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Should Single People Buy Their Own House?


At a time when a lot of young adults are postponing marriage, the number of Americans buying a house on a single income is substantial. Some say as many as 47% of millennial homebuyers last year were unmarried. Because single mortgage applicants rely on one salary and one credit profile in order to secure a loan, getting through the underwriting process can be a bit trickier. 

Buying a home on a single income is doable. In fact, well over one in three buyers go it alone on a mortgage. But know what you're getting into first. Crunch the numbers. Forecast future costs and savings. Also, plan for changes down the road. You may end up buying a new or refinancing with a co-borrower partner to come. Just keep a close eye on finances. And don't let housing costs overwhelm your budget. Below we explain how to buy a house as a single person. 

Know Your Finances

Having only one income to rely on in purchasing a home can stretch you financially, so it's a good idea to go over your finances before considering a home purchase. You'll also want to take steps to improve your credit score before buying a home. Consider the stability of your income and whether you have enough savings to see you through if something happens to that source of income. As a single person, you will want to have a large savings buffer, because you won't be able to fall back on another person's income if yours is disrupted. The rule of thumb is that your emergency fund should have at least six months of income - nine if your income is unpredictable.

Don't House Hunt Alone

House hunting can be a confusing process. For that reason, bringing a trusted friend or family member to house hunt with you can be helpful. Invite someone who has been a homeowner before to help you determine the best house for you.

Consider a Fixer Upper

A growing trend among home buyers with limited means has been buying older properties and rehabbing them. There are a few mortgage products in the market right now that make that easier. Fannie Mae has a loan called Home Style and FHA has what's called a 203k loan. They both allow you to not only finance the purchase price but also construction costs in the loan to help your home look new. This is one way women can buy less inexpensive homes and make them new, also giving them a much higher valued property at completion.

Finally, enjoy the moment. If you're a single person, and you saved to buy a home by yourself, congrats! It's not an easy process and it can be long and tedious. So, once you finally close on your home and you get the key to a place you can call your own, enjoy it! You've earned this.

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