There are many reasons you could be on your own now, from divorce to kids moving out on their own to losing a spouse or simply never having married. Whatever the reason, when it comes to buying a home for just yourself, as Shakespeare put it, "The world is your oyster!" Here are a few helpful ways in which you can find the home you belong in and that will feel like it was made just for you.
Find A Realtor To Work With
Even if you're the independent type, who'd prefer to quietly scan the neighborhood for homes with sale signs in the front yard, there's so much a realtor can do for you that it's definitely in your best interest to find one. They have the experience, connections, purchase power and negotiating skills you really shouldn't be without when delving into the real estate market.
Determine Your Spending Range
Your realtor can provide you with the tools you need to determine the range of mortgage payment you're most comfortable with, or you could use an online tool at home. Either way, it's practical for you to know this information ahead of time, to see what you have to work with. Consider your debt-to-earnings ratio and factor in other considerations, such as property tax and utilities, as you plan your new monthly budget, based on the potential mortgage.
Get A Stamp Of Pre-Approval
The last thing you want to do is view homes that aren't within your budget, leading to disappointment, confusion and wasted time. Once you have a pretty good idea of the financial shape you're in, visit a few lenders and see what they'll qualify you for in terms of maximum loan amounts and interest rates.
Think About What Type Of Home You Really Want
There are many styles of homes, types of plots of land, neighborhoods, price-ranges and sizes, among other characteristics, to choose from. Look online or through magazines or ask your realtor to present you with a book on the various options available within your price range. If you're considering a smaller home, the variety may decrease, but it's still best to have a general idea of your "ideal" place, moving forward.
Take The Time To Really Look
Finding a place you really feel at home in may take some time, but rather than rushing into something you won't be fully satisfied with, spending quality time on your search should yield promising results. Work with your realtor during off business hours, if need be, so you can devote the time you need to finding just the right home for yourself.
Consider The Benefits Of Buying A "Tiny" Home
Despite not having a sprawling living room or dining room suited for entertaining the masses, tiny homes can really work for some people. Especially if you're ecologically or economically motivated, there are many advantages:
- Built-in options, from fancy drawers and bookshelves to fold-down desks and even beds.
- Down-sized appliances, to save space and money.
- Raised areas, for a near second floor look and feel.
- Efficiently compact kitchen, laundry and bathroom areas.
- Easy to clean and maintain.
- Economical to re-decorate, if you stick to new curtains, pillows and other small elements.
- A much smaller carbon footprint than with a larger structure.
- You can de-clutter your life, finally!
Be Aware Of Potential Drawbacks With Small Or Customized Homes
Investing in a smaller home may be the most suitable option for you, personally; however, if you ever want to put the dwelling on the market, you're probably looking at a limited audience of buyers, perhaps more so if the "fad" of tiny homes diminishes. A small home might also be inhibitive if you expand your social horizons or meet a special someone. Additionally, even if you de-clutter your life, you still may have many possessions, all of which won't fit in a smaller space, perhaps necessitating the use of a rented storage facility nearby. Any customized or particularly odd home might be difficult to sell, too, if you decide to move out in the future.
Keep Rental Value In Mind If That Could Work For You
At some time in the future, if you think you might move around or want to upgrade to a larger home, renting the home you buy now could be a lucrative option for you. Ask your realtor about the details, as the mortgage lender may need to be informed of your possible intent to rent, but this type of arrangement may yield considerable income in the future, provided you choose quality tenants.
Let The Realtor Show You Around
If your realtor calls out of the blue, saying they've found something a bit out of the realm of what you're shopping for, but that could be perfect, hop on the opportunity. You never know: The home of your dreams could be far from what you've imagined thus far and this could be the chance to snag it!
Searching for a home of your own, on your own should be an exciting and rewarding experience, hopefully leading to you finding an amazing place to hang your hat. Have a great realtor at your fingertips, keep an open mind and enjoy every bit of being on your own and going after what truly makes you happy.