A Single Woman's Guide to Home Buying
As many people are coming to recognize, now is an excellent time to buy
a home and take advantage of the lower home prices and interest rates;
provided you have the credit history to be approved for a mortgage loan.
Many single women are now doing precisely that. On a national level, 21%
of all home purchases are made by single women, compared to just 10% of
home purchases that are made by single men. Buying a home as a single
woman is somewhat different than making a purchase as a couple or as a
single male buyer. Below are some tips that can help to guide you
through the process if you are planning to buying a home as a single
woman in the near future.
First, keep in mind that the mortgage payment is only part of the
expenses you will be responsible for when you purchase a home. It can be
very easy to be lured into the idea of purchasing a home, believing you
will pay less per month than you would by renting. While this can be
true in many instances, you still need to be prepared for other
expenses. For instance, suppose you purchase a $150,000 home, make a 10%
down payment and have a 5.3% interest rate on your mortgage loan. That
would put your payments around $750 per month. This is not the total
picture; however. That payment only covers the principal and interest
and does not take into account any other home related expenses such as
homeowners insurance, property taxes and private mortgage insurance. It
also does not include the cost of home maintenance (Find out the details
home buying cost here). Before purchasing a
home, make absolutely sure that you will be able to handle all of the
costs associated with owning the home along with any other debts you may
have such as car loans and credit card payments so that you do not
inadvertently find yourself with a monthly debt load you cannot handle.
This is actually one of the most common mistakes that many single women
tend to make when they purchase a home; overextending themselves
financially. Consider all of the costs upfront and make a budget for
yourself in order to avoid this common problem.
Second, make sure that you obtain all of the information and options
available when shopping around for a mortgage. In some instances, there
can be a tendency for loan officers not to lay out all of the available
options because there is a perceived stereotype about single women that
they simply do not understand the intricacies of financing. Take the
initiative to check around with several mortgage lenders and avoid
selecting a lender simply based on the recommendation of a friend or a
family member. This will help you to obtain the best mortgage along with
the lowest interest rate and associated fees.
Do not be afraid to ask for concessions from the sellers. Today it is
possible for many buyers to obtain concessions from sellers repair
problems that may turn up in an inspection as well as other matters.
This can help to reduce the short-term maintenance on the home and save
you money in the long run. You might also consider asking for a one-year
warranty that will cover repairs on major systems and appliances within
the home. An increasing number of sellers are now willing to cover the
cost of such warranties.
When shopping around for a home, be sure to think in terms of the future
as well as the present. What are your plans for the future and how will
the home you are considering play into those plans? Are you considering
relocating in the next three to five years? Do you see yourself
continuing to live in the home for several years into the future? What
about family plans? While it can be difficult to predict the future, it
is a good idea to consider how well the home you are considering will
still fit your needs not only today but a few years down the road as well.
Purchasing a home as a single woman can be an excellent investment that
can serve you well into the future regardless of whether you continue to
live in it on your own, start a family or possibly sell it at some
point. The key is to make sure that you exercise all of your options, do
your research and stand up for yourself throughout the negotiation process.