Embarking on the journey of buying a home is an exhilarating experience. Yet, for those seeking to make the most significant purchase of their lives, it can also feel overwhelming. Buying a home as a single person can be intimidating, but we have some smart tips for single home buyers that will make the process much smoother.
With challenging conditions in the Canadian housing market this year, becoming a homeowner as a solo act can carry more stress from a financial perspective than if you were going in with another person. However, each scenario has distinct advantages. For example, as a single you don’t have to consider another person’s needs and wants when it comes to finding your dream home. This means less compromising. If you work remotely or your job is flexible, as a single person, you can open your search field by looking into different cities or towns, and potentially even different provinces.
If you’re looking at entering the housing market as a solo endeavour, we’re breaking down our top tips for single home buyers, to help you make the most of your purchasing experience.
Be Aware of Your Financial History
It’s hard enough to qualify for a mortgage on one income. As always, financial history plays a significant role in getting a mortgage from a lender. Before looking at homes for sale, it’s essential to get a stronghold on your credit score, as the higher your score, the more favourable your interest rate. If your score is a little lower than you’d like, you can take steps to improve your score before seeking pre-approval for a mortgage.
When considering your financial history, you may also want to look at your potential financial future. While your mortgage will be based on a few criteria like your credit score and income, remember that living alone in a home with an extra bedroom or basement apartment creates an opportunity for rental income, which can help ease the burden of paying off a mortgage in a single-income household.
Consider Both Your Present and Future Self
As a single person wanting to purchase a home, if you’re focusing on your immediate circumstances and needs, you might consider looking at smaller homes with just one bedroom and enough living space for yourself. However, purchasing a home is a long-term investment, so it’s important to consider your future needs as well. While you may not require a ton of space right now, five or 10 years down the road, you may have a partner or children sharing your home with you, meaning you’ll be needing more space. To get the most out of your home, think about the bigger and longer-range picture before putting in an offer, but prioritize what’s realistic and within your budget.
It’s also important to consider your immediate wants and needs in a home. If you want a house with a hot tub, get the house with a hot tub, providing it’s affordable for you. After all, this is your space, and you should be able to enjoy it fully.
Be As Flexible as Possible
Above we briefly touched on how flexibility is usually at an all-time high when you’re buying a home as a solo act. Since it is just you, there is more freedom regarding location; therefore, it’s essential to keep your options open. Sure, there may be a specific neighbourhood you’ve been eyeing, but unless you must stay in the same town, solo buyers might be wise to broaden their search and look at other markets. Perhaps your dream home is in another city – you’ll never know unless you give it a shot.
Purchasing a home is a significant investment, perhaps one of the largest investments you’ll make in your lifetime. It’s easy to start second-guessing yourself when it’s time to make big decisions. However, the beauty of buying a home for yourself is that the opinions of others don’t matter. When you’re getting ready to make an offer on that house you have your eye on, seek advice rather than approval.
Before making an offer on a home or even starting your house-hunting search, connect with a professional real estate agent and a financial advisor. This way, you can get a good grasp on what you can afford based on your financial history and current income and stay in the know and have first dibs on any homes that come on the market that fit your buying parameters.