With the marriage rate dropping in the U.S., it’s no surprise that we’re seeing more and more single home buyers enter the real estate market in New Orleans. Because buying a home on your own presents its own set of challenges, we thought we’d give you a few tips on making the process a little smoother.
Financing for single home buyers
Income is the main obstacle for single home buyer mortgage approval, so the more money you have saved for a down payment the better. Don’t take on a mortgage payment that stretches you to your limit, because as a single home buyer, you’re all you’ve got. Leave some wiggle room in your budget to account for future tax or insurance cost increases.
Get your credit in order. It’s all on you and that’s a good thing because you’re not at the mercy of anyone else’s bad decisions. Review your credit report and take care of any inaccuracies before applying for a mortgage loan.
FHA loans are an excellent product for single buyers. 3.5% down payments mean less cash needed to purchase. Looser credit requirements make FHA loans easier to qualify for as well.
Some geeky stats
Single women as twice as likely to buy a home as single men. What’s up with that guys? Single women accounted for nearly 20 percent of the homes purchased in 2019 and that number continues to grow. In New Orleans, single women own over 16% of homes, while single men own 11.5%. As women stay single longer, they aren’t waiting for marriage before investing in real estate.
The realities of single home buyers
Don’t discount the time and money it takes to maintain a home. Prepare for maintenance issues, because there will ALWAYS be maintenance issues. Single-family homes require more hands-on upkeep than condos, so consider how handy you are or how much room you have in your budget for service and repairs when you’re deciding on a property type.
Don’t let negative people scare you away from homeownership. If you’ve considered the costs of purchasing and maintaining a home and it’s what you want to do, yours is absolutely the only opinion that matters.
As a single home buyer, you’ll have more options because you aren’t being forced to buy a large home to accommodate extra people. There’s less competition for condos and smaller 1 or 2 bedroom homes, putting you in a more flexible position when house or condo shopping.
Your first home might not be your forever home. This is true for everyone, but especially for single home buyers. As life happens, you may find you need more space. You might get that fantastic job offer you’ve dreamed of, but it’s in another state. That’s OK. There will be a line of other single home buyers waiting in the wings to scoop up your place when you’re ready to move on.
PRO TIP: If you don’t think you’ll be staying in New Orleans longer than a couple of years, we don’t recommend buying to anyone, not just single buyers. The odds of building equity fast enough to cover the selling costs are fairly low and you don’t want to end up an accidental landlord.
Need some help with that first home? Call us today at 504-327-5303. We’ve helped plenty of single home buyers and would be honored to help you too.