The consensus is that buying a home is usually done by couples or families. It’s not for singles. However, while that might have been the truth in decades past, it’s no longer the case. In fact, more and more singles are choosing to buy their own home without anyone else’s name on the mortgage. Zillow points out that only about 40% of first-time buyers are couples.
Another piece of good news is that the buying process for solo buyers is pretty similar to that of couples or families, with a few noteworthy caveats. What should you know?
Get Your Finances in Order
Yeah, you knew it was coming. Your financial house must be in order long before you start shopping around or speaking with a Long Island mortgage broker about pre-approval for a loan. The reason for this is simple – if your financial situation needs work, you should get started now, and apply for loans later. You can save thousands, even tens of thousands, just by putting off the home buying process until your finances are ready.
Check your credit report, handle any erroneous entries, and take the time to pay down your debts. Check your credit score, as well, and bring it up if necessary. The closer to “excellent” you can get, the more money you’ll save and the better your interest rate will be on the loan.
Work with a Long Island Mortgage Broker
Next up, you need to make sure that you have the purchasing power necessary. Work with a Long Island mortgage broker to get pre-approved so that realtors and sellers are more apt to take you seriously. If you aren’t pre-approved, you will find that many simply shrug off your offer. You’re too much of an unknown for them to worry about.
Once you have a loan amount from your Long Island mortgage broker, it’s time to really dig into the process and start the house hunt. Remember that the loan amount offered doesn’t require you to spend it all. You also need to shop around and find the right home style for you.
Many of the options on the market will be geared for couples at least, if not for families. This could leave you with too much unused space. However, if you’re planning to start a family in the next few years, a larger home might make more sense. Discuss these considerations with your realtor, and he or she will help you locate homes that fit your needs on the market.
Have a Must-Have List
You’ll probably be shown a lot of homes, and chances are good that you’ll find something you love about many of them. It’s crucial that you have a “must-have” list with you. This is a list of features, specs and other items that you absolutely must have in a home. Keep that list with you during the process, as it will help you avoid making a decision based purely on emotion.
Check Out the Neighborhood
This is another of those time-tested pieces of advice that you’ve heard before, but absolutely must follow. Know the neighborhood. Is there an HOA? Are there covenants that prevent you from doing something? What’s the area like at night? Check into the wider area, too. How far is it from your work? What about shopping, dining, or even family and friends?
In many instances, the price of a home is not set in stone, and there is some wiggle room. The pre-approval gained from your Long Island mortgage broker should give you the confidence needed to make an offer on any home within your budget, but there’s no reason to pay more than you must.
Since you’re shopping without a partner, it’s wise to work with your realtor to determine how much you should negotiate, and how much leeway there might be in a seller’s stated price. It’s also a wise idea to look over the home and property (use an actual home inspector for this) and note things that need to be repaired, are in need of replacement, or otherwise need attention (read: money and time). Those should be accounted for in your negotiations with the seller.
Don’t Look for Perfection
No home is going to be perfect. There will be things that need to be addressed at every single property you view. Don’t look for perfection. Look for your “must-have” elements, and buy with an eye for things that are easy to fix, like carpeting or paint color. Be wary about things that are not so easy to change (home layout), or even impossible (a new development going in and blocking your prized view).
With a few simple tips and the right Long Island mortgage broker, buying a home on your isn’t difficult. If you’re ready to make the leap, get in touch with Reliant Home Funding.
Gregory A. Topal
Gregory is Co-Founder and Licensed Loan Originator at Reliant Home Funding, Inc., a Long Island based Mortgage Company. Gregory currently holds a Mortgage Loan Originator License in NY, NJ, CT, CO, FL and PA and plays an active role in running the company. (NMLS #: 38684)
Gregory was raised in Long Island, NY and attended SUNY Oneonta receiving a Business and Marketing degree in 2004. Shortly after graduating he started a career in Real Estate and has been fortunate enough to advance his career throughout the years. He believes his success can be attributed to consistently striving to exceed the expectations of his clients and colleagues.