How Can I Afford to Buy a House as a Single Person?

On this episode of the Money Confidential podcast, host Stefanie O’Connell Rodriguez turns to real estate expert and mortgage lender Nicole Rueth about how to navigate the home-buying process as a single person.

single buy house feature
Photo: Olivia Barr

Every Monday on the Money Confidential podcast, host Stefanie O'Connell Rodriguez, a nationally recognized money expert, delves into your (confidential) money problems and delivers smart, practical, and completely doable solutions that will help you work toward your ultimate financial goals. This is the place to come for real talk about money—and real solutions that actually work.

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On This Episode

Buying your first home is already a major money milestone—but having to do it on your own in an uncertain housing market can make it feel even more overwhelming. In this episode, host Stefanie O'Connell Rodriguez interviews real estate expert and mortgage lender Nicole Rueth about how to navigate the home-buying process as a single person—including the options and alternatives available to single buyers who fear being priced out of this hot housing market.

Meet Our Caller

"Dannie" is a 35-year-old listener from the greater Denver area. Currently single and living with her dog in an apartment, Dannie is looking into buying a home. Though she's made some momentum— recently meeting with a realtor—the fear of fully confronting the financial responsibility on her own has held Dannie back from continuing on in the home-buying process.


"I feel that, once I speak with the lender ... they're going to come back at me with something that's just going to seem so far out of reach."


Meet Host Stefanie O'Connell Rodriguez

Money confidential podcast - host, Stefanie O'Connell Rodriguez
Caroline White Photography

Stefanie is a nationally recognized personal finance expert ready to talk work, worth, and money with unapologetically ambitious women. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, and Oprah Magazine, and Stefanie has appeared on ABC World News, CBSN, Fox & Friends, Fox Business, Bloomberg, The Dr. Oz Show, The Doctors, and more to share her smart, practical solutions to any money problem.

Meet Our Expert, Nicole Rueth

nicole rueth
Nicole Rueth

Nicole Rueth is a real estate expert, mortgage lender, and producing branch manager at Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation. She received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Texas at Austin. She is one of the top 200 Mortgage Advisors in the country, as recognized by Mortgage Executive Magazine.

Advice From the Episode

Nicole Rueth

"In a competitive market, you have to have strategy. You can't just go in with the way of thinking that you did before ... because that world doesn't exist today. And it will come back, we will have more supply per demand—it's just going to take years."

—Nicole Rueth
  • It's never too early to talk to a lender. "A lot of people think, 'Well, I have to wait until this period, or until I get a job, or until I save up a certain amount of money,' ... I would say the right time to talk to a lender is the first time you think about buying a home. —Nicole
  • Take the time to really make sure you trust your lender before continuing to work with them. Ask yourself, "Is this somebody that I trust has my back?", "Are they taking care of me?", "Are they looking out for the best course of action or are they just quoting me the lowest rate?" —Nicole

Stefanie O'Connell Rodriquez

"In this hot housing market, it's already a challenge to aggressively outbid other buyers, but when you're doing it on your own, it's crucial to have the support of professionals like a real estate agent and a lender you know, like, and trust."

—Stefanie O'Connell Rodriquez
  • Separate your savings for your down payment. "It's much easier to build from a place of knowing and momentum than it is to build from a place of fear, uncertainty, and non-specificity." —Stefanie

Links and Resources

Download the transcript for this episode.

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