Woman Explains How Buying A 'Cheap' House In North Carolina So She Could Live 'Below Her Means' Financially Ruined Her

She thought she bought her dream house but was shocked by the unexpected expenses that followed.

woman sitting on floor with coffee mug in hand surrounded by moving boxes Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock

A woman admitted that despite doing everything right before purchasing her first home, she ended up digging herself into quite a financial hole. 

In a TikTok video, a content creator named Samantha Barker has joined the millions of other Americans who are finding that buying and owning a home is a money pit. What was once a normal part of adulthood is quickly becoming an anomaly.

Barker explained how buying a 'cheap' house in North Carolina financially ruined her.

Barker explained that last summer, she bought her very first house, a ranch-style 1940s home in central North Carolina. The house was everything she wanted and more, but it would need a ton of work once she moved in. 


Despite the work, Barker had an idea of what she was getting into and was extremely prepared for it. She did everything right, including saving up her money, participating in a down-payment assistance program to have more money for renovations, and buying a cheap house just so she could live below her means and put more money into her home.



RELATED: Woman With $3.82 In Her Bank Account Finds A Way To Make Enough Money To Survive The Rest Of The Day


"Here's where things went wrong," she recalled. "First, the seller didn't disclose anything. Second, my inspector completely failed me." 

Upon purchasing the home, Barker discovered that 80% of it had dry rot and water damage that weren't mentioned. There was an entire bedroom in the house where every single joist was either termite-damaged or completely rotten.

A tree was growing in the foundation and reaching up toward the attic. The electrical in the house was faulty, and the entire home was pretty much a fire hazard. Instead of being able to put her money toward renovations, Barker has had to spend every penny making the house livable and insurable.

Barker had to take out 3 personal loans just to get things fixed.

"My HVAC and furnace completely went out the first week I moved in. I had to spend $25,000 to replace all the electrical ductwork. Cost another $15,000 for my foundation, and I took out a personal loan to handle the water damage," Barker continued.


woman frustrated with home repairs Anastasia Collection / Canva Pro

RELATED: Finance Expert Explains 4 Reasons Why Some People Are Able To Afford 'Extra Stuff' But You Can't — & Why You Should Stop Comparing Yourself To Them

Unfortunately, houses require more money than people realize. They're money pits, and unlike renting an apartment where the landlord typically covers maintenance costs, homeowners are supposed to bear the full financial responsibility for repairs and upkeep. 


This reality means that homeowners have to save and budget for the initial purchase of a house, as well as the funds needed for maintenance and unexpected expenses.

Either way, Barker had no idea that she would need to shell out thousands of dollars in the first place. If she'd known that, she would've definitely reconsidered purchasing the house. 

Instead, she ended up getting bamboozled into a house that she originally thought was going to be her dream. She went from being financially sound to being eaten alive by crippling debt.

Most Americans have admitted to not even being able to afford the down payment on a house.

According to Zillow's 2023 Consumer Housing Trends Report via Business Insider, the median prospective homebuyer has only $29,000 in savings, checking, investments, and retirement accounts, which amounts to only 8% of the typical cost of a home.


Of the quarter of Americans who are looking to purchase a home in the next year, only 37% told Zillow that they currently had enough saved up for a down payment. Similarly, in a Bankrate survey of 864 U.S. adults, when asked when they might be able to afford a down payment, 20% of respondents said "never." Another 30% said it would take more than five years to save up enough money to afford a down payment.

It's becoming increasingly evident that for many Americans, the dream of homeownership is slipping further out of reach due to financial constraints. For people like Barker, who thought they'd worked around the increased prices in homes, the optimism of finding a "cheap" home often comes with stipulations, and what may have turned out to be a smart decision could turn into a burden with the drop of a hat.

RELATED: A Woman Who Labels Herself As ‘Old Poor’ Welcomes ‘New Poor’ People To The Club & Offers Some Brilliant Advice


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