A growing number of singles are purchasing homes all on their own these days. Since June is Home Ownership Month, we thought we would share some advice for those thinking about taking the plunge into real estate.
As a single buyer, you have to remember that it really is all on you. Before doing anything, it is best to consider your financial health. What kind of money do you have for a down payment? What’s your credit score? Are you good with setting – and following – budgets? Do you realize what your costs will actually be?
The first thing to do is pay down that consumer debt you have. As always, try to pay the balance of your credit purchases each month to avoid expensive interest charges. Not only does this help you save money but it also does wonders for your credit rating!
You might want to also take a serious look at your career goals. If your resume shows a laundry list of jobs, lenders might be hesitant to issue you a mortgage. Shoot to be in a job for at least two years – or at least be able to reassure your lender that you are in a permanent position. A letter from your employer would be a great way to show your commitment.
Obviously the key to being financially able to purchase a home is to bulk up your savings. Maybe you don’t have to go out to dinner this weekend or perhaps that new phone upgrade can wait. The bigger your down payment is, the lower your monthly costs. And be prepared for the closing costs.
Be sure to create and follow a monthly budget. Know your costs and be ready for them. Think about mortgage, utilities, insurance, any planned updates, and general living expenses. Plan for a rainy day. There will always be unplanned expenses including repairs and maintenance. Unforeseen circumstances like an illness or a job loss can be challenging but with proper preparation, they can be managed easier.
Understand your limitations and wants. If your career doesn’t leave you with enough time to take care of a large yard or if you just don’t want to do a lot of maintenance around the house, you might consider condo living. If you have a passion for fitness or a particular style of living, think about what kind of home you want to live in. It’s easier to look for what you want rather than trying to make it into the place of your dreams.
Owning a home as a single buyer is exciting and achievable. It’s a place to call your own – paint it any color you want and arrange the rooms to your liking. It’s all yours!