If you’re living on your own and looking to buy a home, know that you can make your dream a reality with thoughtful planning and the right team of experts. Research from Freddie Mac shows 28% of all households (36.1 million) are sole-person, and that number is growing. Over the past 40 years, the number of sole-person households has nearly doubled, and that’s a trend that’s expected to continue. According to Freddie Mac:
If you fall into this category, here are three tips to help you achieve your homeownership goals.
1. Know Your Credit Score
When you buy a home on your own, you have to qualify for your loan based solely on your own finances and credit history.
It’s important to find out your score so you know where it falls. If you’re not sure if it’s strong enough or where to focus your energy to improve it, meet with a professional for expert advice on your individual situation.
2. Explore Down Payment Options
Next, look into down payment programs so you can get a feel for what you’ll need to save to buy a home. Rob Chrane, CEO of Down Payment Resource, says: “Buyers should discuss their program options with their loan officer and real estate agent to make sure they choose the program best suited to their personal needs.”
In this step, lean on the pros to determine what you’re eligible for and what’s right for you.
3. Think About Your Future Home and Your Needs
You should also spend time thinking about what you want. What type of home do you picture yourself in?
Rose & Womble agent, Brenda Tokarz says: “The suggestions for a single buyer are the same for any buyer. The one exception to the rule would be the type of community they’d prefer to live in. If they want to be closer shopping or a more social nightlife for example. Age, maybe they’d prefer an over 55 community. But in actuality the the advice really is the same, get your finances in order, budget setup, speak with a lender prior to looking at homes, find out what costs are involved in the transaction so the money is in the bank before closing. Lifestyle preference would be the key for single homebuyers. Hiring an Agent who is knowledgable of the different areas or the city you wish to live in is key.
Rose & Womble Agent, Carrie Long suggests: “Consider some of your long term goals and how they align with your real estate purchase. You may have personal plans or career goals that would impact the property in the future. Whether or not the property could be a rental may influence plans. Remember, real estate is an investment!”
Rose & Womble Agent, Ray DePlatchett reminds you: “Make sure the home you purchase is your “haven”! A great place, in a safe environment, is the perfect way to unwind after a hard days work. Plan for the future as well. You may not be single forever!”
Again, a professional can help you balance what you want and how much you should spend on your monthly housing costs to determine what type of home is right for you.
While buying a home solo can feel like a big challenge, it doesn’t have to be. If you lean on the professionals, they can help you navigate these waters and make sure you’re able to take advantage of the great opportunities in today’s housing market (like low mortgage rates) to buy your dream home.
The share of sole-person households is growing. If you’re looking to buy a home on your own, be confident that the dream is achievable. When you’re ready to begin your search, work with the professionals so you have expert advice each step of the way.