Dympna Fay-Hart
Serving Chicago Area Sellers & Buyers

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Single And Planning To Buy A Home? Some Things You Should Know

woman working at deskMany single women and men are buying homes on their own. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors® single women accounted for 21% of all home purchases last year, and single men accounted for approximately 10%.  So almost one-third of all homes sold last year were purchased by singles.

Start learning what you need to know several months before you are ready to start viewing properties.  The more you know and the better prepared you are, the quicker you will find the right home to meet your wants and needs.

Here are a few important financial tips for single home buyers (women and men):

Know What You Can Afford

You don't want to end up house rich and cash poor.  It is important to have enough money left over after your housing expenses to enjoy your life, buy the things that you need, and put some money aside for saving and investing.  Your housing expenses include the mortgage, taxes, insurance, and maintenance.  It also includes having enough money set aside for emergencies that are bound to happen now and then.  The conventional wisdom is that you should have 6 months of expenses set aside as an emergency fund.  

Before you start shopping for a home you should find the loan program that best fits your current needs and your future plans.  Take into consideration how long you think you will be in your new home.  There are many different types of loans . . . some with as little as 3% down payments . . . and if you're only going to be in your home for a few years you may also want to consider an adjustable rate mortgage that can save you considerable money in the first few years. 

You should contact a trusted loan officer early in the process to advise you what kind of loan program best suits your cash requirements as well as your housing and lifestyle goals.  After discussing all the options with your loan officer, you will know how much you need for a down payment, and approximately what your monthly mortgage payment will be at a given home price.

Protect Your Assets

When you are purchasing a property alone, all the responsibility lies on you.  To protect yourself and your assets, it is very important that you have adequate insurance coverage for life, disability. and healthcare.  You might also want to look into setting up a trust so that the proceeds from your insurance policies go to your independent beneficiary if something happens to you.

If you get married at some later date, you can also look into shielding your home in the event of a divorce with a prenuptial agreement. or keep your property entirely in your name.

Consult Experts and Take Your Time

Since buying a home may be one of the biggest financial decisions you will ever make, it is important to do your research and take your time ensuring all the bases are covered.  Working with people who can provide you with expert guidance is essential.  Choose a real estate agent and lender early in the process so you have trusted advisers that you can ask questions of who can point you in the right direction. 

If you're planning to purchase a home soon, please give me a call.  I can answer all your questions and provide you with the guidance you need to make a savvy real estate decision.

Get more advice from Realtor.com: http://www.realtor.com/advice/going-solo-home-buying-tips-for-one/