Post Reply Buying a house on your own
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Posted 1/3/17 , edited 1/3/17
So here's my story, I'm 25 (almost 26) and live in an upper middle class area with high rent, not California or New York bad, but still pretty steep (like $1,500/mo min for a place in a safe neighborhood that isn't run down). I'm currently fighting through grad school part time and will be out by Spring of 2019 and debt free.
So it got me thinking, would you ever consider going it alone in buying a house on your own? Now I'm not even considering this for the next few years, but I do know a few people who have done so. I also live near a decent sized university city and could easily rent out rooms and need be, and also have younger brothers who would be interested in doing so. I like living close to my family so relocating far is not something I want to do except as a last resort. What would be the pros and cons and going through with something like this.

The idea never really crossed my mind until recently since I always associated homes with married people or couples, but since singles in my area have begun doing the same since rent is crazy around here, I'd figure it would be interesting to hear the CR community's take on the issue.
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Posted 1/3/17
I bought my first house at age 25 was 650sqft cost 150,000 in 95. I live in super high housing market Bay Area. I am a General Contractor by trade so stayed by myself for 7 years then got married so added second story and increased sgft to 1500 my last refi the comps came in at 725-750,000. Get in while you can and think of it as long term investment. I took a second on the house and also own a tri-plex in same area will probably sell when son wants to go to college. It always seems like the wrong time or to expensive but if you got enough for a down payment jump in.
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The thing about buying a house is, you are taking your money out of one pocket, and putting it the other over time. As long as the market goes up, you will be making money. Buy low, sell high. But you also have to realize that this will take 20 to 30 years.

If you plan to move a lot in that time, because of your job, then buying and selling is going to get old.
26 year olds have this glamorous idea that you will be able to throw parties, and invite people over, etc, etc...

Before you buy, make sure you have the capitol to put down. Banks are asking for a third of the asking price of late, and that can be a chunk of change. There is also the condo option. They buy and sell like houses, and come with pool and yard maintenance, so you don't have to worry about that.

But, However you work it, realize it is like getting married. You are literally married to the property, the upkeep, the pest control, the care and feeding, and burping of that house.

And keep things simple in case you have to move. People make the mistake of trying to fill up a house right away with furniture and "stuff".
When I bought my house, I slept on the floor and had those flimsy lawn chairs to sit on in the living room for months.
I was not out to impress anyone, I had a "house" for crying out loud!

You will have plenty of time to fill it up with furniture, books, an animal, a spouse, kids, memories...
But get a vacuum first, because you will be filling up the house with dirt, even after you take your shoes off...

Everything your parents had in their home was collected over years, and every piece tells a story. They did not have the luxury to call an interior decorator to go over the house and decorate, so they could move in. They had chairs and tables that didn't match and plates that their aunt gave them at first too. so don't feel like you have to go out and buy that $1400.00 couch to put in your house right away...unless your are going to sleep on it, eat on it and read on it.

Just take your time, because you are now home...and that is the luxury of knowing that your landlord is not going to be snooping around. It is yours...

Good luck!
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Posted 1/4/17
Most of the friends I know for grad school just rent an apartment with someone else to share the rent. For me, here in Taiwan, houses are expensive. I want my own 3D printed moveable egg house with Neon sign completes with public bath and restroom and restaurants. But this is only temporary, as population increase soon there with be skyscraper and skyscraper bridge, which isn't moveable but you might be able to swap your rooms like a hotel.
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Posted 1/4/17 , edited 1/4/17
you probably know the pros and cons of renting vs buying ?


if you are certain on buying.. then

go down the list of preparing for a purchase

i would recommend taking one of those home buying classes or get a book from nolo



also if you are a first time home buyer.. then you can also looking up for various federal programs that will provide assistance for 1st time home buyer

i started my full time job a couple of years ago.. and 2 years later i bought my very first house. using federal programs and my own saving i put down 40%.. so don't have to pay mortgage insurance..


2011 was the best year to buy a house.. since the price was rock bottom.. but now it's going up..

it will be a long time for another bubble burst.. so if you can afford than find a place to buy .. if you don't move around a lot..

at least with the mortgage.. your monthly payment can still go up but not a lot.. since the interest is fixed for the life of the loan..

but the thing that will change are the escrow and house insurance..

if you put down 20% or more you don't have to pay mortgage insurance.. but you still have to pay hazard insurance (unless you paid off the house in full) if using loans. .you have to pay insurance

so when the house price went up= property tax went up+ insurance went up = higher mortgage payment each year

i have this house for about 3+ years now

and the first year

XX78/month for the 1st year
XX84/month for the 2nd year
XX96/month for the 3 year
X116/month for the 4th year

so for those who claimed that buying a house means your monthly payment will not go up ?.. . those types don't know what they are doing.. and often time they are the ones who like to brag about their house prices are going up!!..

honestly.. unless you are planning to sell.. house price going up is a bad thing.. since property tax will go up, insurance will go up. hoa fee might go up.. thus your monthly mortgage payment will also go up..

the increase is not a lot like rent.. but mortgage payment does go up every year..

house price is the reason why rent is going up each year....

Silicon Valley.. the costs of living there are so expensive to the point where people who were born there have to move.. since the property tax alone is cut throat.. so house value going up is not really a good thing.. unless you are selling.. if you are staying you still just paying more and move each year..

putting any extra money you have toward the principal is also ideal.. sure you might not see any change to your monthly mortgage.. but you are cutting months or years of your loans and reduce the interests over the term of the loan!

this is why i don't have any left over each month .. since i put the rest down toward principal..

i'm 3+ years in.. but from the loan amount left.. i chopped off about 10 years in 3 years period..

hope to finish this 30 year loan in another 4-5 years..
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Posted 1/4/17 , edited 1/4/17

Bankshot wrote:

The thing about buying a house is, you are taking your money out of one pocket, and putting it the other over time. As long as the market goes up, you will be making money. Buy low, sell high. But you also have to realize that this will take 20 to 30 years.

If you plan to move a lot in that time, because of your job, then buying and selling is going to get old.
26 year olds have this glamorous idea that you will be able to throw parties, and invite people over, etc, etc...

Before you buy, make sure you have the capitol to put down. Banks are asking for a third of the asking price of late, and that can be a chunk of change. There is also the condo option. They buy and sell like houses, and come with pool and yard maintenance, so you don't have to worry about that.

But, However you work it, realize it is like getting married. You are literally married to the property, the upkeep, the pest control, the care and feeding, and burping of that house.

And keep things simple in case you have to move. People make the mistake of trying to fill up a house right away with furniture and "stuff".
When I bought my house, I slept on the floor and had those flimsy lawn chairs to sit on in the living room for months.
I was not out to impress anyone, I had a "house" for crying out loud!

You will have plenty of time to fill it up with furniture, books, an animal, a spouse, kids, memories...
But get a vacuum first, because you will be filling up the house with dirt, even after you take your shoes off...

Everything your parents had in their home was collected over years, and every piece tells a story. They did not have the luxury to call an interior decorator to go over the house and decorate, so they could move in. They had chairs and tables that didn't match and plates that their aunt gave them at first too. so don't feel like you have to go out and buy that $1400.00 couch to put in your house right away...unless your are going to sleep on it, eat on it and read on it.

Just take your time, because you are now home...and that is the luxury of knowing that your landlord is not going to be snooping around. It is yours...

Good luck!


Problem with Condos is I hear they are a pain in the rear to resale, that and if I'm going to pay a lot of money I'd rather get a smaller place with the added privacy and freedom of what I can do with the house in terms of renovations and whatnot.

1/3?! No way I could afford that, I mean I could probably put 20% down if I continue living like a cheapwad for another 4 years, not saying I have a problem with that though

Thanks for the advice, I'll keep this in mind


AnimeAddictANN69 wrote:

you probably know the pros and cons of renting vs buying ?


if you are certain on buying.. then

go down the list of preparing for a purchase

i would recommend taking one of those home buying classes or get a book from nolo



also if you are a first time home buyer.. then you can also looking up for various federal programs that will provide assistance for 1st time home buyer

i started my full time job a couple of years ago.. and 2 years later i bought my very first house. using federal programs and my own saving i put down 40%.. so don't have to pay mortgage insurance..


2011 was the best year to buy a house.. since the price was rock bottom.. but now it's going up..

it will be a long time for another bubble burst.. so if you can afford than find a place to buy .. if you don't move around a lot..

at least with the mortgage.. your monthly payment can still go up but not a lot.. since the interest is fixed for the life of the loan..

but the thing that will change are the escrow and house insurance..

if you put down 20% or more you don't have to pay mortgage insurance.. but you still have to pay hazard insurance (unless you paid off the house in full) if using loans. .you have to pay insurance

so when the house price went up= property tax went up+ insurance went up = higher mortgage payment each year

i have this house for about 3+ years now

and the first year

XX78/month for the 1st year
XX84/month for the 2nd year
XX96/month for the 3 year
X116/month for the 4th year

so for those who claimed that buying a house means your monthly payment will not go up ?.. . those types don't know what they are doing.. and often time they are the ones who like to brag about their house prices are going up!!..

honestly.. unless you are planning to sell.. house price going up is a bad thing.. since property tax will go up, insurance will go up. hoa fee might go up.. thus your monthly mortgage payment will also go up..

the increase is not a lot like rent.. but mortgage payment does go up every year..

house price is the reason why rent is going up each year....

Silicon Valley.. the costs of living there are so expensive to the point where people who were born there have to move.. since the property tax alone is cut throat.. so house value going up is not really a good thing.. unless you are selling.. if you are staying you still just paying more and move each year..

putting any extra money you have toward the principal is also ideal.. sure you might not see any change to your monthly mortgage.. but you are cutting months or years of your loans and reduce the interests over the term of the loan!

this is why i don't have any left over each month .. since i put the rest down toward principal..

i'm 3+ years in.. but from the loan amount left.. i chopped off about 10 years in 3 years period..

hope to finish this 30 year loan in another 4-5 years..


Yeah, I know about PMI and whatnot, although right now the housing market in my area is somewhat depressed, average house was going for $300,000-$400,000 before the crash, now can get the same house for around $180,000-$230,000 and I highly doubt prices will go lower considering the surrounding suburbs around here are not exactly the safest places to live and prices have not budged for the past 2-3 years. Property tax somewhat bad, but has been quite stable as a %, but yes if house prices double so does property tax if mill rate goes unchanged, good point. True, if you can pay it off sooner its better, I'm pretty frugal with most expenses, have little debt, and have excellent credit so it might be quite doable. I'll definitely look into a course or a book for homebuying 101 so I can have a better idea of the process and other things to consider.


scoobydew wrote:

I bought my first house at age 25 was 650sqft cost 150,000 in 95. I live in super high housing market Bay Area. I am a General Contractor by trade so stayed by myself for 7 years then got married so added second story and increased sgft to 1500 my last refi the comps came in at 725-750,000. Get in while you can and think of it as long term investment. I took a second on the house and also own a tri-plex in same area will probably sell when son wants to go to college. It always seems like the wrong time or to expensive but if you got enough for a down payment jump in.


Yeah, I get what you are saying, but I doubt housing prices will go up like that where I am (south western CT), the area is somewhat economically depressed at the moment due to a completely incompetent state government taxing people and businesses to the point of leaving. That being said, building equity is always a plus, especially with the market basically at its lowest point. Thanks for the advice.
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Posted 1/4/17

kevz_210 wrote:


Bankshot wrote:

The thing about buying a house is, you are taking your money out of one pocket, and putting it the other over time. As long as the market goes up, you will be making money. Buy low, sell high. But you also have to realize that this will take 20 to 30 years.

If you plan to move a lot in that time, because of your job, then buying and selling is going to get old.
26 year olds have this glamorous idea that you will be able to throw parties, and invite people over, etc, etc...

Before you buy, make sure you have the capitol to put down. Banks are asking for a third of the asking price of late, and that can be a chunk of change. There is also the condo option. They buy and sell like houses, and come with pool and yard maintenance, so you don't have to worry about that.

But, However you work it, realize it is like getting married. You are literally married to the property, the upkeep, the pest control, the care and feeding, and burping of that house.

And keep things simple in case you have to move. People make the mistake of trying to fill up a house right away with furniture and "stuff".
When I bought my house, I slept on the floor and had those flimsy lawn chairs to sit on in the living room for months.
I was not out to impress anyone, I had a "house" for crying out loud!

You will have plenty of time to fill it up with furniture, books, an animal, a spouse, kids, memories...
But get a vacuum first, because you will be filling up the house with dirt, even after you take your shoes off...

Everything your parents had in their home was collected over years, and every piece tells a story. They did not have the luxury to call an interior decorator to go over the house and decorate, so they could move in. They had chairs and tables that didn't match and plates that their aunt gave them at first too. so don't feel like you have to go out and buy that $1400.00 couch to put in your house right away...unless your are going to sleep on it, eat on it and read on it.

Just take your time, because you are now home...and that is the luxury of knowing that your landlord is not going to be snooping around. It is yours...

Good luck!


Problem with Condos is I hear they are a pain in the rear to resale, that and if I'm going to pay a lot of money I'd rather get a smaller place with the added privacy and freedom of what I can do with the house in terms of renovations and whatnot.

1/3?! No way I could afford that, I mean I could probably put 20% down if I continue living like a cheapwad for another 4 years, not saying I have a problem with that though

Thanks for the advice, I'll keep this in mind



Check surrounding neighborhoods also we have a city that offers half the down or 15,000 but you sign agreement not to move in 7 years. They are trying to attract younger buyers to revitalize the town. Do research to find the deal that suits you. I put 10% down and had to pay property mortgage insurance 100.00 a month for 3 years to protect bank from default for first time buyer program
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Posted 1/4/17 , edited 1/4/17

scoobydew wrote:


kevz_210 wrote:


Bankshot wrote:

The thing about buying a house is, you are taking your money out of one pocket, and putting it the other over time. As long as the market goes up, you will be making money. Buy low, sell high. But you also have to realize that this will take 20 to 30 years.

If you plan to move a lot in that time, because of your job, then buying and selling is going to get old.
26 year olds have this glamorous idea that you will be able to throw parties, and invite people over, etc, etc...

Before you buy, make sure you have the capitol to put down. Banks are asking for a third of the asking price of late, and that can be a chunk of change. There is also the condo option. They buy and sell like houses, and come with pool and yard maintenance, so you don't have to worry about that.

But, However you work it, realize it is like getting married. You are literally married to the property, the upkeep, the pest control, the care and feeding, and burping of that house.

And keep things simple in case you have to move. People make the mistake of trying to fill up a house right away with furniture and "stuff".
When I bought my house, I slept on the floor and had those flimsy lawn chairs to sit on in the living room for months.
I was not out to impress anyone, I had a "house" for crying out loud!

You will have plenty of time to fill it up with furniture, books, an animal, a spouse, kids, memories...
But get a vacuum first, because you will be filling up the house with dirt, even after you take your shoes off...

Everything your parents had in their home was collected over years, and every piece tells a story. They did not have the luxury to call an interior decorator to go over the house and decorate, so they could move in. They had chairs and tables that didn't match and plates that their aunt gave them at first too. so don't feel like you have to go out and buy that $1400.00 couch to put in your house right away...unless your are going to sleep on it, eat on it and read on it.

Just take your time, because you are now home...and that is the luxury of knowing that your landlord is not going to be snooping around. It is yours...

Good luck!


Problem with Condos is I hear they are a pain in the rear to resale, that and if I'm going to pay a lot of money I'd rather get a smaller place with the added privacy and freedom of what I can do with the house in terms of renovations and whatnot.

1/3?! No way I could afford that, I mean I could probably put 20% down if I continue living like a cheapwad for another 4 years, not saying I have a problem with that though

Thanks for the advice, I'll keep this in mind



Check surrounding neighborhoods also we have a city that offers half the down or 15,000 but you sign agreement not to move in 7 years. They are trying to attract younger buyers to revitalize the town. Do research to find the deal that suits you. I put 10% down and had to pay property mortgage insurance 100.00 a month for 3 years to protect bank from default for first time buyer program


I've heard about such deals, although relocated is not something I am currently considering since I like my job.

Alright will do.


fredreload wrote:

Most of the friends I know for grad school just rent an apartment with someone else to share the rent. For me, here in Taiwan, houses are expensive. I want my own 3D printed moveable egg house with Neon sign completes with public bath and restroom and restaurants. But this is only temporary, as population increase soon there with be skyscraper and skyscraper bridge, which isn't moveable but you might be able to swap your rooms like a hotel.


Quite the different market. Sounds like an interesting solution to help deal with the housing shortage.
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Posted 1/4/17 , edited 1/4/17

Problem with Condos is I hear they are a pain in the rear to resale, that and if I'm going to pay a lot of money I'd rather get a smaller place with the added privacy and freedom of what I can do with the house in terms of renovations and whatnot.

1/3?! No way I could afford that, I mean I could probably put 20% down if I continue living like a cheapwad for another 4 years, not saying I have a problem with that though

Thanks for the advice, I'll keep this in mind


I keep forgetting that different parts of the country have different expectations than others.

And the reason people move out of a city is expense, and that's why they move way out and commute in.

I worked with a guy once that had a two hour commute each way everyday. He drove an hour to meet the vanpool, then the vanpool took another hour to get to work. Talk about extremes, but he had a gorgeous house in the mountains and some land. So everything is a trade off.

Location is everything, take Detroit for example, they are practically throwing houses at people, you just have to put up with the crime, roving gangs, drugs, thieves, rapists...other than that, look like decent neighborhoods, but if you call the cops, they can take 30 mins to respond or more.

So everything is relative. You are starting to think about it early, which is good. That is better than most people, so you are already ahead.
Just remember these three words, "location, location, location..."

If a house is cheap and seems like a steal, there is a reason, sometimes hidden reason, like it is situated in the 9th ward in louisiana, where the levee holding back the sea water is the same height as your house.

Never buy a house next to the following: Railroad tracks, industry, in a flood prone area, not on a land fill ("Love canal"...look it up), has lead in the pipes and in the water, has a termite problem, on a fault line, in tornado ally, below a dam, power lines overhead (and they do build houses under power lines), next to a levee, a freeway, highway, toll road, next to a fire station, police station, or donut stop or restaurant (because you will never cook, and gain weight).

Location, location, location....next to schools, or a hospital, or stores, all are a plus. It's a balancing act.

And one last thing, take a look at this website: Zillow.com
It is used by real estate agents to look at the available market. Once you start using it, you will be hooked, because all of the sudden you will think that you now have become a kung fu master of the real estate realm. Use it wisely my son...or it will eat you and force you think in other unnatural ways and become jaded....no, not really.

And there used to be Real Estate clubs, where people would get together and look at the real estate market, but I think that was more geared to people that were flipping houses.

And that's another thing, you might come across a diamond in the rough, a fixer upper, where a little sweat equity on your part can bring a bad house back up to market level excellence and a sense of accomplishment. Just be sure to turn the power off before fooling with any electrical wires...

But, be sure to play with that zillow thing, it's an eye opener, and will save you a lot of time!

Your Welcome...
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Posted 1/12/17
I had considered... well, I actually tried to buy a house when I was 22--a fairly new 2 bedroom with a garage that had a $32,000 asking price (it sold for $25,000 in the end.) I had the express intentions of renting it out and letting the property pay for itself over a 10 year period. I had a 15% down payment and steady income, but no one would give me the loan without a cosigner, and the only people who could cosign either had no credit, no income, or too much debt burden.

Ultimately, I've decided I'll just build, eventually. Save for the utilities connections, I have the diversified skillsets to build a house from the paper up on my own and save 2/3 the cost of a contracted structure.
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Posted 1/17/17 , edited 1/17/17

PandAndy wrote:

I had considered... well, I actually tried to buy a house when I was 22--a fairly new 2 bedroom with a garage that had a $32,000 asking price (it sold for $25,000 in the end.) I had the express intentions of renting it out and letting the property pay for itself over a 10 year period. I had a 15% down payment and steady income, but no one would give me the loan without a cosigner, and the only people who could cosign either had no credit, no income, or too much debt burden.

Ultimately, I've decided I'll just build, eventually. Save for the utilities connections, I have the diversified skillsets to build a house from the paper up on my own and save 2/3 the cost of a contracted structure.


Yeah, if I run into a wall with needing a cosigner I couldn't get one either. Sounds like a pretty cool strategy, nice to be decent with hands on construction skills. Not really an option where I live however, and housing up here is crazy expensive, not too many undeveloped lots one could buy anyway. I figure I'll save up until I'm 30, see if I can get approved anywhere and if not finally give up and relocate somewhere cheaper, but trying to keep that as a last resort.
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Posted 1/17/17

kevz_210 wrote:


PandAndy wrote:

I had considered... well, I actually tried to buy a house when I was 22--a fairly new 2 bedroom with a garage that had a $32,000 asking price (it sold for $25,000 in the end.) I had the express intentions of renting it out and letting the property pay for itself over a 10 year period. I had a 15% down payment and steady income, but no one would give me the loan without a cosigner, and the only people who could cosign either had no credit, no income, or too much debt burden.

Ultimately, I've decided I'll just build, eventually. Save for the utilities connections, I have the diversified skillsets to build a house from the paper up on my own and save 2/3 the cost of a contracted structure.


Yeah, if I run into a wall with needing a cosigner I couldn't get one either. Sounds like a pretty cool strategy, nice to be decent with hands on construction skills. Not really an option where I live however, and housing up here is crazy expensive, not too many undeveloped lots one could buy anyway. I figure I'll save up until I'm 30, see if I can get approved anywhere and if not finally give up and relocate somewhere cheaper, but trying to keep that as a last resort.


There isn't really all that much undeveloped land for sale in Kansas, either (which is quite the paradox in itself.) There is a lot of land--a lot of unused land, not purposed for grazing cattle or farming--but it is all generations old homesteads that the owners will neither let go of or do anything with. People are just stubbornly attached to their dirt . There's about 3/4 an acre behind where I live now that hasn't had a house on it for about 60 years, the owner died about 20 years ago, and none of the inheritors (who are also dying off one-by-one) even live in the state... but despite the number of times I have contacted them, they won't sell.
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Posted 1/17/17

PandAndy wrote:


kevz_210 wrote:


PandAndy wrote:

I had considered... well, I actually tried to buy a house when I was 22--a fairly new 2 bedroom with a garage that had a $32,000 asking price (it sold for $25,000 in the end.) I had the express intentions of renting it out and letting the property pay for itself over a 10 year period. I had a 15% down payment and steady income, but no one would give me the loan without a cosigner, and the only people who could cosign either had no credit, no income, or too much debt burden.

Ultimately, I've decided I'll just build, eventually. Save for the utilities connections, I have the diversified skillsets to build a house from the paper up on my own and save 2/3 the cost of a contracted structure.


Yeah, if I run into a wall with needing a cosigner I couldn't get one either. Sounds like a pretty cool strategy, nice to be decent with hands on construction skills. Not really an option where I live however, and housing up here is crazy expensive, not too many undeveloped lots one could buy anyway. I figure I'll save up until I'm 30, see if I can get approved anywhere and if not finally give up and relocate somewhere cheaper, but trying to keep that as a last resort.


There isn't really all that much undeveloped land for sale in Kansas, either (which is quite the paradox in itself.) There is a lot of land--a lot of unused land, not purposed for grazing cattle or farming--but it is all generations old homesteads that the owners will neither let go of or do anything with. People are just stubbornly attached to their dirt . There's about 3/4 an acre behind where I live now that hasn't had a house on it for about 60 years, the owner died about 20 years ago, and none of the inheritors (who are also dying off one-by-one) even live in the state... but despite the number of times I have contacted them, they won't sell.


Yeah, figured Kansas of all places would have some, interesting.
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