling apartment I would grow to hate) and started my first full-time teaching job.

I made $23,000 per year. My husband, an artist, made far less.

I had about $25,000 in student loan debt, which came to $234.42 a month (a number permanently seared into my memory). My husband, who wisely attended a state school, had no student loans. We both owned our beater cars outright as well, and carried no credit card debt.

About the author

Beth Trach

Beth Trach

Elizabeth Trach is a writer and editor living in Newburyport, MA. She also sings in a band, grows almost all her own food, and occasionally even cooks it. You can catch up on all her adventures in frugal living and extreme gardening at Port Potager.


  • Great job! Rent is throwing away money. You guys were smart to start your investment early. I wish I was as smart in your age group.

  • If you can’t live in a home without having to cut corners that way, you probably should have waited and just moved to a higher class rental community. Homeowners typically wind up borrowing against their line of equity, or refinancing later, either of which still leaves them out of the loop of true home ownership.

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