Nearly 20 percent of US homebuyers today are single women. With many women marrying later and spending more time focusing on their careers before they decide to start a family, more and more are deciding that the right time to buy a house is before they tie the knot. In fact, according to The Atlantic, the average age of marriage for women is 27, up from 23 in 1990.
As you would imagine though, buying a house as a single woman is somewhat different from buying a house after marriage or with a significant other. Having only one income can change your homebuying experience substantially. However, there is no reason to fear buying a home just because you have yet to get married. There are quite a few things you can do to make your homebuying experience smoother as a single woman.
Determining How Much Home You Can Afford
Firstly, you need to carefully consider how much home you can afford before you even begin looking at listings. With only one income, it is necessary that you ensure your calculations are correct and as accurate as possible. Dave Ramsey suggests the following steps to calculate your maximum mortgage payment. Firstly, calculate exactly how much money you make each month. You should be as exact as possible and round down if you aren’t exactly sure. It is always better to buy too little home than too much. Then, multiply your monthly take-home by 0.25 to get your maximum mortgage payment. If you spend more money a month than most people, whether due to a lavish lifestyle or debt, make sure to take that into account. Then, you should consider what loan type you are going to get, the current average APR, and homeowner’s fees and adjust your maximum mortgage rate accordingly.
Pick the Right Home
Now that you know how much you can spend, you need to pick the correct house to spend your money on. Not all houses are the same; some make better investments than others. You should consider a house’s location first and foremost. Houses in bad neighborhoods or in dwindling suburbs are probably not the best bet if you plan on selling your home at any point in the future. Preferably, you want a house that suits your tastes, is in your budget, and is in a good, up-and-coming neighborhood.
Decide What to Do with Currently Owned Property
No one wants to pay two mortgages at the same time. If you currently own property, it is very important that you sell it before purchasing another home. If your home is mutually owned by you and an ex-significant other, then it might be a little more difficult than just deciding to sell the home. What is mutually owned and what isn’t can be confusing, but a good attorney should be able to sort it out for you and help you decide how to handle the property. HuffPost recommends knowing whether you want the house before going into the proceedings because it can vastly change your attorney’s strategy.
When it comes to moving as a single woman, you are in charge of everything. Because of this, it is important to have a checklist that contains everything you have to get done. Without one, you could very easily forget something and get off track. Once you have a list of everything you need to get done, be sure to give yourself plenty of time. Moving by yourself takes far longer than you might initially think.
Moving as a single woman is vastly different from moving as a couple. All the work falls down to you, which means that it is important for you to stay on top of everything. However, with this short guide, you’ll be sure to get off on the right foot.
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