If you’re a single woman and you’re ready to make a huge commitment, now is the time. No, we’re not talking about getting married; we’re talking about buying a house. Don’t think you’re alone in this venture. Approximately 17 percent of homebuyers are single women and seven percent are single men. Because of lower home prices and interest rates, now is an opportune time to shop the housing market. Before you start the search, consider some tips for single women on the hunt for a new home.
“Homebuying doesn’t begin with home searching. It begins with a mortgage prequalification,” says Bankrate. Once you’re pre-approved, don’t search for homes that are the maximum amount for which you qualify. Your debt-to-income ratio should be 28 percent for housing liabilities and 32 percent for all liabilities combined. When determining how much house you can afford, don’t forget to factor in other homeownership expenses, including property insurance, taxes, homeowners association dues, maintenance, and electric and water bills.
Although some buyers are staying in their homes for 10 years or longer, younger buyers and first-timers are moving sooner. In fact, for the age groups of 18 to 34 and 35 to 44, more people said they planned on living in their homes less than five years than they did for 6 to 10 years, or for more than 10 years. Even if you think you’ll be there for 10 years, life can change at any moment, whether it’s marriage, kids, or a job change. “You should plan your own mortgage needs based on your own five-to-seven year plan,” says The Mortgage Reports.
Research the housing options in your area by going online and checking sites like Zillow or Trulia. Start by making a list of your must-haves – the things that are absolute deal breakers for you personally. For example, maybe you need two bathrooms or you don’t want stairs. Other people need to be within a certain distance of their work or need to be close to their families.
Consider that certain things should be deal breakers for anyone who’s searching for a new home. Not only should you watch for signs of water damage, but you should also check for risks of the home becoming flooded. Is it in a flood zone or at the lowest point on the street? Mold is another deal breaker, as it poses a major health risk. Also, never purchase a home in a bad school district, which negatively affects your kids (or future children) and the resale value of the home.
Next, make a list of what you would like in your new home. This list might include things like hardwood flooring, stainless steel appliances, or a fenced-in yard. Once you have your list, share it with your real estate professional. “When it comes to buying a home, it’s imperative you find a matchmaker (aka real estate professional) who can guide you through the process smoothly and make sure the blush of first love turns into a long-lasting relationship that serves you through your many stages of life,” says HGTV.
A home is one of the major assets that a couple shares. Correctly handling mutually-owned property after a divorce or break-up helps you and your ex go your separate ways on the right financial footing. Selling is often the best option, but you can also decide for one spouse to remain in the home. Some financial situations call for other options, but it’s best to seek the advice of professionals before making any decisions.
Once you’re ready to move, consider the benefits of hiring professional movers. Besides being fast, efficient, and hassle free, they’re more reliable than depending on friends to show up (and be there on time) on moving day. Also, they’re more likely to safely handle your belongings, and if anything is damaged, they hold themselves accountable. Thanks to special training and equipment, they can handle the heavy lifting safely, meaning you don’t need to risk injuring yourself.
Single women no longer feel the need to wait until they’re married to buy a house. And why should they? If you have a steady job and can afford to make the purchase, go ahead and make your dreams a reality. Just be sure to properly prepare by speaking with a real estate professional, coming up with a solid wants and needs list, and being financially smart.
Article by Brittany Fisher