Buying a home is an exciting experience for anyone, and even more of a milestone when you’re doing it solo, but it can be a little different when you’re purchasing on your own. While it can be easier to tailor your mortgage and home search to exactly your needs, it can be somewhat more stressful handling the purchase of a home on your own… fortunately, that’s where a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage expert can help! They assist with your mortgage application, pre-approvals and final financing to make the entire mortgage process much smoother.
In addition to using a mortgage expert and having a trusted realtor, here are some other tips that can help improve your homebuying experience:
1. Be Aware of Your Financial History
Understanding your credit score and your financial history can help to improve your qualification potential. If your credit score is a little lower than it should be, or lower than you’d like for what you are trying to qualify for, you can take steps to improve this prior to seeking a mortgage and get better results.
2. Ramp Up Your Savings
Of course, while a mortgage will cover a large chunk of your home purchase, you are also required to have a down payment. In addition, you need to consider closing costs (1.5-4%) of the purchase price, as well as ongoing maintenance and costs for your new home (repairs, utilities, property taxes). It is important to determine your budget so you are aware of what you can afford monthly. BUT before you shop is also a great time to start ramping up your savings account so you can put more down and potentially reduce the overall mortgage.
3. Study The Marketplace
One of the most important aspects of homeownership is understanding what you can afford and where you want to live. These two key components can help you to determine your budget and the areas that you should be looking for a home, as well as what type of home size, amenities, etc. Understanding what is available can provide you with more information and help you fine-tune your shopping list.
4. Be Flexible When Possible and Firm When Not
While shopping for a home on your own can be much easier as you’re only concerned about your own needs, it is still important to be flexible. While it is easier to find a home that fits just ‘you’, keeping your options open can also have its benefits. Of course, if there are things you cannot live without or a location you really need to be in, it’s important to be firm about those things as well. Creating a list of wants and needs can help you determine where there is room to be flexible, and where there isn’t.
5. Consider Your Present and Future Needs
While you’re shopping for your new home for you today, you will also want to consider what your life might look like in the future. What are you doing 5 years from now? 10 years? Do you want to start a family or have children? Do you plan on changing jobs or perhaps requiring a move in a few years? All these things are important to be aware of so you can make the best choice for you today, but also ensure that you are considering your future needs.
6. Protect Yourself
Lastly, while you might not be purchasing your current home with a partner, it is important to leave room for this in the future to ensure that you and your home are protected. If you have another individual move into your home down the line, you could become common-law and that could cause complications. Having an honest conversation about expectations and responsibilities can help, as well as writing up a document for both parties to sign, indicating these responsibilities as well as outlining the investment made by the original owner and new partner.
If you are a single homeowner looking to make a purchase but are not sure where to start, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. As an expert in mortgages, I have experience in all types of situations and purchases and the knowledge to walk you through the process and ensure you get the best home and mortgage for YOU.