Single Mom Says The Biggest Mistake Of Her Life Was Becoming A ‘Home Borrower’ — ’My Mortgage Went Up $400 A Month In Just 3 Years’

"I feel stuck. I'm depressed. I feel lost."

Single mom stressed about finances MilanMarkovic78 / Shutterstock

While owning a home is the end goal for many, one single mom deeply regrets becoming a homeowner. 

The mom admitted that the biggest mistake of her life was becoming a 'home borrower.'

Content creator and mom Kiera Duncan explained that her 3-year anniversary of being a home borrower had recently passed, and the entire experience has been a nightmare. "I hate it," she admitted.

"When I 'borrowed' the house, I could afford it," Duncan explained. "When I borrowed this house, my homeowners' insurance was $1,323 a year. Today, three years later, my homeowners' insurance is $2,654 a year. That is a little over a $100 increase, which is added to my payment." 


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Duncan pointed out that some people argue that buying a home means your mortgage will be cheaper than your rent. However, in her case, that would only be true if she were to rent a 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom house.


But none of that matters because she's escrowed, meaning a neutral third party holds the funds before they are transferred from one party in a transaction to another. Essentially, the third party holds the funds until both buyer and seller have fulfilled their contractual requirements.

Duncan has to pay both principal and interest, her property taxes, and her homeowners' monthly insurance. When she initially signed up to "borrow" her home, she was expected to pay $1,800 a month, now she's closer to paying $2,200. And it's only going to increase as time passes. 

“I'm at a point where this is actually no different than renting," she lamented. "The only difference is that I don't have a landlord that I can call when my [expletive] toilet overflows or when the basement floods."

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A majority of Americans are in the same boat when it comes to struggling to pay for their home.

According to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the share of borrowers who are behind on their mortgages — defined as a homeowner being 90 days or more past due — stands at 3.88% of all loans outstanding. Similarly, a TransUnion report found that a total of 1.3% of all consumer-level mortgages in the U.S. were in serious delinquency (60 days past due) in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Duncan insisted she was aware of the costs and various expenses that would crop up when purchasing a home. "I had savings for that," she said. "I was fully aware of that, but everything is increasing, and I can't afford this house."

It's too much of a financial burden for her to balance paying for her house while also taking care of her children as a single mother and working full-time. Soon, Duncan admitted that she may have to go back to renting — something she doesn't want to do, as she has invested over $30,000 in upfront costs, not counting her mortgage. 

In a survey from Bankrate, around half of potential homebuyers say they can’t afford a down payment and closing costs on a property in the U.S. because they don’t make enough money and living costs are too high. So, unfortunately, Duncan is not alone in her grievances about being unable to afford a roof over her head


When potential homebuyers were asked why they couldn’t afford the upfront costs for a home, the reasons most commonly listed included not having a high enough income, the cost of living being too high, credit card debt, family/friends not being able to help, and student loan debt. 

There's something sinister about a country having active knowledge that a majority of its citizens are unable to afford housing and yet doing nothing to address the issues or change the system. It's equally frustrating that people like Duncan simply have to live with the way things are.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.