Homeownership isn’t just for married folks. Nor is it limited to those in live-in relationships. Increasingly, the buyers market is full of single people — specifically single women. According to statistics, 22% of homebuyers are single females!
Setting off and buying a home on your home is the ultimate investment in independence and financial security. Worried about the process of buying a home as a single woman and the potential hurdles you could encounter? Here’s a guide to solo homeownership, courtesy of Compass Rose International.
Assess and Anticipate
The first step in your homeownership journey is to assess your finances. Ensure you have an emergency fund set up for rainy days. This will be particularly relevant for single homeowners who don’t have a partner to help pick up the slack in case of getting laid off or a health emergency. It will also come in handy after you buy your home — those leaky pipes and broken appliances will need fixing, too, at some point!
Next, be sure to anticipate your future needs. Do you plan on having kids soon? Or maybe buying a pet? Either way, your home will need to account for any changes you may see coming up. Whether it’s installing a doggy door or ensuring you have enough room for growth, planning a few steps ahead will go a long way.
Sort Out That Down Payment
You always have the option for a lower down payment. But if you can, try to put down a minimum of 20% upfront. According to Investopedia, this will help avoid paying for private mortgage insurance or PMI and accruing unnecessary interest from loans. If you find that your savings and credit score aren’t there yet, be sure to talk to a lender to figure out funding and loan options.
Factors to Consider
Remember – you’re calling all the shots here! You get to choose the features of your dream home – so make sure you’ve considered the essential factors. Safety is top of the list for single women, so do some research on the neighborhood and its safety rating (gated access is a plus). To ensure it falls within your budget, research the average listing prices of homes in your area or communities you like to get a ballpark estimate of how much the house will cost you. Also, you should ensure the home works for your lifestyle. Here, size will be a big one to consider — for example, don’t buy a five-room mansion if it’s just you around!
Buy a Fixer-Upper
Flipping a home takes great work but is also immensely rewarding and soul-satisfying. You don’t need a partner to tile that shower or fix that leaking faucet as an independent woman! However, you need the time, energy, and skills to do work or pay contractors to do it for you. You’ll also need to pay attention to market trends to ensure that the changes you’re making to the home will have a positive impact on its appraisal value, should you decide to sell down the road. But in return, you get home fully fitted out with your unique style and personality.
Most importantly, flipping a house takes your mind off the past and keeps you focused on the present. This will be important for homeowners coming out of separation with their ex. Be sure to avoid pitfalls like giving them a key to your new place or failing to set up clear boundaries when you move out. Also, consider adding security to your home, such as smart cameras, a doorbell camera, or a fence around the property.
According to this Bank of America report, homeownership is clearly on women’s minds: women prioritize buying a home over getting married or having children! While renovating or purchasing a new home is daunting, resilience and perseverance are key. In the same BOA study, women said that homeownership made them feel empowered and independent. So ride out those ups and downs and stay calm –
Hannah Simpson is a stay-at-home mom of two children. She created ablecrafty.com as a means to encourage others to create meaningful projects no matter their age or abilities.
As someone in a wheelchair, she makes accommodations depending on her project and finds joy in modifying DIY crafts. Showing her kids that their Mom can tackle any DIY project that other Moms’ and Dads’ can make, give her feelings of empowerment, and makes them proud!
She says, “I think being “a maker” is a great hobby for parents and kids alike. You can explore different mediums, spend a little or a lot of time on your pursuit, take time to focus on just yourself and what you’re making, and create something unique that makes the world a little more beautiful.”
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