Finding the perfect house can always be a challenge. There are so many homes out there, in a huge variety of styles, sizes, and price ranges. Finding the perfect house doesn’t have to be difficulty, especially when you use a local real estate agent. But don’t you need a family, a spouse, or a significant other when you are buying a home?
The short answer is no, you don’t. It is perfectly normal for single people to buy a home. Home ownership can make a lot of sense, and if done properly, can be a solid investment in the future, either financially or in regard to relationships. Of course, when you are single, your priorities when buying a house are going to be a little different than someone buying a house for their family.
You’re Not Buying Your Forever Home
It is highly unlikely that you will be buying your forever home right now. And that’s perfectly fine. In fact, even if you plan on living in the house for 10 years, you’ll more than likely be moving before that. Life changes fast. Especially so if you are single. Jobs can change. You can find a significant other.
It’s impossible to plan for your entire future, so don’t plan too far ahead. Think about what you need in a home right now, and in the immediate future. You are going to need a mansion, but you don’t want to buy a house that’s going to be too small for your either. Gauge what you really need in a house, right now, and make that your priority for your house hunting.
Use the Internet
To start your initial house hunt, the internet is a fantastic place to start. You can narrow down your search results, and focus on houses, neighborhoods, and price ranges that meet your targets and needs. Narrow down what you really need in a house, like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Then, determine what you would like in a house, but could potentially live without. While this is not a replacement for a local real estate agent, it narrows down your list of potentials, so you and your agent can spend the time looking at properties that are strong contenders for your needs.
When you were preapproved for the loan, you likely qualified for a larger mortgage than you expected. You think this is great, and up your budget. However, you still need to play it smart with finances, especially when you are single. It’s not likely that you will be able to up your income, or have a second income in your household that would help you make your payments. Even though you might qualify for a higher loan amount, you don’t have to accept the entire amount. You are able to only borrow what you need.
This is a good idea for several reasons. Namely, it keeps you from overspending and extending your finances beyond your comfort level and what you are capable of paying. On top of that, keeping your monthly mortgage payments lower, and your overall mortgage balance lower, will keep your debt to income ration where it needs to be. You can afford a house, and still have enough financial freedom to live.
A Second Opinion
When you are single and buying a house, you don’t have a second voice weighing in on the decision. While this means you don’t have to compromise on your choices, it does mean that you lose out on the value of a second opinion. If you have friends or family that own homes, ask for their advice.
Of course, you should always listen to your local real estate agent first. After all, this is what they do, and they know the market. They are working for you, and they will work hard to make sure that you buy the house you want, don’t overspend, and more importantly, don’t buy a house that could be a mistake or a money pit. But friends and family can still offer sound advice, just remember that advice from a real estate agent is advice from a professional.
The Gift of a Down Payment
When you buy a house, you are going to have to put some money down. Conventional loans require a larger down payment, while FHA loans require less of a down payment. Gifts are great to help you with this cost, but only accept gifts from family. It’s easier to explain, and it’s easier tax wise.
If you get a conventional loan, you won’t be able to pay the entire down payment with a gift. You’ll need to put some of your own money into the mortgage. An FHA loan, however, allows you to use a gift to cover the entire down payment. Again, these needs to be gifts from family members, as there are strict regulations about where you get the money for a down payment, and you have to be able to prove it.