The economy is suffering. The cost of rent, especially for those who want to live downtown, is skyrocketing. What’s a single person to do? These days, a lot of savvy singles are opting to buy themselves a home. According to a recent study by Genworth Financial, a full quarter of homebuyers n 2011/2012 were single.
If you are single and are hoping to jump into the housing market, here are a few tips to help guide you through the process.
1. Stay. In. Your. Budget. Think about how much you can afford, and then lay down the law for yourself that you will stick to that limit. Remember that as an independent single, should you experience a disruption in your job, income, health, or anything else that might make it hard to make your mortgage payments, you will not have a partner to fall back on financially. So while your heart might be tugged irresistibly towards a home that is everything you dreamed of, make sure you don’t overextend yourself (or your wallet).
2. What will your chores list be? When you’re looking for a home, make sure to think through whether you can maintain the property yourself. Will you have time to cut that enormous lawn? Is a condo or townhouse a better fit for your busy life? If you decide to hire people to take care of jobs around the house, make sure you hire smart: do research to find trustworthy and skilled help, get multiple quotes for every job, get everything in writing, and make sure the job is done right.
3. Location, location, location! Make sure you feel safe in your new home! First, screen your potentials homes’ locations. Check your local crime rates and speak with realtors, neighbours, and town officials about the safety of your desired area. Once you’ve chosen a home, make sure you can return to it and enter it feeling safe and secure. After all, if you work away from home, your house will be empty for long periods of time. Install a good security system that will leave you sleeping peacefully at night.
4. Investment wisely. Should you ever decide to relocate, you want to have a home that will sell quickly and well on the market. Keep that in mind as you choose your home. Look for homes that have widespread appeal. This is something home sellers are taught when they are preparing their homes for potential buyers to visit: make sure your home is neutral enough that it could please a large audience and be changed to suit almost anyone’s tastes.
5. The future is now! If you’d like to keep your home for a long time, take some time to think about the future. Do you hope to have a family one day? Would it be a good idea to buy that home with the extra bedroom? Give yourself room to grow.
Don’t get discouraged or doubt yourself! Chances are, if you’re responsible (and brave) enough to be planning to buy your own home, by yourself, you are responsible enough to make wise and informed choices about this major investment. Don’t forget that you also have an arsenal of experts at your disposal, trained and ready for your questions and concerns: make use of the knowledge and guidance of realtors, mortgage brokers, financial planners, and other single homebuyers who have gone through the process before you. They are often willing to give out free advice and to share their vast wealth of knowledge with others. Finally, all the best with your house hunting! We know you’ll love your new home.