3 of the Best Tips for Single Women Who Want to Buy a Home
Today, single women buy homes more often than single men: in fact, nearly 20% of U.S. home buyers are single women, while single men make just 7% of home purchases. A few conditions contributing to the uptick in the number of single women purchasing homes include lower unemployment rates, rising incomes, and the value placed on homeownership. If you’re single or newly single because of a recent divorce or break-up, consider purchasing your own home.
1. Have a Clear Picture of Your Finances Before Searching for a Home
It’s tempting to start searching for homes online, but before you fall in love with one that is outside of your price range or that will make you mortgage poor, get a clear picture of your finances. There’s nothing worse than falling in love with a home and then realizing that you can’t afford it, so do yourself a favor and know exactly how much house you can afford.
To assess your finances, get a clear picture of your retirement savings, debt, income, emergency fund, credit score, and insurance costs. Knowing your financial health and creating a budget will help you determine how much you can spend monthly on a mortgage payment, homeowners insurance, electricity, water and sewer, garbage, heating, and other utilities and home needs.
If you want to purchase a home in the midst of a divorce, make sure your mutually-owned property is divided or sold appropriately; when you apply for a new mortgage, you don’t want your previous property to hinder your ability to get a loan. Work with your lawyer to ensure that your name is removed from deeds, titles, and old mortgages correctly so you aren’t financially responsible for any mutually-owned property after your divorce.
2. Understand that Purchasing a Home Is an Investment
If you’ve been renting a home, or if you and your ex-spouse shared your mortgage and utility payments, it can be unsettling to consider paying these expenses on your own. That’s why it is helpful to understand that purchasing a home is an investment. Buying a home is a wise financial decision because you are protected from inflation, and you have a physical asset that earns value over time.
Rather than paying rent and not having anything to show for it, you pay your mortgage and have a home that gives you home equity and adds to your retirement account. You also will have resale value should you decide to sell your home in the future. And, buying a home lowers your tax burden because your mortgage interest is a deduction from your income tax.
3. Work with a Realtor to Make a Wise Purchase
Once you have decided that purchasing a home is right for you and your finances, work with a reputable realtor who will help you find suitable homes in your price range. Have a list of necessities, such as a large kitchen or a specific number of bathrooms or bedrooms, ready for your first meeting with the realtor so she knows which homes will appeal to you.
Don’t be afraid to attend open houses or request showings of several homes so you can compare what is available in your price range and make the best choice for your family. (Check out these other house-hunting tips from The New York Times).
If you are concerned about finding a home that fits your budget, ask your realtor specifically about purchasing a foreclosed home. These homes become available for purchase during a sheriff’s sale or auction after the homeowner has defaulted on his mortgage. Often, foreclosed homes sell at a much lower price, which is the most attractive reason for purchasing one. On the other hand, you may not be able to inspect the property before bidding on it, and you likely will be required to show a certified check or cash the day of the auction and then pay off the sale amount within 30-90 days.
You can become one of the many single women purchasing a home if you get a clear picture of your finances, view your purchase as an investment, and work with a realtor to make a wise purchase.
Image via Pixabay by Photo-Mix
This Guest Blog was written by, Natalie Jones of http://homeownerbliss.info/