When starting the homebuying process as an individual buyer, there are some unique aspects you’ll face that don’t require as much attention from co-borrowers. While it might seem intimidating, all you need to do is spend a little extra time preparing. These 5 tips for single home buyers will lead to a smooth homebuying experience.
1. Affordability: When buying a home with a co-borrower, there’s usually two sources of income to cover a down payment, mortgage, and other bills. As a single buyer, you must be able to cover costs on your own. Take into consideration every possible expense—maintenance fees, HOAs, utilities, an emergency fund—when deciding on a budget. It’s important to make sure you’ll be comfortable in affording the home you choose. Consider saving more money than if you were to buy a home with a co-borrower. Doing so will provide peace of mind in knowing you can afford your home. For ideas on how to save money for a down payment, click here.
2. Maintenance: While you need to factor fees into your budget, maintenance might require more attention than expected. As the sole homeowner, you’ll be the one to take care of your home. Be confident in knowing you can maintain the home you choose.
3. Safety: Picking a neighborhood is just as important as picking a home. Your home should leave you feeling completely safe and secure, so be sure you choose a neighborhood or community that lets you be completely at ease. For more information about choosing a neighborhood, click here.
4. Choosing a Home: You don’t have to go through the home purchasing process on your own. Single buyers, especially first-time buyers, might feel overwhelmed or have skewed judgement from excitement. Take a family member or trusted friend along when house hunting for a second opinion or to be a voice of reason. They only want what is best for you, so they’ll make sure the home you buy is perfect for you.
5. Thinking ahead: Buying a home is best as a long-term investment, but keep an eye on what your future may hold. Down the road you could find a partner, or your job might need you to relocate. The resale value of the property might be something you should seriously consider. Just because it’s only you right now doesn’t mean the addition of a partner or child is out of the question. It could be worth it to think about going bigger now, even if it is just a spare room. The extra space could come in handy—but only if the addition fits comfortably within your set budget.
The bottom line is simply to do your homework. Thoroughly research what you can afford that leaves you some wiggle room. Talk to your family and friends about their experiences with homeownership, especially if they did so on their own. Realtors are also there to provide information, give their advice, and to answer questions you may have.
For more information on the home purchasing process, click here, or you can contact one of our licensed Mortgage Loan Originators with any questions.