Gone are the days of single women living at home until marriage allowed them to move out into the world.
Single women are now the second largest group of homeowners at 18%, following only married couples who dominate the market share at 54%.
If you’ve been thinking of purchasing a home for some time, but have hesitated due to your single status, it might be time to act. Whether you’ve recently graduated and started a new promising career, or you’re well-established and ready to create a space of your own, your single status isn’t a limiting factor to homeownership. With careful planning, you can become a part of this growing trend in real estate.
Here are seven useful tips for single, female homebuyers:
What to consider before taking the plunge
Before you start browsing the local real estate company’s listings page, you need to know what you can afford. Figuring this out will allow you to manage your expectations and limit your search to houses within your budget. Be sure to give yourself a buffer: you don’t want to purchase a house that reaches the upper level of your budget, leaving you vulnerable should unexpected expenses arise. Buying a house should be an experience, but it shouldn’t be so expensive that it’s the only experience you can afford for the next twenty years.
Protecting your assets is an important consideration when purchasing a home. As a single woman, it’s even more of a priority as the responsibility falls solely on you. Life insurance, disability insurance, and health benefits are ways to shield yourself from the repercussions of medical expenses and unemployment should something terrible happen. When buying a home– as with anything in life– hope for the best but prepare for the worst.
Rent versus buying
Assess the pros and cons of renting versus buying. If you work in a temporary position or are unsure where you want to be, renting has its merits. However, if rent in your area is on par with mortgage rates, it might be time to invest in a house. Assessing the market and your current standing can help you determine if purchasing a home is the best option right now, or if steps have to be taken to get you ready.
Shop around for experts
Before you start shopping for houses, you need to find the right people to help you reach your goal and find the perfect place. As a single woman, you may face discrimination and biases from real estate agents or mortgage lenders. Be sure to conduct independent research about the homebuying process, so you completely understand everything you need to know. Read reviews and ask for referrals to find the right professionals to work with during your homebuying adventure.
Don’t just think about what you want now; think about the future. You might be a single mom with young teenagers looking to purchase a home right now. However, your children will eventually move out on their own. Will you require that much space after they leave? What are the resale options?
As you progress through your life, a house with steep staircases may not be ideal in relation to your mobility. If you’re a young career woman, you may be required to move to another city for work in the next five years. While nothing is certain in life, these are important considerations to keep in mind.
Take a homeowners class
Different organisations offer free or paid homebuyer events and training sessions to prepare new homeowners for the road ahead. As the saying goes, you don’t always know what you don’t know. Taking this class can give you a better idea of your readiness to purchase a home, as well as teach you some money saving tips and tricks.
Trust your instincts
As you look at homes, listen to your instincts. If the home looks ideal now but shows signs of needing expensive repairs in the near future you don’t want to deal with, don’t buy it. If you find a place that doesn’t fit the criteria of what you originally wanted, but feels like home, buy it. This is your journey! Do what feels right to you.
Find your home sweet home
As the experts at mortgageloans.co so succinctly worded: “buying a new home is an exhilarating experience!” By taking a logical approach to assessing your readiness, defining what you want, learning the process, and grabbing the bull by the horns, you too can join the growing market of single, female homeowners.