Increasing numbers of single Canadians are entering the housing market alone. According to Mortgage Professionals Canada, the third-largest demographic of Canadian home-buyers (18%) are single adults with no kids. Single adults are even more prominent as first-time home-buyers. According to the 2017 Genworth Canada First-Time Home Ownership Study, 41% of first-time home-buyers were single. Buying a home on your own is an empowering step: here are three top-of-mind considerations if you’re house hunting for one.
Solo-buying consideration No. 1: Financial fitness for one
As a solo home-buyer, you’re doing all the heavy lifting. Your savings dictate your down payment, while your credit score and financials determine how much of a mortgage you qualify for. Be sure to ramp up your financial fitness as early as possible, so that you’re in the best financial shape possible when it comes time to line up your financing:
- Pay down consumer debt.
- Stop job hopping. Lenders favour mortgage applicants who’ve spent two years or more with their current employer. Otherwise, be sure to provide a letter from your current employer indicating that your job is a permanent position.
- Bulk up your savings so you can grow your down payment and be prepared for closing costs.
- Create a budget based on your home ownership goals and anticipated monthly costs.
Solo-buying consideration No. 2: Finding your own sweet home!
One of the best things about buying your own home alone, is the ability to put your own priorities front and centre.
Condo living is an obvious choice for those seeking affordability in big cities, and for the ease of a turnkey home with zero exterior maintenance needs. You may be able to achieve home ownership sooner than you think. Value-added features that single buyers should consider, include the following:
- Walk-ability. Why pay for a vehicle for one if you can get by on public transit, bike or foot?
- On-site party room facilities, which make it easier to be social, even in a small studio space.
- Fitness facilities, which enable busy workers many of whom may have side gigs “ to squeeze in workouts while saving the expense of a gym membership.
Though not typically associated with the single lifestyle, suburban living is another attractive option. New town-homes and condo developments have expanded their appeal to younger buyers who have not entered their family-living years.
For those who enjoy gardening and home maintenance, a house provides room to sprawl now, as well as room to grow into should others join your household down the road.
Solo-buying consideration No. 3: Protecting your property
Your home is probably your largest asset, so protecting it will be an ongoing consideration. Issues single homeowners should pay particular attention to include the following:
- Hardship. Unforeseen circumstances such as illness and job loss can make meeting payment obligations a challenge.
- Budgeting. Now that you own your own home, it’s even more important to stay focused on meeting your payment obligations, maintaining your strong credit, and building an emergency fund to cover home repairs or maintenance.
- Relationship issues. If things progress with a new love interest and you’re considering moving in together, it’s crucial that you discuss home ownership and financial obligations. Consider speaking to a lawyer about the best way to protect your rights and interests in the property.
I hope these tips help – if you have any questions about buying a home on your own give me a call.