Married couples are the most common homebuyers. It makes sense because it’s typically easier to afford a down payment and qualify for a larger home loan with two income streams. But that doesn’t mean you have to wait until you’ve walked down the aisle before becoming a homeowner!
There’s been an increase in single buyers making their way into the housing market. With the way the current market is, we may see more single people considering buying a home. Are you thinking of buying a home on your own? Here’s everything you’ll need to know to make your homeowner dreams a reality.
Identify your long-term goals
Be prepared to answer the question, “Why do you want to buy a home?” Are you tired of renting? Do you want to put down roots and eventually start a family? Are you looking for a long-term investment?
The home you ultimately buy will vary based on your current and future goals. Take a look at your lifestyle and your future goals to determine if buying a home makes sense. If you want to travel a lot and move around, buying may not be the best option right now.
There’s a lot of freedom and stability that comes with owning a home but there’s also a lot of responsibility as well. Be sure you’re ready before taking this big step.
Be realistic about your budget
Your budget will be your guiding force through the buying process; it’s important that you’re honest about your spending and what you can afford. Review your current income and monthly expenses to determine how much you can afford. Mortgage calculators can provide an estimated price range that fits your budget.
There are additional costs to homeownership than just the mortgage payment; you’ll also need to cover insurance, property taxes, and maintenance so include those costs when calculating your budget.
You can practice paying a mortgage each month to see if you can swing the payment. Set aside the difference between your estimate mortgage payment and your rent in your savings. This will give you a good idea if you can afford to buy a home and gives you some savings to start with!
Strengthen your finances
The key for single buyers is understanding their budget, income, and the stability of that income. Single buyers must show lenders that they’re capable of qualifying for and making the monthly mortgage payments on a single income. Taking time to strengthen your financial history will make you the best possible application, showing lenders you’re more than capable of managing this loan. You can accomplish this by saving money for a down payment, paying off debt, and improving your credit score.
Bulk up your emergency fund
As mentioned earlier, homeowners are responsible for every aspect of owning a home, including maintenance and repairs. Build your emergency fund to cover unexpected housing expenses. Having about three to six months’ worth of mortgage payments and living expenses is a good benchmark to achieve. Be sure to replenish it as you use it!
Make a priority list
One of the benefits of buying a home by yourself is not having to compromise with a partner. You can pick the house you love and want. But you still want to create a list the features you need in your home: size, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, location, and any other important features you need (consider things that would be prohibitively expensive to add later or will affect your quality of life). Having a priority list will keep you focused on finding the right home and not get carried away by a home with nonessential features like walk-in closets or granite countertops. This home may not be your forever home and that’s okay! Buy what you can afford and need in this season of your life.
Buying a home as a single person can be intimidating but is also rewarding. Hopefully you feel more empowered to buy your own home. When you’re ready, visit us at Hayden-Homes.com to learn more about our new homes in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. You can use our mortgage calculator to determine what you can afford, view our plans, and reserve your dream home online.