The connotation of “home” is often directly tied to “family”, but for single adults of any age, home can be your own sanctuary, a haven you create all for yourself, just the way you like it. No landlord ruling over decisions and regulations, no partner you need to consult, no children you need to consider – a world unto yourself. While people often equate homebuying as a family move, more than 1 in every 4 homebuyers is single, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). There is a palpable sense of freedom and ownership, and with that power responsibility always follows. If you have already considered the pros and cons of buying your own home as a single adult, here are some tips on how to move toward this exciting goal of homeownership. If you need to sit down and have a real check-in with yourself, here is our guide of questions to ask yourself before you decide to buy your first home!
Make a realistic budget
Creating a budget that you can stick to while you’re saving up to buy a home, searching for a home, and starting to make payments is crucial. While it might seem difficult to set aside money, sacrificing coffee runs and eating out might be simple enough to make a big impact. Another easy way to cut down on spending and increase savings to assess your automatic monthly payments and subscription services. Maybe you don’t need every single access to every single streaming platform, and perhaps you don’t need that beauty or wellness subscription that is starting to add up and seem unnecessary. If you’ve got a pricey gym membership and you know you’ll be outside running and hiking most of the summer, pause your membership till you really need access again next winter.
Sift through your personal spending and set a formal budget so that you know how to balance your monthly income, expenses, and savings plan. If the task is daunting, research online platforms that help you do your budgeting for free. There are many streamlined, easy-to-use services created just for this and one planning session could be all you need to get all set up and move forward with your homebuying goal in line.
Get a dreamy credit score
One perk of being a single homebuyer is that you don’t have to worry about someone else’s past credit problems. If you’ve kept your credit history in check, this will significantly help you quality for homebuying loans. If your credit score leaves room for improvement, the good news is that you can in fact improve it.
Calculate down payment and additional costs
When you consider homebuying costs, the first step is to wrap your head around the down payment possibilities. And by possibilities – we truly mean possibilities. Many people think that the down payment for a house has to be 20% of the cost, but that is just another homebuying myth. When you get past the different breakdowns of how you might sort out a down payment, don’t forget to actually write out your additional homebuying costs. Consider starting an emergency house fund where you set aside a little extra money for closing costs, the move itself, and random home repairs.
Make sure your savings go above and beyond
Consider getting a roommate while you save.
Make friends with a mortgage professional
Many homebuyers prioritize finding the perfect realtor, and skip out on developing a relationship with a mortgage professional. This could hinder your ability to understand your homebuying options and long-term commitments. Find a mortgage professional that you can trust, who will confidently and calmly answer all of your big difficult questions. Finding the right mortgage can often be a stressful stretch of the homebuying process, so this extra step you take will ensure it goes more smoothly.
Find yourself a realtor that you can rely on
A realtor can be your best homebuying friend. They can be someone who is really on your side, striving to find what you are looking for, what you want, and what you need. When you find someone that listens and engages genuinely instead of pushes you just to close a deal, you know you’ve got someone on your side.
Explore and discover the home you’d like to buy
This is the fun part! Scour the internet, download all of the apps, check out all of the listings, go to showings. But go with you intent set on what you are flexible on, and what is an absolute must. Make your decisions of needs and wants before you start looking so that you don’t fall in love with the wrong house or the wrong price point. Set your criteria, and enjoy seeing the possibilities unfold!