More and more Americans are staying single for longer. That means that more of them are pursuing the American dream of home ownership while single. If you fall into this category, here are 5 steps to get you where you want to be.
Check Your Credit. If you plan to take out a mortgage loan at all, this should be your first step. Single buyers don't have as much to fall back on as married buyers do, so take charge of your credit report and score so you have the best possible chance of qualifying for all available programs as well as good rates.
Be Realistic About Your Budget. If you only have one income, there is more risk of something going wrong. This is not the time to stretch your budget to its max. Make sure that not only do you have a comfortable down payment but also that you can cover all the associated costs of home ownership.
Decide on Renovations. You're a busy person, and all changes to the house will be up to you. If you don't have time to do renovations yourself, recognize this reality. You may be able to oversee remodeling done by a hired professional, but this will call for extra money and time spent. If you aren't prepared to handle that on your own, look for a house that's 'turn key', or ready to move in. You may need to compromise a little to find a place that doesn't require any work.
Hunt With a Buddy. Finding the right house is not only a financial decision but an emotional one as well. Avoid making unwise decisions by taking a tough-talking buddy along with you when you look at potential homes. Look for someone who knows your personality, financial situation, and personal schedule.
Think Ahead. Your life will change over the next few years. Consider where you want to be in five or ten years, then assess how your home purchase could could help toward that goal. This could mean that you may find someone you want to move in with, and you will need to decide to rent out or sell one partner's house. Or, you may want to start a family. Looking for a home with a little extra space could prevent you from having to move if that happens.
Buying a house when you're single calls for some extra planning and foresight. But the result will be a smart purchase that you will love no matter where you are in life. Contact a company that offers real estate services for additional advice.