Buying a Home When You’re Single

by Tommy SibigaOctober 5, 2015

Purchasing real estate is one of the best long term investments you can make. Regardless of age, marital status, or socioeconomics, it’s worth your consideration. Although the stereotypical first time home buyer is believed to be a young couple with a baby on the way, more and more single people are contemplating home ownership. If it’s on your horizon, here’s a few things to consider.

First and foremost, you have to know if you can afford to purchase a home under your own name or with the help of a cosigner. Unlike renting an apartment with several friends, you must be able to qualify for your home on your own (or potentially with the help of a non-occupant co-signer). This doesn’t disqualify you from renting out a room or two to your friends once you own the home; but for qualifying purposes, you most likely will not be able to account for possible rental income. Additionally, it may be harder to qualify for a loan on your income alone. For other helpful tips about purchasing your first home, check out our article on buying your first home.
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As you consider purchasing a home of your own, it’s important to ask yourself two questions. Are you comfortable living alone? OR would you rather have a roommate? Some folks may be eager to purchase a home to guarantee themselves privacy and independence. Others may view homeownership as an income-generator where they increase their equity by renting out their space to others. As you begin your search, consider how and who will occupy your home. Shopping for a home with roommates in mind is much different than shopping with a singular perspective. In both arrangements, it’s critical to make sure you can afford the home, with or without supplemental income from roommates.

If you’re house shopping with a roommate in mind, bring them along for the ride. Regardless of whether someone will be living with you, it’s important to have the support of some trusted friends, family, and professionals. A realtor and loan officer can provide you with a wealth of knowledge and perspective from their experience. A financial adviser can give you advice on how a home purchase can impact long term financial goals. Friends or family can help affirm if the house is right for you. Having an extra set of eye throughout the process will ensure that you are making the best decision possible.

Homeownership brings about both upfront costs and ongoing costs of associated with maintenance and repairs. As you evaluate whether or not you should buy a home, it would benefit you to research the various expenses and see how they compare to your current budget. Make sure to realistically establish a home buying budget.

Anytime you consider purchasing a home, remember it’s an investment that will impact you in the future. Think carefully about what life changes may lie ahead. Is there a significant other that may share your home down the road? Will the size of your household increase? Will your job relocate you to a different office? Are there other circumstances that could transfer you from the area? You will want to factor in any major changes that could occur within the next 5 years.

Although there may be some additional challenges related to buying a home on your own, it will pay off. Every month you’ll be making a payment that supports your living expenses and pays down your principal balance, increasing your equity. Evaluate carefully the upfront costs and consider expenses down the road. And lastly, surround yourself with a strong support system that will offer perspective on your current needs and any possible needs in the short term future. It’s a large investment and a big lifestyle change, so feel free to explore our site for other helpful articles.

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Tommy Sibiga

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