While banks do tend to prefer two names on a mortgage, owning a home is by no means reserved for couples.
Worldwide, the number of single buyers is on the rise, with younger people getting married later in life, and more single parents choosing to buy homes in order to provide more stability to their children.
It has been noted that, in the US, almost 25% of all new buyers are single, the majority of which are women.
In South Africa, single buyers used to make up 13% of all home buyers and this has increased to 19% in recent years!
Although buying a house on your own may seem overwhelming, it has become one of the wisest decisions one can make, particularly in cases where you have job security and are sure of the area you want to settle in for at least a number of years.
Because of the fact that prices and interest rates seem to be on the rise, it will become exponentially more difficult for one to qualify for a home loan, meaning that doing so while you are in the position to is a smart move.
Here are a few pointers to solo homeownership to keep in mind:
#1 – Financial planning
If you follow some simple guidelines and ensure that you are financially prepared, the process can move along swiftly and without stress.
A vital step is to get prequalified for a home loan in order to get a handle on exactly what you can afford. This will rule out any properties out of your price range and save time in the process.
Always ensure that you are prepared for unexpected occurrences such as illness, job loss or a sudden change in the market.
#2 – Resale potential
It is always a good idea, whether buying alone or with a partner, to take into account the resale value of the property.
If you end up having to move suddenly, knowing that the home you choose will be resold easily and at a good price is highly beneficial. For instance, if the property is close to a good school, don’t disregard this fact just because you don’t have children – if you ever decide to sell, it could be a major asset.
#3 – Safety and security
Because you’re buying a home alone, security and safety are even more important!
Your home will be vacant more often and, therefore, at a higher risk of being broken into. The neighbourhood’s safety as a whole needs to be taken into account, as well as whether the house has decent security facilities.
Look at whether the property has burglar bars, an alarm system, electric gates and the sort before considering less important factors.
#4 – Maintenance
You may come across a home that you love but needs some TLC. It’s here that you need to be sure of just how much time you have to spare on maintenance jobs.
While maintenance tasks such as painting, gardening and deep cleaning are manageable, they are very time-consuming. If you don’t feel you have the time or facilities to do this alone, you can easily hire a professional to do it for you but must have the funds to do so.
Even with homes that are in perfect condition, there is a certain amount of general maintenance that comes with owning a place of your own, so be sure that you are prepared for it.
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