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Q. What were your expectations about the homebuying process before you started shopping?

A. Everyone made it sound super simple. You just go buy a house. No one tells you about all the pieces that have to come together in order to make it happen.

Q. Did anything surprise you once you started shopping?

A. Yes. You need to plan ahead and prepare for this. It’s not something you just decide to do one day. Maybe for some people you can do that, but they might have co-signers, inheritance or other things making it possible to do that. The average person, especially self-employed and single, needs to plan ahead.

Q. What’s different about your financial scenario that makes it harder for you to get a mortgage?

A. Because I work for myself, it’s not as easy to prove income or to forecast it. Also, I had a lot of debt from my business on my personal credit, so that was a problem. I had to focus on cleaning that up and preparing my taxes a certain way to qualify for a mortgage, even though I earned enough money already. It’s sort of a numbers game and you have to know how to play it.

Q. What advice do you have for other self-employed homebuyers?

A. Find the right people who will help you. Know that you will have to take some steps to make this happen, but you can do it as long as you stay committed and clear on your goals. And remember you’re a worthy buyer.