I remember buying a home on my own as a single lady way back. It was taboo for a single lady to have a home on her own. My mom was always worried about me getting attacked by some crazy person since I was on my own. I was 24 when I bought my home. Although my friends said that it was a responsibility I still went with my gut feeling. I wasn’t a realtor back then so I had no clue what I was doing.
I didn’t want to rent and feel like I was throwing my money away. I ended up buying a home that had an area for related living so I can rent it out. I had not thought about the consequences of leasing out a spot in my place to a stranger but that is a whole other blog post. I have to admit I was proud but at the same time a frightened at the responsibility of homeownership. I would think to myself who is going to help me when something breaks down? I didn’t have a boyfriend at the time so it was just me. Even with all the doubts I still wanted a place to call my own, a place where my dog could run freely. I also wanted an investment.
The world has changed and home purchases among single people are a growing trend, as buyers take advantage of low rates and available funds to transition from renting to homeownership. And by large, those singles are not men. A few decades ago, a single woman buying real estate was rare. Now, that’s changed due to the Fair Housing Act of 1968. According to NAR’s (National Association of Realtors) 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, single females represented 17 percent of total purchases.
So before you make that jump in homeownership as a single lady here are a few things to consider. Don’t let these mistakes get in the way of our home buying journey.
Make sure you have enough money to make the purchase – First-time buyers may be saving for a down payment and not thinking about the other costs of buying a house, like closing costs, which can add thousands of dollars that you pay upfront. Be prepared to come up with an additional 2-5 percent of the purchase price of your home to cover them. Some states offer down payment assistance. If you are not ready now start saving every penny you have. The more you can put down the lower the mortgage payment will be. There are also down payment assistance programs you can take advantage of.
Make sure you can afford it monthly – Figure out the monthly payment of a house on any online mortgage calculators, and you might think it’s far more affordable than it is, because you are only calculating principal and interest. You need to factor in taxes, insurance, homeowner’s association fees, and Private Mortgage Insurance if you’re putting down less than 20 percent. This can add hundreds to your monthly payment.
Be realistic about your goals – If you are looking for pride of ownership and to improve your way of life, homeownership can be a great move. If your goal is fast cash, maybe not. Owning a home can help singles enter a more secure retirement if they pay down their loan balance over time. Also make sure you look into the neighborhood, look to see if it is an upcoming community. Be open minded about where you are going to live but always keep in mind the resale value in the future. The last thing you want is not to be able to sell your place when you want to upgrade because it’s too small or because of the location.
Don’t be afraid to shop for mortgages – You might be loyal to a friend who is a loan officer, but it doesn’t hurt to look around. It is recommended to check rates with several mortgage lenders. No matter which lender you go with, it’s important to get
pre-approved before you shop.
You want to know what you can afford before you fall in love with something that’s way out of your budget. Being pre-approved will also mean you can move forward quickly when you find the right house instead of potentially losing out to another buyer who was better prepared.
Make sure you have find a good contractor or handyman to have around when you need things done around the house. You can go to www.homeadvisor.com or www.angieslist.com to find some good ones. Also make sure you ask them the right questions.
Here are 5 questions to start out with…
- How long have you been in business?
- Who will I be speaking with when the work is getting done, will it be your subcontractor or yourself?
- What is your timeline?
- What is your itemized bottom line?
- What amount do I have to put down?
Be sure to be completed committed you have your friends, mom and dads opinion and advice. What ever you do make sure you are doing this for YOU.
Even first time home buyers in Mongolia have to watch out. Here is an article on preparing for new buyers home ownership https://blog.mongolia-properties.com/top-7-things-first-time-buyers-need-to-know
If you liked to know more or have any additional questions feel free to text me @773.308.5505 – Sonia