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Tips for Single Homebuyers
Although the majority of information available here on the Home Buyer's Information Center applies to both married and single homebuyers, there are a few issues that single buyers should consider when preparing for and purchasing a home.
Single homebuyers purchase all types of homes--large and
small, single-family, townhouse and condominium, but certain types may appeal a bit more to some single homebuyers.
For example, since most of the maintenance will be done by one person rather than two, many single buyers prefer
homes such as townhouses and condominiums where some or all of the exterior maintenance, landscaping, snow removal,
etc. is handled by the homeowner's association. In addition, some single buyers prefer the community aspect of
these types of hmes and the sense of safety that may be conveyed by having neighbors close at hand.
Although many single homebuyers are single parent families (which require virtually the same size home as married buyers) some will require less room. A common mistake, though made by some single buyers is to tailor their purchase too closely to their current needs and not enough to future resale. For example, a one bedroom, two bath single-family home with a huge greatroom and kitchen may be perfect for you, but it will be next to impossible to sell. In a single-family home, it would be far better to have an additional bedroom or two sit empty (or use as an office, exercise room or even storage) than to not have it at all. Or, a single buyer may want to consider a condominium, where one bedroom units are more common and thus easier to sell.
Just as there is but one set of hands for repairs and maintenance, there is a single income (rather than the dual incomes so common with couples) when it comes time for mortgage qualifications. Although qualifying ratios and standards are exactly the same for singles and couples, this may have an effect on the amount of mortgage available to a single homebuyer--simply because there may be less total income available. Singles can enhance their position, though, by keeping a close tab on their budgets and other debt, easing the qualifying process. For more information, see the sections devoted to mortgages and budgets.