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Single and Shopping for a Home? 9 Tips You Need to Know

According to the National Association of Realtors, roughly 27 percent of all homebuyers are single. The truth about homeownersiip is, that it is for anybody, regardless of their marital status. It is obvious that now, more than ever, all individuals should feel empowered and enabled to pursue home ownership.

Check out these tips to help you get started on your exciting journey to becoming a first time homebuyer.

See if you qualify for any programs.

If you are saddled with bills, child support, or student loan and credit card debt, Envoy provides local down payment assistance programs, allocated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Contact your local Envoy loan originator to see if you qualify for any loan programs for single homebuyers in your state.

Get creative with your down payment.

Coming up with the funds for a down payment isn’t always easy. However, many first time homebuyers use unconventional ways to afford their down payment, like accepting gift funds for home purchase or requesting a personal guarantor or mortgage cosigner. See if any of these ideas spark inspiration for your situation. (link to ways millennials are saving for a down payment).

House hunt during the right season.

Recent data from Trulia shows that it is actually easier to find a starter home in the fall or winter as starter home inventory peaks by 7% compared to the spring. Throw out what you think you know about the housing market and shop for your starter home in the cooler months when the market is less saturated and competitive, so you can knock a few dollars off the price tag!

Purchase a fixer upper as your first home.

If you have a low income, that’s no problem! Not all homebuyers have deep pockets, but that doesn’t mean you have to throw in the towel and keep renting. Purchasing  an older home that needs a little TLC to fix-up, may not only be the key to getting you in the door, (pun intended), but is also likely to getting you a great return on your investment when you decide to sell! At Envoy, we offer a HomeStyle 203k loan or renovation loan to help you save some money on all of your upcoming home improvement projects.

Avoid unfair treatment.

Sometimes a DIY just isn’t going to cut it and you will need to hire a professional. However, finding a reputable professional with the right skills and experience at a fair price can be difficult.

Here are some ways to avoid getting taken advantage of:

  • Get a few bids before deciding which contractor to work with
  • Ask the contractor for references and call each one of them
  • Ask the contractor to provide their proof of insurance
  • Define the start and end dates with your contractor
  • Stay up-to-speed on materials, labor costs and payment schedule
  • Never pay in full for something that isn’t up to your standards
  • Get everything in writing

Keep safety and security in mind.

As a single first time homebuyer, the idea of living alone can seem a little intimidating. However, purchasing a home in a neighborhood with a low crime rate can really ease the mind. Typically, single homebuyers gravitate toward purchasing condos and townhomes because these communities are more closely built and allows homeowners closer proximity to nearby neighbors.

Take a homeownership class.

You don’t just wake up one day and know how to become a homeowner. There are many nonprofit homeownership companies and homeownership counseling agencies located in your state that offer these courses for free! These courses can provide information on a variety of topics, such as, down payment assistance and homebuyer counseling, where each class guides you through the mortgage process and even helps calculate different payment scenarios and loan amounts. These classes typically last one full day with a one-hour break for lunch.

Join a home maintenance program.

Home maintenance is typically a main concern for all first time homebuyers and it might even be the reason why you’ve waited so long to take the plunge and purchase your first home. Well, there are online classes for this, too! Sign up for a class and gather the information, tools and resources you need to navigate a home repair and calculate average home maintenance costs on your own. You can even get free hands-on experience at your nearest Home Depot by taking one of their DIY workshops!

Reach out to your support system.

During this exciting time in your life, be sure you reach out to the friends and professionals closest to you for guidance and advice.

Here is a list of resources that can help you during the process:

  • Family members can guide you through their previous homeownership pitfalls
  • A loan originator can help determine how much home you can afford
  • A Realtor will show you the homes in your price range
  • A mortgage credit specialist can help you raise your credit score and help you qualify for a lower rate

Whether you’re single, just graduated, have a kid on the way, newly divorced or just out there trying to live your best life, our Envoy Mortgage loan originators are here to help you through your new life journey!

First Time Homebuyer Guide