The Single Woman’s Guide to Buying a New Home
Single in 21st century is not a stigma; it’s a sign of independence. Women nowadays are their own bosses. They take leading positions and are in control of their own lives. So, why wait for “Mr. Perfect” to come around in order to buy a home? This is a big step that may appear challenging for a single person at the beginning. But it’s not impossible!
Can you buy on your own? Should you? This single woman’s guide to buying a new home will help you determine if you are ready. Here is how smart girls do it.
Planning to buy a home
Buying a home is an overwhelming experience, especially when you do it alone. List all the important issues and activities related to your new purchase. Schedule a time to search for homes, to meet with real estate agents, to choose the right agent, and to organize your budget.
Having a good idea what you want home-wise, where you want to live, and how much you can afford to spend will help keep your focus sharp as you look for the ideal property for your needs.
We’re talking location here. As a single woman, it is better to set an eye on a more tranquil neighborhood. Buying an estate in a low crime area should be your number one priority. You don’t want to end up in a place where you will feel anxious every time you cross the street to get to your door step.
During daylight some neighborhoods seem perfectly fine, but when the sun goes down, it’s a whole different story. A little investigation will give you a broader look. Here are a few things you can do. Drop by the nearest police station and talk with the officers about any existing issues.
Another option is to chitchat with people who live in the neighborhood. Check on the internet for any crime statistics in the area. Don’t rely only on indirect information. Explore. Drive around the place during night time and see for yourself. Remember: you should undertake these steps before signing any papers.
Research & Compromise
It all comes down to one point: Research. Nothing good falls from the sky and you need to put in some effort to find your dream home. Explore the area, look at available websites, and select a good real estate agency. Ask for advice from people who have already gone through the process. They can even recommend a reliable real estate agent and save you some time. However, always interview even if an agent comes recommended. Just because they were a good fit for someone else does not mean they will be for you.
Don’t hold things up because of high requirements and expectations. Otherwise you will always find some minor flaws and never decide on any home. As often happens in life you will have to give up one thing for another. Think about the basic qualities that you’re looking in a home. The rest is just a commodity.
Small is Better
A large house with a vast green yard is a dream come true for many. But be honest. Do you really need that much space? Of course, some day you may have a family and you will need something more appropriate. Until then, think about your current situation. A big house may feel lonely.
With your obligations at work and at home, keeping a huge living space constantly organized would be a challenge. Smaller houses on the other hand, require less time to clean. Plus, you will pay lower maintenance and utility costs.
Find the One
Finding a good real estate agent may be as difficult as meeting your perfect match. Check well established companies with stable reputations. Talk to friends and family for recommendations. Go online and do some searches to determine which agents have a good online presence.
As always, meet with different agents before choosing the one. Approach it in the same way as dating. Don’t underestimate the role of real estate agents. An experienced professional will help you to go smoothly through all the procedures.
Know Your Budget
In any case, don’t apply for a loan if you haven’t checked your credit files. Even the smallest error may result in rejection. The web is a golden mine when it comes to quick and available information. Get a free mortgage and credit rating guide. Estimate how much your borrowing will cost with the plethora of free online calculators. Make a checklist of what you need to know before taking any major steps.
If taking a loan, you should get familiar with some basic terms that will come in handy when you plan your budget. Every mortgage payment consists of four components – principle, interest, taxes and insurance (PITI).
According to these criteria the banks determine whether you qualify for a credit and how much you will pay. The acronym will help you get a more critical insight on the costs associated with buying and owning a home.
Principle –the amount of money that you borrowed and that you need to return to the lender. Usually loans are structured in a way that you start with small payment, mainly consisting of the interest, and gradually increase.
Interest – the amount that the borrower charges you for taking the risk and lending you money.
Taxes – real estate taxes are assessed by the government agencies to sponsor different public services. The payments are spread across the number of mortgage payments throughout the year.
Insurance – there two type of insurance; property insurance protects your home from theft, fire and other disasters. If your down payment is less than 20% of the total price of the estate, you will need to insure the loan too.
If you feel insecure, meet with a mortgage broker that will explain how to do most of your single person income. Go over your credit report and discuss it together. In this way you will know your loan range, based on what you can afford to pay each month. Make sure you receive a pre–approval letter. This document confirms that you qualify for a certain amount of credit. In addition, it will make you a competitive home buyer despite the fact that you’re single.
Know the Unexpected Expenses
There are many unexpected expenses related to home owning. If you don’t want to be surprised unpleasantly consider the following things that may come up along the way. Removal or man with van costs, home repairs, upgrades, furniture, and even small extras add up additional expenses to your budget.
Knowing as much as possible gives you the advantage to negotiate the price or to avoid any unpleasant surprises. Getting a home inspection is a good idea. Make sure you hire a qualified professional. It will cost you a few hundred dollars but will be well worth the funds spent, especially if it uncovers problems.
Don’t be afraid of taking major steps in your life just because you’re single. Instead, approach the issue of home-ownership diligently and with a lot of thought. Your ideal home is somewhere out there, waiting for you to find it.
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