Tips for the Single Buyer

Real Estate Agent with The Pitcher Group

home buyer tipsBuying your first home can be a little intimidating...especially when you are doing it alone.  Who said you can't do it alone, anyway?  These days, more and more single people are heading into the home-owner's market.  In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, single buyers consist of up to 32 percent of home buyers.  So, congratulations to you!  You are taking a very important step, however, there are a few extra things to consider during the home buying process.  The following information is provided by the Smart Borrower Center.

Putting the "single" in single family homes

When deciding what kind of home to buy, determine your needs and wants.  Consider how long you intend to stay in the home and how you needs might change.  Your needs may differ from the traditional needs of a couple.  For example, you may prefer an urban area with other singles to a suburban neighborhood with child-friendly parks.  You may also be looking for a smaller space with fewer bedrooms or a one-car garage.  While you may not have children of your own, you should consider looking for a home in a good school district, as it may increase your resale potential.

If you are in the market for a single family home, you will likely be competing with offers from couples who have a double income.  Single people often feel daunted by this, as they think a couple will automatically have more purchasing power.  But a double income does not necessarily translate into twice the money--a couple may also have twice the debt and twice the expenses.  To help, get pre-qualified for a mortgage before you start looking.  This will help you know exactly how much house you can afford and will add weight to any offer you make.

Don't let down payments get you down

According to a U.S. Census Bureau Housing Affordability study, 3.2 million households cited an inability to gather a down payment as the primary reason for not being able to afford a house.  If you are single and shopping, a 15 to 20 percent down payment may seem like an insurmountable hurdle.  But some lenders will finance you with only five percent down and, with careful budgeting, it should be possible to pull together a modest down payment.

Don't forget to research groups like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as government organizations like the Federal Housing Administration, to learn about programs that can help secure a mortgage or buy a home with a down payment below five percent.

Housing alternatives

As a single buyer, you don't need to limit yourself to single family homes.  Consider the advantages of purchasing a town house or condominium, where structural repairs and other maintenance tasks are handled by the condominium association.

Cut expenses

If you are not quite ready to make the full mortgage payments yourself, there are ways to reduce your costs in the first few years and grow into home ownership.  Consider these options to make your dream home affordable:

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Carla Muss-Jacobs, Principal Broker (503) 810-7192 | Portland Metro Exclusive Buyers Agent | 100% Buyer Representation ~ 100% of the Time - Portland, OR
Buyer Focused ~ Buyer Results

I've represented A LOT of buyers who purchased a home individually.   It's very rewarding to assist them in their home purchase.  They rely on you, and respect the opinions rendered.  I enjoy working with single buyers!  LOVE IT!!  Great post about this particular buyer!! 

Jul 19, 2011 07:19 AM #1
Jessica Holtzman
Keller Williams Realty, Inc. - Moorestown, NJ
Real Estate Agent in Southern New Jersey, CDPE

I read an article where it said 60% of buyers were FHA.  I think that there are a lot more single buyers out there too, and lots of good programs for them!

Jul 19, 2011 01:55 PM #2
Brian Pitcher
The Pitcher Group - Salt Lake City, UT

Caria, I agree with you on your points above, I truly enjoy working with single buyers as well. Thank you for your thumbs up on the post too, glad that you enjoyed it!

Jul 21, 2011 07:30 AM #3
Brian Pitcher
The Pitcher Group - Salt Lake City, UT

Jessica, very true. If you can find that article that you read please post the link here, I think it would be a great read for the ActiveRain community.

Jul 21, 2011 07:31 AM #4
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