3 Tips for Singles Buying a New Home

woman on couch

There is a stereotypical idea in our society that homeownership is reserved for married couples and families. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Marriage is not a requirement of homeownership. If someone meets the necessary criteria for a home loan, they can be well on their way to purchasing the home of their dreams.

Household compositions are changing. There are more single adults living in the U.S. than ever before. We define “single” as an individual who is unmarried or unpartnered. According to Pew Research, “a rising share of U.S. adults are living without a spouse or partner.” That doesn’t mean they do not have a significant other. The same Pew Research study found that 67% of adults age 25-54 were married in 1990. That percentage dropped to just 53% in 2019. And the share of adults who have never married doubled between that timeframe from 17% to 33%.

Data points from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate that, more than 38% of U.S. homeowners are single**. If you’re single and have ever wondered if buying a house was possible without a spouse or partner, Guardian Mortgage is here to tell you that it is! We’re here to help make your dreams of homeownership a reality. Below, we explore three important steps in the homebuying process for singles to consider.

Select the Best Real Estate Agent for You

A critical important step in the homebuying process is selecting a real estate agent who understands your wants and needs. In addition, they should have the connections necessary to get you into a great house.

Not all agents are equal. Start by asking friends and family for referrals, and then compare agents online. Once you have narrowed your search down to two or three agents, interview them. You can’t know how good of a fit you have with an agent until you speak with them.

It’s important that you feel they connect with you and your situation. You want them out there working for you. In today’s competitive market, the difference between getting a house and losing it to another buyer can be the offer letter your agent includes on your behalf. Make sure your agent knows you, can write a compelling letter, and is willing to go above and beyond during the offer process.

Know What You Want and Need From a Home

When you start looking at homes, you’ll be tempted by all sorts of bells and whistles. Knowing what you REALLY want and need from a house is paramount. Communicating that list to your agent can help you stay on point.

So, what should you consider? Include the following details in your list of must-haves and nice-to-haves:

  • Home Size - Are you looking to buy a home for today’s needs alone, or with room to grow? You’ll need less space if purchasing for one person. If you want to buy for the future, which might include a family, you’ll need to consider larger home options.
  • Lot Size - Is privacy important to you? Do you want space for a garden, or a dog to run? Is a sense of community and relationships with neighbors something you crave? Factors such as these will impact what type of lot size you desire in your new home.
  • Home Type - Different types of homes come with various benefits to keep in mind as you consider your objectives. Are you looking for a condo that offers some outer maintenance? A duplex or townhome with more space but less yard work? Or a single-family house that has room to grow into?
  • Resale Value - Is resale value a high priority for you? Even if you don’t want children, you may still want to buy in an area with a good school district because of future resale value. Or perhaps you prefer to find a home in an area with a denser population of single people. Your realtor will be able to direct you to these areas as you start your home search.

Understand How Your Single-Status Affects Your Homebuying Process

Finally, it is important to understand how your status as a single person will affect (or not affect) your homebuying process.

When obtaining single-income loan approval, keep the following in mind:

  • Since your income is the only income being considered for a loan, you carry 100 percent of the responsibility.
  • Monitor your credit to ensure that your credit report doesn’t contain any harmful errors.
  • Avoid large credit purchases immediately before and after applying for a home loan.
  • Consider having a co-borrower or guarantor if your credit history isn’t very long. This can help you better qualify for a loan.

With all that said, your status as a single person will not directly affect your loan qualification. Lenders can’t deny you a loan because you are not married. While what you can afford may be different due to only having one income, if you can afford the loan, lenders can’t deny it simply because you are single.

As a single person, you can enjoy all the benefits of homeownership. If you’re single and looking to buy, talk to a Guardian Mortgage professional. We are here to help you every step of the way.

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* “Rising Share of U.S. Adults Are Living Without a Spouse or Partner,” Pew Research Center, October 5, 2021.
** “Home alone: The share of single homeowners hits a record, even as housing costs climb,” USA Today, February 25, 2020.