Single-parent households (about 20,000,000 in the US) are increasing. So is single-parent homeownership. About 25% of all recent home buyers were single.
You may feel that homeownership is impossible if you don’t have the financial cushion of a second income. You may actually have an advantage as a single-parent because you might be eligible for low- or moderate-income financing programs and grants and down payments. You should remember some things before you make that big move.
Let’s now see how you can purchase a home as a single parent living in Atlanta.
Is Home Ownership a good idea?
Homeownership may not be suitable for you when you decide. Renting can be a better choice in some instances.
You have to decide if you are ready for the responsibility and burden that comes with owning a house. When the maintenance and repair costs start to pile up, it doesn’t take long before the sparkle of homeownership begins to fade.
You don’t have any responsibility as a renter.
The landlord pays the bills and makes repairs. Do you have the energy and time to maintain your property’s landscaping, shovel snow, and clean gutters?
Next, you should consider the financial aspect – is it better to rent than to own? However, to make this critical decision, you must be aware of the market, trends in rents, and home values. A good agent can help you in this area. Call 678-337-1165 to find out more.
Are You Aware of ALL the Costs and Expenses?
Once you decide that purchasing a home in Atlanta as a single parent is the right choice, it’s essential to be aware of all costs and hidden costs of homeownership.
You don’t have to pay the mortgage or purchase price. You don’t want to be a single parent and spend too much on the house.
What will it cost to replace or repair your HVAC system if the heater fails in January or the AC stops working in July? Also, you will need to consider the cost of homeowner utilities, insurance, property taxes, HOA fees, and the inevitable maintenance and repair costs. These things are bound to happen, often at the worst possible moment.
Are You a Money Expert?
If you are willing to continue your journey and purchase a home in Atlanta as a single parent, you will need to raise funds.
There are many obstacles that single parents face, including a lower income, tight credit, and sometimes poor credit.
Here are some strategies, options, resources, and information to help you obtain mortgage financing if any of these describe you:
Pre-qualify: It is a brilliant idea to be pre-qualified before you start house hunting. This will ensure that you only look at homes within your price range and save time. There are no qualifying delays when you make an offer.
Down-payment Assistance: If you don’t have the money, it can seem impossible to make a down payment. However, some programs provide assistance for homebuyers with low- or moderate incomes. The Nehemiah Foundation has a list of organizations that provide assistance for first-time homebuyers.
FHA Mortgage Program: The Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) program offers down payment assistance. It allows for down payments of as low as 3.5% instead of the standard 10%-20%. FHA also insures loans made by FHA-approved lenders. This makes it easier to obtain mortgages from less qualified buyers.
USDA Home Loans: The United States Department of Agriculture offers a program called Single Family Housing Direct Loan Home Loan or Section 502 Direct Loan Programme. This program is designed to increase a homeowner’s ability to repay the mortgage in a short time. The subsidy reduces the monthly mortgage payment amount for qualified home buyers.
Are You to rely on your Agent?
The process of buying a home involves many steps, and that can make it complex. Buying a home will profoundly impact your life for the next 15-30 years, especially if you are a single parent living in Atlanta because it is a significant step. Your decisions need to be wise and carefully made. A good agent in real estate can make a huge difference.
Choosing the right agent for you. These are the questions to ask agents when interviewing them:
How many homes can you sell per year on average when representing buyers?
What are your communication skills with buyers? Are you available for questions or consultations?
How available are you for showings?