Single women buying a home rule! Recently, I have been getting an influx of single lady clients wanting to own a home. Alexis wanted a multi-unit building on the north side of Chicago so she can start getting passive income from the rentals. Vasti wanted to have a single-family home where she can customize the home to her liking and stop renting. Elisa was looking for a condo with a Chicago skyline view and that was close to her job. She was another prospective buyer who no longer wanted the hassle of dealing with her landlord. Daisy wanted her commute from her home to her job to be closer. She was traveling 3 hours a day back and forth from home to work. She bought a 2-bedroom condo in the Old Irving park neighborhood and is enjoying every minute of it.
These single women were definitely determined to find a place they can call their own. Don’t get me wrong. They were also scared at first of the commitment and responsibility it would take, but that didn’t stop them. Having worked with several single ladies, here are 5 quick tips that you should consider when buying a home for the first time.
Tip #1 – Check your finances.
Don’t be afraid to talk to a lender about your finances. Even if you have bad credit right now, you can fix that for the future. Alexis worked with her lender for two years since she had blemishes on her credit that would need time to get fixed. You can do some prep work beforehand. Check you credit with all the bureaus. There are three of them — Equifax, Transunion, and Experian. Look to see what your credit score is and how you can improve it if it’s under 850. The lowest score is a 300. If you decide you want to purchase a home with an FHA loan, the minimum score is 620. The things you want to look at on your credit report are collections, charge offs, any late payments, incorrect data, and recent inquiries.
Tip #2 – Your support network.
Several of the ladies above stated that their families were involved in the process of them buying a home for the first time. The moms especially were excited and super supportive of their daughters taking on this responsibility, knowing that this is an investment for a lifetime. It is highly important that you have the backing of your family members. If they are Negative Nellies, then it will be tough for you to continue on your own unless you have a super strong mindset of buying. Family and friends can greatly affect what you think about the buying process since everyone has opinions. If you decide to do this on your own, make sure you have great willpower to resist the pessimistic views of others. Remember, at the end of the day, YOU are going to be the one making that mortgage payment, not them.
Tip #3 – Don’t get discouraged.
When you are shopping online you might see some great homes. But when you see them in real life you might get discouraged. Real estate photographers use special wide-angle lenses to lure you into the property to come and take a look. Instead of looking at the pictures, check out the room sizes, paying particular attention to the dimensions of the room. Depending on your budget, you might see a lot of fixer uppers, but don’t let that deter you. There are ways to get things done and you can even fix some of the cosmetic stuff on your own. That’s why we have YouTube! Also, you may look at 20+ houses before you find the right one, so keep at it and don’t get frustrated.
Tip #4 Definitely do a home inspection.
You know that old stereotype when you as a single lady go to a mechanic and he gouges you on price because you are a female? Well, in this case, it’s the opposite. You want to confide in your home inspector because he will point out all the defects in the home. You need to know what you are getting into when buying your first home, especially regarding the mechanicals. You see, when a home inspector looks at the home, he will be looking at big items like water heaters, furnaces, the roof, the foundation, and much more. He will be able to tell you the lifespan of the roof or the A/C. It’s important to know because as a single lady, you will be living in your home and poof! The water heater goes out and then what? You have to be ready for unexpected expenses. The more you know about your home upfront, the better you can prepare for the future.
Tip# 5 Power to You: Take control of your life.
I always thought this real estate stuff was dominated by men. But, I implore you. If you are a single woman, like I am, and spending a ton of money on rent, you are honestly throwing your money away and paying someone else’s mortgage. It can be a daunting thing, but you can do it, as many women have done. The ladies who I have helped feel free and not restricted to a landlord. They are proud to have an investment that will keep giving back in the future. You will have more space, the sense of ownership, be closer to your family, school or work, but most of all, you will be able to dance naked throughout your living room. 🙂 HA!
I recently had a client appreciation party and all the single ladies who I spoke about above answered the following question. What do you love about being a homeowner? Here is what they said: