Single women represent 17 percent of homebuyers in the United States. Thanks to steady job growth and less strict credit conditions, many single women are feeling a willingness to buy and seizing that opportunity. If you’re a single woman who’s in the market to buy a new home, you should first assess your finances, know what to look for in a home, and find ways to make the moving process go smoothly.
Assessing Your Finances
Be realistic about what you can afford, and when you set a budget for your mortgage, don’t forget to include closing costs and ongoing costs like homeowners insurance, property taxes, utilities, and maintenance. Research what some of these costs will be in the areas in which you’re interested. Start by reviewing your monthly budget, and find something that doesn’t break it. Consider working with a mortgage broker, who can assist you with your budget, help you make the most of your one-person income, and deal with any glitches on your credit score.
Your first home is unlikely to be your dream home, but once you build some equity, you can upgrade your home by selling and moving. Be willing to make compromises at first. Although you may want to be in large home in a central location, that typically means paying a higher price. Consider living a short drive out of the main city, or you can opt for an in-the-city place with less square footage.
Searching for Your New Home
Research neighborhoods and drop by them during the day and night. If you see residents in their gardens or walking their dogs, ask them how they feel about the neighborhood and its safety. However, you shouldn’t judge a neighborhood’s safety on appearances alone, nor on online regional statistics; instead, request crime statistics from the local police precinct.
If you want to purchase a condo or townhouse, opt for a unit on the second floor to decrease the likelihood of someone breaking in through a window. If you’re considering a house, look for certain safety features, such as a garage with interior access to the house and windows that are high off the ground. The front door should be viewable from the street, and the entrance path should be well lit.
Select a house that reflects your lifestyle. For example, if entertaining is important to you, ensure the home has space for you to do so. If you love gardening, a home with a space for a garden could be ideal. A house that’s within walking distance to restaurants and shops can be perfect for someone who enjoys the nightlife.
Everyone has a stage of moving that’s his or her least favorite: the actual moving day, packing everything up, or unpacking at the new place. Regardless of how you feel about unpacking, there are ways to make unpacking more manageable. For starters, clean before you start unpacking by wiping down the countertops, sweeping the floors, and vacuuming the carpets. Also, stick to unpacking your bathroom and bedroom on the first day so you can shower and rest up for the remaining boxes. Once you tackle the remaining boxes, start with the easy items first, such as books and clothes (i.e., things you can put on shelves or in drawers).
While packing and unpacking are tedious, moving and lifting all of the boxes, furniture, and other heavy items is physically demanding and time consuming. Well that’s if you do it yourself or with a few friends. But when you hire movers, they have extra muscle to move furniture and heavy objects, so there’s no achy back or pulled muscles for you or friends. They also have more hands on deck, so they get the job done faster. And you won’t even need to consider asking your ex to do the job, sparing you from any awkwardness or pain.
Homeownership is a big investment and a significant life decision. However, there’s no reason why buying a home should be limited to couples. If you’re a single woman who’s done her homework on your financial capabilities, what you need and want in a home, and how to make the moving process go smoothly, then you’re ready to make the move and buy a new home.