Many people these days are delaying marriage — if they’re choosing to marry at all. And with singledom comes a different set of priorities, meaning homeownership may end up on the back burner of one’s life goals.
There comes a point, however, when tired-of-renting single people may desire to settle down in a place that’s all their own. Although, as of 2018, married couples still make up the largest share of homebuyers at 65 percent, 18 percent of homebuyers are single women, and 7 percent are single men.
While the trend of singles buying homes is on the rise, individuals may face certain challenges when buying a home solo. Here are some tips for single people when buying a home.
Determine Whether You’re Ready to Buy
Many people may be able to afford mortgage payments, but they may also need to consider the house down payment and other upfront costs. Although you don’t need to wait around for marriage to buy a house, you may want to be prepared for the undertaking financially.
Make sure you can afford to buy a home and still have enough money left over to enjoy life after all the bills are paid. Consider, for example, whether you will be comfortable with your debt-to-income ratio — i.e. your monthly debt payments divided by gross monthly income.
Have a Strategy
Not only will you have the same home buying costs as couples do, such as: mortgage payment, property taxes, homeowners insurance and interest, Zillow found that it takes singles twice as long to save for a down payment than couples. Single people may also have fewer homes to choose from, as they often can’t afford to spend as much on a house as a couple with two incomes can.
Understanding the hurdle, however, is a big piece of the pie. Once you know what you’re up against, you can develop a plan to buy, and become a homeowner.
For instance, having good credit may be particularly beneficial for single home buyers, as lenders can see they may only have one income to depend on. After you’ve worked on improving your credit, figure out what you can afford to spend on your monthly payment. Make sure you have money set aside to pay for home maintenance and repairs, which typically costs between 1 percent and 2 percent of the home’s price each year. Finally, look into government-issued loans, such as an FHA mortgage, to help with the down payment.
Find the Right Home Buying Partners
Buying a home can be an overwhelming experience for first-time homebuyers, and even more so for people on their own. Having a team of experts on your side may help make your dream of buying a home as a single person a reality.
A real estate agent you can connect with, who has solid experience working with first-time homebuyers, may best understand what you’re looking for and will have your best interests in mind. Likewise, it’s important to find the right mortgage advisor, one who can walk you through all the steps and explain all the specific costs involved. Finally, get some help from friends and family. You may be buying a house solo, but you don’t need to be alone during the process.
Buying a home may be one of the biggest and most significant financial decisions you’ll make. If you’re ready, get started with Finance of America Mortgage. You may be able to get prequalified and start your loan application for a wide range of home loan products in no time. Let one of our mortgage advisors provide you with the personalized service you want, when and where you need it.