I know, I know. Most of you know I am married. However, all of our homes have been purchased using only one of our incomes to keep costs low in case of inflation, job loss, illness, etc. Here are a few tips to buying a home on one income that can be useful to YOU!
Buying a house with a single income can seem like a daunting task, but it is possible with the right planning and mindset. With careful budgeting and financial management, you can make your dream of owning a home a reality. In this post, we’ll discuss some tips for buying a house with a single income.
1. Determine Your Budget
The first step in buying a house with a single income is to determine your budget. You need to know how much you can afford to spend on a home, and this will depend on your income, expenses, and other financial obligations. You can use an online mortgage calculator to estimate your monthly mortgage payment and see how much you can afford to borrow. I typically use the Google mortgage calculator.
2. Save for a Down Payment
Saving for a down payment is essential when buying a house, and it’s especially important when you have a single income. Aim to save at least 20% of the purchase price of the home, as this will allow you to avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI). You may need to adjust your budget and lifestyle to save for a down payment, but it’s worth it in the long run. Also, prioritize paying down debt before saving for a down payment to reduce your monthly bills in the long run.
3. Improve Your Credit Score
Your credit score plays a significant role in the home buying process, as it affects your ability to qualify for a mortgage and the interest rate you’ll receive. If your credit score is low (under 620), take steps to improve it before applying for a mortgage. Pay your bills on time, reduce your debt, and avoid applying for new credit. FYI, neither one of us had credit cards when we purchased our first home.
4. Consider a Starter Home
When buying a house with a single income, it’s essential to be realistic about what you can afford. Consider looking for a starter home that fits within your budget, even if it’s not your dream home. A starter home can be a great investment, and you can always upgrade later on. We currently live in a simple townhouse in a walk-able community. I can walk to my gym, nail salon, dentist, and grocery store. We prefer simplicity as we build our investment portfolio.
5. Look for Assistance Programs
There are many assistance programs available to help first-time home-buyers, including those with a single income. These programs may offer down payment assistance, low-interest loans, or other benefits that can make home ownership more affordable. Check with your local government or nonprofit organizations to see what programs are available in your area.
6. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
Before you start house hunting, get pre-approved for a mortgage. This will give you a better idea of how much you can afford to spend on a home and will make you a more attractive buyer to sellers. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage can also help you move quickly when you find the perfect home. Also, realtors will not take you seriously unless your are pre-approved.
7. Work with a Real Estate Agent
Working with a real estate agent can be helpful when buying a house with a single income. An agent can help you find homes within your budget, negotiate with sellers, and guide you through the home buying process. Look for an agent who has experience working with first-time homebuyers and understands your unique situation. I personally work with Priscilla Torres here in Las Vegas, NV for all of my home buying needs. She is amazing!
In conclusion, buying a house with a single income requires careful planning and budgeting, but it’s possible with the right mindset and resources. By following these tips and working with a real estate agent, you can make your dream of home-ownership a reality.