Single, low-income and a mortgage holder?
It's no secret that I am a newly-single mother to four beautiful children aged 5, 8, 10 and 12. My ex-husband would tell you that we split custody evenly, but the truth of the matter is that I parent the kids about 80% of the time. You see, I am a waitress and I work evenings. It works well for my family because i can spend the days taking care of the kids and their myriad of needs. I can pick the kids up from their dad's house in the morning, while he goes to work, and then return them to him at the end of the work day. See? Win-win.
When I moved out on my own i was resigned to the fact that I would never own a house, I would never have any assets - I gave up all that potential when I stayed home with my children for 10 years. I had my children within a year of graduating from university and gave up starting a career in lieu of being a mom. When the time and necessity came for me to find employment my blank resume led me almost nowhere. Nowhere, until my friend offered me a working interview at a local fine dining establishment. The first few weeks were a little spotty, but soon my old skills from college waitressing days found their way back into my ten years of sleep deprivation riddled brain.
And? I loved it. I still love it. I love the theatre of dining. The people, the chefs, the kitchen nightmares - everything. I especially like walking out with a couple hundred dollars every night. In cold hard cash.
A couple days ago I stumbled on an MLS listing in my neighbourhood that was absolutely too good to be true. A little cottage style home one block from work, the village and the lake. And, under 300k. Unbelievable. I scheduled an appointment to see it and the minute my oldest daughter and I walked in the door i knew I had to have it. Within half an hour I was on the phone with a mortgage broker begging for some help. My answers to her questions went like this;
"Yes. I am a single mother."
"Four. Four kids. That's right four."
"Waitress. No, not manager or anything. You could put head waitress?"
"Minimum wage. Yup, eight dollars an hour."
"Tips? How much I put on my income tax return? Or the other number?"
"Nope, no debt. Oh wait, yeah a small loan. I consolidated all my debt!"
"Yes, I do get child support. Does that count as income? No, oh."
And it went on, and i wasn't hopeful. But strings were pulled, bells were rung and somewhere a fairy sprinkled magic dust on some lenders spreadsheet because Ding! Ding! Ding! I got a mortgage and I have an accepted offer and! If all goes well with the inspection we will move into our very own home on August 15th.