You’re a single lady and you’re content not have a ring on your finger. Not so when it comes to buying property on your own though – you may prefer the emotional and financial back-up of a spouse. Married women may have this back-up but they’ll also need a larger house both she and her partner agree on. They have current or future children to consider as well. In comparison, single ladies responsible only for themselves can go wild when buying – to an extent.
Property purchasing needs confidence and clever coolness in spades. Then too, both single and married women are well known for reasoning with their hearts, not their heads – and many of us love to nest. This triple combination can end in a big back slide when it comes to house hunting, especially when there’s no man beside you to offer logic to the situation.
Remember that while that cute cottage is undoubtedly just that, it also represents a big portion of your savings and hard work. Plus, you alone will be responsible for organising and paying off your mortgage.
So, tough as it can be, begin thinking smart, turn your back on fear and doubt, and start over. Aim to be circumspect and cautious; throw away the emotional investment; and lead off with sense, rather than sensibility.
One of the biggest drawbacks to buying as a single woman is not having spouse support if the worst happens, such as losing your job or being unable to work due to ill health. So, now, more than ever, is the time examine your finances carefully.
Have a safety net or back-up plan especially for emergencies. This essential buffer will also assist you with often forgotten costs including building and pest inspections, conveyancing, agent and loan set up fees, and taxes.
Then there’s all the little things you might want to restyle and renovate around your new home. In short, only look at properties priced less than your maximum budget.
What can you afford?
Stick to this general rule of thumb: you should only pay an absolute maximum of 30% of your after-tax income on your mortgage. Work out how much this payment is on a monthly basis, and once you’ve got this cost sorted, use a free online calculator to help figure out how much you can borrow. Then, whatever you do, stand by this number (rather than a man!).
Visit several different banks and independent mortgage brokers, but don’t commit to the first lender you talk to. Bear in mind that as a single, some lenders might consider you higher risk than a couple. If your bank tells you this or similar, don’t be daunted. And never allow them to tell you how much you can afford as many will let you borrow more than you should.
Saying this, it’s always best to know how much you can afford before having this conversation. Also, research loan types and interest rates and exactly what you want in a mortgage.
Do you want to be able to make extra payments or withdraw money? Is there an offset account option?
Invest in research
Think about want you want in a house and look at places online first before heading to plenty of inspections, even in suburbs you don’t like. Doing this will help you figure out what you can reasonably afford with your budget.
Work out current values and growth potential; investigate previous price dates and sales, and research comparable sales in nearby areas.
Bring a trusted friend or family member with you to open inspections. A second opinion, and any advice they have to offer, is crucial to your property hunt. Just remember you’ll be living at the home, not them (if you’re buying as an owner-occupier).
Most importantly, take your time and look at plenty of houses. This is potentially the biggest financial decision you’ll ever make and as a single lady, the ring is on your finger when finding your dream home. Good luck!
Content originally appeared on The Real Estate Voice
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