Going Solo: Home Buying Tips for One
Homeownership can offer benefits at any stage of life. But there are things you might consider if you’re single and buying a home for yourself.
Do some research on home buying
This is good advice for anyone thinking of home ownership for the first time, or someone moving to a new market—perhaps even after relocating for a job.
Talk to friends or acquaintances about their home buying experiences. Get recommendations and advice, on everything from neighborhoods to REALTORS®.
Borrow books, search for information online, attend seminars and look at the various lenders and the programs they offer.
Know what you want when home buying
Condos and townhouses are popular for singles, who don’t need all the room of a house, and appreciate the lower mortgage and heightened security. Smaller properties may also mean less upkeep––a timesaver if otherwise it would be just you doing all the mowing, painting and other chores.
But don’t hesitate to ponder the future.
If you’re planning to stay in an area for years, would your new place have room to include additions to your life? A studio might be all you need now, but if you could afford a one-bedroom, perhaps that’s an investment in the future worth making.
Going into your search with definite ideas about exactly what you want will help keep you from buying more house than you have the time—or inclination—to handle solo.
You might not have kids, but a home in a good school district might retain its value better than a home near a lesser school. The same goes for recreation areas.
On the flip side, if you live in a heated market and aren’t worried about school districts, you might find your money goes farther in an area where parents aren’t angling for the right schools: you might get more square footage, modern upgrades, or maybe a lower price point.
Condos and townhouses might feel right for your lifestyle, but they also may not hold their resale value, depending on the market.
Privacy and security
If you’re single, it’s likely your privacy and safety feature high on your list of needs for home buying.
The type of things to look for could include these priorities:
- A neighborhood with a low crime rate
- A home with an alarm system
- A fenced-in yard
- Secure windows and doors
- An attached garage accessible from inside your home with an electronic door
For example, condos often offer a high level of security, such as gated entrances, a concierge and underground parking.
Financial strategy for home buying
Developing a detailed financial strategy will assist you in your home purchase decision.
It should include an assessment of your existing and potential financial worth, information about your financial and associated lifestyle goals, and how your home purchase will meet your goals to fit within your financial capabilities.
Your budget will need to take account of expenses such as mortgage repayments, property taxes, insurance premiums, household bills, utility bills and maintenance costs.
Should something happen to your income—a job loss, an injury—you’ll want to consider how to keep paying the bills if you don’t have a partner’s income to help.
Just remember to take it slowly and consider all the relevant factors before proceeding with home buying.
The Caton Team loves working with first time buyers or those venturing off on their own. We are patient and are happy to take each step with you on the journey to becoming a home owner. Let The Caton Team know how we can help you!
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