This is or should not be an uncommon occurrence, but I do have a lot of women that come to me wondering if they really can buy a house by themselves. Of course! No one says you must own property with another person. But, you DO need to be able to afford it on your own, and that’s where I come in.

Single women are more than twice as likely to purchase a home than single men, according to the National Association of Realtors. They made up 16% of homebuyers in 2016.

If you’re planning on buying a home this year you want to check your credit, have a down payment and consider closing costs.Owning a home is much more than simply a monthly mortgage payment. You’ll need to have money set aside for repairs, emergencies, utilities, homeowners association fees if applicable, taxes and insurance. As a mortgage officer, it is my job to inform you of all these different fees and costs related to owning a home. We can estimate these monthly fees to find out your housing expenses. We typically require a less than 43% debt to income ratio, which means that no more than 43% of your income can go to any types of debt including your housing costs.

There are programs, grants and assistance programs specifically designed to help a variety of income level buyers. There are also programs and incentives for first-time homebuyers. Getting preapproved for one of these programs can be fairly painless with a little bit of research on your existing monthly expenses.

When it’s time to choose your home, you want to find something that is a potential profit and maintains its current market value. Chances are you’re not going to live the rest of your life in this house so buying a home with resell value is important. Consider the layout, location, and other perks that a property might provide not only you but future buyers as well. When you go to sell, you want to maxed out as much equity as possible so buying with the idea of selling later on is a good thing to keep in mind.

What about a fixer property?

A lot of programs such as FHA, require a property to be in fair to excellent condition. This means that a property that is not livable or has some serious structural issues may not be applicable for the type of home loan program you want. Plus, a fixer property can be a whole new can of worms that you may not be prepared to get into.

Choose a home that secure.

As a single person, it’s important to pick a house that is in a secure area so that you feel comfortable coming home at night, sleeping there by yourself and of course, adding value to the home in general. Make sure the home has the safety features you want including secure windows, secure underground parking for condominiums, well-lit entryways and sidewalks. An alarm system and deadbolt locks are also a good idea. Check the crime rate for a particular neighborhood.

Buying a home is a single person, especially as a younger, single person, means that you consider building equity sooner rather than later. Jumping into the real estate market now might be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.

Have more questions? Feel free to call me at any time. We can run over some numbers and find out if now is a great time to consider buying your first home.