Buying a Home as a Single Woman
4 tips from a real estate agent.
By Beverly Custer
Nationally there is a growing trend among single women when it comes to purchasing a home: they are more than twice as likely as single men to do so, and in fact they prioritize home ownership above being married and having children, according to Bank of America’s 2018 Homebuyer Insights Report. Whether you’re a young woman fresh out of college, newly divorced or simply looking to purchase a home for the first time, here are four steps you can take now to join in the rising ranks of single women home owners:
1 Time for a reality check.
Terree’ Campbell, an Albuquerque real estate agent and owner of Campbell & Campbell Real Estate Services, advises women to assess their finances to see what they can afford. “Take a look at what it means to own property versus an apartment: what are you paying now for rent compared to what you would be for a mortgage payment? Rental prices are high in Albuquerque. If you’ve got good credit and a stable job or income, you can own your own home.”
2 Talk to a mortgage banker ahead of time.
“Look at what you want to do, where you want to be, and know what you can afford,” says Terree’. Mortgage bankers are the experts that will know the latest information about options and programs single women may have available to them. For example, first-time home buyers may be able to get into a house for zero down. “There are programs for teachers, and first responders, as well,” she says. A mortgage banker can help you assess your personal debt-to-income ratio, and can advise you how much you’ll need for home ownership. Part of the process is reviewing your credit report, and getting you prequalified for a home loan. “Some women may not be ready…their credit may not be in line, but they may be close,“ Terree’ says.
3 You’ll need to establish credit.
“If you have bad credit, it’s going to be a challenge, but it’s not impossible,” says Terree’, who has 21 years’ experience in the real estate business. After the initial meeting with a mortgage banker and finding out where you stand financially, you’ll be advised to correct any issues you might have. “Do you have lots of credit card debt? That’s something you’ll need to take care of. No credit? I’d suggest getting a low-interest credit card, and pay it off immediately to establish credit.”
4 Speak with a real estate agent.
There are certain amenities with condominiums. Maybe you’re wanting to live in a gated community. Or be where you don’t have to take care of the landscaping, which may mean Home Owners Association (HOA) fees. A realtor will make you aware of these ahead of time.