3 Tips on Buying a House as a Single Person
There are some myths so common they seem like absolute truths throughout life. Things like “you can’t wear white after Labor Day.” Or “it can be tough to buy a house when you’re single.”
Here’s the thing about myths: they were meant to be busted. You can choose what you want to wear—there is no fashion police! More importantly, single people can (successfully) buy homes! Buying a home when you’re single is the exact same process as buying one when you’re married.
It just requires some extra thought and planning. If you’re single and looking to buy, here are three helpful tips to help you go from “what’s next?” to “welcome home!”
Knowledge is Buying Power
The first thing is understanding how much home you can afford. To make it easy, you can use our mortgage calculator to determine how much home you can comfortably afford. The general rule is you should spend no more than 30% of your monthly income on housing costs, which include things like your mortgage, property tax, and private mortgage insurance.
Of course, this is just a guideline, but the concept is still important. Attempting to borrow more than you can afford can create unexpected challenges when trying to qualify for a mortgage.
Leverage a Co-Signer
If you haven’t established a strong credit history yet, then applying for a mortgage with a co-signer may be a good option. A co-signer’s assets, income, and credit history are considered along with your own, which may increase your chances of approval.
If you do have a co-signer, there’s one important thing to keep in mind—you’re still responsible for making payments. We know that’s a bit of a no-brainer, but it’s important to note because your co-signer is also contractually obligated to repay the loan if you fail to pay. To that point, if you need a co-signer to meet an income requirement, it could be a sign that you’re interested in a home above your price range.
Understanding whether you should leverage a co-signer or not is one more important reason why it’s crucial to work with an experienced mortgage lender so they can help guide you through the process. The great news is you don’t have to look far to find one—you can easily choose from one of our experienced loan officers by clicking here.
Save Up for a Down Payment
Typically, dual-income households have the advantage of two people contributing to the down payment fund. That doesn’t mean a single person is at a disadvantage! It just means you’ll need to be smart about saving.
While you’re saving up for a home, getting roommates or moving in with family members is a great way to cut costs and save. If you can save 20% of the home’s purchase price as your down payment, you could ultimately save on the backend of the life of the loan. Think of it as paying more upfront to pay less overall!
However, if you’re unable to save up 20%, no worries! There are still plenty of other options to help you get into your dream home—such as an FHA Loan, USDA Loan, or VA Loan. Some first-time homebuyers may qualify for programs that enable you to put significantly less down, or even finance your down payment into your home loan.
Final Thoughts (and Your Next Steps)
In the same way, some rules are made to be broken, some myths are meant to be busted—as we just showed. If you’re single and looking to buy, there are more than a few options to help you achieve your homeownership goals.
Of course, the homebuying process can sometimes feel overwhelming when you are going at it alone—just remember, you’re not actually going at it alone. Your dedicated team at Atlantic Coast Mortgage will be with you each step of the way helping you navigate potential hurdles and achieve your dream of homeownership. There’s no need to hesitate—reach out today!