Buying a House When You’re Single: Is it Wise?
When we talk about unmarried people buying a house, we often assume they’re in a relationship. After all, it’s common for couples to live together in their own house. But now that more and more people are embracing singlehood, there might not be as many couples buying a house anymore.
There are many great reasons single people should own a house. Their home can be their legacy, whether they’d have heirs or not. Plus, though a home is a liability, covering its costs won’t likely be a big problem for singles. They don’t share their income with anyone, so they tend to have a bigger budget for maintenance.
However, singles also tend to have a financial disadvantage compared to their married and cohabiting peers. Since they don’t share their income, they don’t share their expenses either. This is why many singles wonder if it’s financially wise to buy a home, especially if they’re still young.
How Your Marital Status Affects Your Ability to Buy a Home
If you’re getting a mortgage, your marital status may play a role in your creditworthiness. The best mortgage lenders won’t deny you a loan just because you’re single, though. They will assess your ability to repay based on your credit score. The higher your credit score is, the better terms of the loan they’ll give you.
Single people, cohabiting partners, and married couples can improve their credit scores in the same way. They need to pay their bills on time and stay updated with their existing loan payments. However, if you’re married and your spouse has a low credit score, that may affect your chances of getting approved for a joint mortgage. In that case, it may be better to get a loan in your name only.
On the other hand, married couples have a higher household income, particularly if both spouses work. That’s why they have a high likelihood of getting approved for any loan. So if you’re targeting favorable loan terms, your income should be close to that of a married couple’s.
You can still get an affordable mortgage if your income is just enough. But the homes you can afford may be limited. If you want a three-story, 6,000-square-foot home in a major city, for example, that may be out of your reach. So make your goal more realistic. Maybe a single-family home or bungalow in a suburban area will fit your budget better.
The Truth About Owning a Home if You’re Single
Many single people see a home as an investment. But in reality, homes are more of a liability than an asset. Hence, you should regard it simply as a place to live. Treating it as an investment will frustrate you.
Married couples or cohabiting partners can attest to that. Every day, they ensure that their budget is enough for the bills and mortgage payments. They limit their spending when it comes to luxuries like new electronics or clothes. Bills, loans, and maintenance expenses should come first. Suffice to say, owning a house with the person you love isn’t as romantic as the media makes it appear.
Taking care of those expenses isn’t easier if you’re single either. With no one to share the burden with, you’d also be forced to set aside your wants. And if there’s something broken in the house, no one would fix it for you. You’d either call a handyman or learn DIY repairs.
You also have to learn how to maintain the roof, gutters, landscape, and driveway. Those tasks will be twice harder during certain seasons. In the fall, you’d sweep off leaves from your entire property, including the roof. In the winter, you’d shovel snow.
Because of the burdensome maintenance, some single people opt for condominiums or townhouses instead. Those types of properties are often more expensive due to their location but are easier to maintain. All you need to do is maintain your interiors.
However, condos and townhouses don’t give much privacy. They also limit your creative freedom. If you want a new gate or fence, for example, the property won’t allow you to do that. Your parking space will also be limited. If you have multiple autos, you’d be forced to park them somewhere that probably charges a steep fee.
So if your lifestyle calls for a home, then buying one is definitely smart. Just manage your expectations. While owning a home is truly a sign of success, your life in it won’t be immune to challenges. If anything, you may experience more challenges because of the costs. So make sure that you’re ready financially, mentally, and emotionally before buying your own abode.