Single Parent Home Buying Tips
It’s no secret that single parenting comes with many challenges. One of them is buying a home on your own. According to the National Association of Realtors, 66% of recent home buyers were married couples. Of those homebuyers who were not married, 17% were single women, 7% were single men, 8% were couples who were not married. There is no data available to see how many of the single men and women were parents, but as you can see, buying a house while single is a challenge.
The problem is there are so many benefits related to homeownership. Kids who live in a home that is owned instead of rented do better in school and get to enjoy a feeling of safety and security that those who live in rentals may not have.
If you’re a single parent interested in homeownership, let’s look at some challenges and ways to overcome them in this single parent home buying tips guide.
What Are Some Of The Challenges of Buying a House as a Single Parent?
For starters, many recently single parents have had to adjust to going from two incomes down to one, so that means your budget will be tighter. While this may not be the what you were expecting for single parent home buying tips, it’s still important to note so you can plan ahead. With rising home values, that can be very difficult. Moreover, with homes selling faster than ever, it’s not uncommon for sellers to receive offers above asking price. This is important for all home buyers to consider, but even more so for those experiencing drastic changes in income.
With the real estate market moving so quickly, another challenge will be having the ability to drop everything and look at a home as soon as it hits the market. In many areas, homes receive multiple offers in a matter of hours, so you may have to resign yourself to making offers without seeing the house first, which can be unnerving. Regardless, the agility of a single parent is often limited by the schedules of the children, work, and daily life responsibility. This makes buying a house that much more difficult.
Leverage Helpful Resources Available
In addition to the adjustment of two incomes to one, you also have to balance time with the kids, work, and now – home search. That’s why we highly recommend leveraging help and support wherever possible. There may be a time that you need to see a house right after work. See if a family member, friend, or neighbor will be able to help you with watching the kids.
If you don’t have a network of helpers readily available, try hiring a personal assistant to help with other tasks. Task Rabbit offers personal assistant options as low as $17 per hour. Imagine the payoff of being able to be an early bidder by just getting some help picking up groceries, cleaning your house, running errands and so on. A temporary expense, yes, but this single parent home buying tip could result in mega ROI.
If you’re not feeling the Task Rabbit route, consider using a resource like Urban Sitter. This could be very helpful if you need someone to watch your kids quickly so you can go check out a house. All sitters are vetted by Urban Sitter, so you can feel secure while reviewing your potential new home.
Seek Professional Guidance and Training
Believe it or not, there is help available for some people who would like to become homebuyers but are having trouble coming up with the funds needed. Many cities, counties, and states have down payment assistance programs available.
Depending on the program, you may need to take a couple of extra steps like taking a class on homeownership or a test related to budgeting before being approved for a loan. That is a minor inconvenience. Ask your realtor for some recommendations.
Best Loans For Single Parent Buying a House
Did you know that there are many different types of home loans available? Here are some of the best options for single parents:
- FHA – FHA loans were created to make homeownership more attainable. This type of loan only requires a 3.5 percent down payment and a minimum credit score of 580.
- A Loan – If you are or were in the military, you may be eligible for a VA loan. This type of loan does not require a down payment and does not charge mortgage insurance which is a huge savings when money may already be tight.
- USDA Loan – Depending on where the property is located, you may be able to get a USDA loan. A USDA loan works as an incentive for homebuyers to purchase homes in rural areas. This type of loan is difficult to qualify for, but not for the reasons you may think.
There is a maximum income cap and strict requirements for the property. However, if the property meets the qualifications, this is another zero-down loan.
There you have it! Our best single parent home buying tips!
Overall, the process toward home ownership as a single parent may be tough, but it is not impossible. It will require some patience and a few headaches, but with the right real estate team on your side, anything is possible!