There was a time when a single woman couldn’t even think about buying a home. It seems that a bell would ring if she visited an open house without a spouse. Nowadays, many empowered single women are buying and selling real estate. They are investing in their slice of the Canadian Home Ownership Dream.
Time have changed as more and more single women are purchasing properties. The traditional definition of home ownership segment is changing. It is no longer only for the heterosexual married couple.
Indeed, we are seeing more and more diverse groups of buyers in the Greater Toronto. From single women to single men, to the unmarried couple buying homes. To siblings getting together, to friends taking the leap into home ownership.
In fact, a recent CMHC survey showed that single women are one of the fastest growing home buyer groups. From the young professional in their 20s and 30s to the divorced mothers in their 40s purchasing a condo. To the widows in their late 50s, no average single women are buying homes. Hence, their needs such as preferred neighborhoods, are as diverse as their background.
Are you a single lady who is on the market to buy a property? If you are thinking of buying a home now in the Greater Toronto, this blog post aims to help you with that journey.
If you decided not to wait for marriage, check the following four steps to get you started.
1. Take A Realistic Look At Your Financial Situation
Start by seeking the advice of a qualified mortgage broker. He or she will educate you on your options and what you can afford. You’ll have a clear picture of what it takes to buy a home per your situation and find out about closing costs.
Make sure you explain your financial affairs to your trusted mortgage advisor. So, you don’t enter any misguided mortgage agreements that may not be wise down the road.
Please note that you don’t have to spend all your maximum home buying budget. You don't want to become “house poor.” You want some flexibility to explore your neighborhood lifestyle.
2. Seek Out The Opinion Of A Local Registered Real Estate Professional in Ontario
A skilled real estate professional will make the process less complicated. It is also important to know what are your needs? As a homeowner, you'll know what neighbourhood fits your lifestyle. You’ll understand why location is king?
Your real estate professional will explain the different type of properties. You should have a good idea about the cost difference between buying a condo or a house with a rental apartment. Or if the purchase of a townhouse will be a better alternative? Often the service of a real estate agent is FREE for home buyers.
3. Learn As Much As You Can About The Home Buying Journey
You are not off the hook. Learn more about the process by investing time in taking homeownership classes. Attend first-time home buyer programs and homebuyer support groups. You may find out about grants and tax credit. You'll discover new down-payment assistance programs that may apply to your circumstance.
Explore your top three (3) neighborhoods. You'll want to assess safety and security features. Take a stroll during different times of the day and night. Look for restaurants, coffee shops, stores, shopping, fitness centers in the area. Analyze the commute time to your work. Decide what makes sense for you.
You could also involve your friends or family to help you with making the right decision.
4. Save And Save As Much As Possible
Buying a home is one of the most expensive purchase you’ll make in your lifetime. As a single woman, financing can be challenging. Especially, when there are only one income and one person’s assets to take into consideration.
Contemplate putting as much down as you can so your mortgage payments are manageable.
Remember to have a budget of at least 1.5% to 2% of the purchase price for closing costs. Don't forget about home insurance, home appraisal, mortgage application, and moving expenses. They are upfront costs that make up your real estate journey.
Be intentional about saving up as much as possible for your down payment. At last, keep plenty of emergency cash for last minute expenses.
Now that buying a home or a condo, as a single woman is on your radar, congratulations on making that decision. Be confident about your decision and follow these steps to get you on the right track. It is also important to have a clear picture of what your needs as a homeowner. So, you don't settle for something that will not work with your lifestyle.
These were few steps to reflect on when buying a home as a single woman. Over to you. Do you have any others to add? Let me know in the comment below.