There is a lot of articles online that talk about the home buying process in detail. However, there’s not a lot of articles that are geared toward single parents who want to buy a home. This article is dedicated solely to single-parents who want to buy a home!
Buying a home in today’s real estate market is more affordable than ever. As long as you have your ducks in a row – buying a home is possible.
Here’s a few tips on buying a home as a single parent:
Ask, can you really afford to buy?
Scrutinize your finances carefully and evaluate whether buying a home is even feasible. You won’t have help from a partner to pay the bills, and you don’t want to be “house poor.” Review your credit record, clean up any mistakes, and pay down debt. Consider ALL the recurring expenses associated with homeownership beyond the purchase price and mortgage closing costs.
Think long term. You want to be able to afford and keep your home — so it’s wise to have a bigger savings account than you would if you were buying as a couple.
Make a checklist.
It may seem like something you don’t think you need to do, but knowing you’re looking for when searching for a home helps you narrow down the possibilities to the homes that best meet your family’s needs.
Get pre-qualified for a mortgage loan.
Getting pre-qualified can help you determine which homes are within your price range, which can save you time in the search process and avoid delays later in getting qualified for financing.
Hire a Realtor
A professional real estate agent will be able to answer any questions you may have, guide you throughout the entire process, give you insight into the area you are looking to buy and much more. They offer the local expertise and knowledge of real estate that you can’t find online.
Search for a home available through the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program.
Take advantage of special homeownership programs. This resource enables users to search for HUD properties available under special programs throughout the U.S.
Save on mortgage costs with special programs.
Singles getting a mortgage with only one income should look at FHA loans, which offer lower interest rates and require lower credit scores to qualify. First-time buyers, which includes those who haven’t owned a home for three years, can make a down payment as low as 3.5% of the purchase price. Compare costs and rates carefully. A lower rate may mean a higher lender’s fees.
Don’t house hunt alone
Buying a home is an exciting milestone. It’s also a major investment, so don’t let emotions cloud your decisions. Keep one or two trustworthy people involved in the process as a sounding board.
Plan for the future
As you search for homes, consider what happens if you find a partner, or have to relocate for a job. Edwards says she’s seen many singles have to move sooner than they expected because their life circumstances changed. Think about that possibility as you’re searching.
Owning a home is a wonderful thing, but make sure it’s the right time for you.