The home buying experience that is usually portrayed in advertisements generally seems to concentrate on families and couples. But nowadays, only 40% of first time home-buyers are married, down from 52% in the late 1980s.
The process of purchasing a home for a sole-owner might be similar to that of anybody else, but there`re several slight differences in how a single home buyer may approach the home buying experience.
Below are 5 ways you can make your solo home hunt a success.
Find your real estate agent
Do not choose the first real- estate agent you get in an online search. You should try posting a query on social media so that you can get insights from your family and friends. You should look for positive real estate agent reviews that might comment on buying alone vs. as a couple.
Once you find several real estate agent options, you should meet with all of them. You will want to ask them a lot of questions — do not let them be the ones doing all the talking.
Read up on your resources
So you’ve met with several real estate-agents and found the right one for you. Wonderful! But having a great agent doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read everything on your own as well.
Do not depend on your real estate agent alone to explain all the details of the home buying process. The agent probably will, and should, but it is your job to be the informed buyer. Check out online resources or go to the library so that you can learn about the various home buying programs or find out more on your rights as a buyer.
When you are deciding how much you’re willing to spend on a home, you should also take into consideration all the recurring expenses that come with owning a house. You should think beyond closing costs and mortgage payments – include expenses like home repairs and maintenance.
And if you are feeling nervous about the likelihood of you being turned-down for a loan due to the fact that you are purchasing on your own without any help, try not to be. Although, do remember that qualifying for a loan on one income might mean buying a smaller house, it doesn’t mean you cannot buy. In-fact, banks aren’t allowed to treat potential home buyers differently based on their marital status.
Singles purchasing a house on one income can consider getting an FHA loan, since borrowers that have a good credit can qualify for a small down-payment.
Select the right kind of home for you
Are you searching for a home you can grow into? Or do you want to buy a small starter house that you can later rent out? Whatever your present and future home requirements, know that you have many options regarding the kind of house you buy.
Purchasing a townhouse or condo might leave you with a lower-mortgage, but you should not forget about the possible storage fees and homeowners association dues. And although a smaller house means that there’s less for you to maintain, your home still needs regular maintenance.
House hunt with confidence
Pursuing home ownership on your own does not mean you’ll have to decide everything by yourself. Bring 1 or 2 of your friends who’ve recently bought a house and who you know can give honest feedback.
If you are planning on moving to the suburbs so that you can get more home for your buck, also consider if you would be happy living a reasonable distance away from your favorite spots. Try commuting to-and-from your potential house, favorite restaurants and shops, and even work and your friends’ homes. If you find out that it is a tad-too far for comfort, you should narrow down your home search.
Make an informed offer
If you are purchasing as a singleton, you might not have somebody with you to help you determine how to negotiate or what to offer. This is where searching for and getting the best agent for YOU will serve you well. Consider talking to your real estate agent about how the offer might stack-up against the recent sales in the area and the possible concessions you might get from sellers.
Whether you have just began to consider purchasing your first house or you are newly single and it’s the first time you are purchasing on your own, these 5 steps will make sure you are a savvy and smart solo buyer.