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Practical Home Buying Tips for Single Parents

Income from both partners is undoubtedly ideal when buying a house, but it is not mandatory. If you are a single parent looking to purchase a home, several resources are available. In this article we have discussed some of these resources as well as a few best practices when buying a home is concerned which will help you to pick the perfect home for your family while staying within your budget.

If you are looking to buy a new home, you must first set a budget. Before you start looking for a house, you must know how much you can afford. You have to take your monthly expenses into account, as well as other expenses such as:

  • Moving costs
  • Down payment
  • Closing costs
  • Mortgage insurance premiums
  • Property taxes
  • Fees for homeowner associations

You can shape your budget by considering the area where you are shopping for the house, the state of the current market, and the average cost of the home type you are looking into. What will be the cost if you are looking for a luxury home in Franklin TN, or Miami FL? You can use an online mortgage calculator to figure out a realistic budget by considering the estimated monthly cost of the loan you will take out.

You will need a mortgage unless you can buy the home outright. You need to remember that not all lenders are the same when you are choosing a mortgage. This is why you need to shop around when picking the right lender. You will see that some lenders will be willing to work with you, and some will not want to, depending on your circumstance. You will have to compare fees, closing costs, and interest rates for the lenders who will agree to work with you. You can get this information when you request a loan estimate.

  • Be Open To Taking Help

Whether or not you will be getting a home loan depends largely on your credit score. It will be increasingly difficult for you to get a home loan if you have a bad credit score. In such a circumstance you might have to accept less favorable loan terms, which will end up having consequences in the long run. You need to be on the lookout for home loan programs that have more relaxed credit terms.

The Department of Veterans offers a VA loan program to veterans, service members who qualify, and the surviving spouses who are eligible. If you qualify, you will be able to apply for a VA mortgage using a participating lender. 

As a single parent, you can benefit from the services provided by housing counseling offices which are free of cost or very affordable. Referrals are provided to these housing counseling offices by The Department of Housing and Urban Development, making it easier for you to pick one.

If you are admitted into the Housing Choice Voucher homeownership program, you can get monthly financial assistance and housing vouchers offered by The Department of Housing and Urban Development. The local Public Housing Assistance Program decides if you are eligible for the HCV program.

The state offers special financing opportunities such as grants and other financial assistance programs. To find out if these programs are available to you or not, call your local PHA.

  • Get Your Credit Sorted

Before applying for a mortgage to buy your house, you must check your credit. This is because your credit score is a crucial factor when buying a house. You can improve your credit health if you have low credit scores. You have to review your credit report to see if there are any errors. If you find any, you have to dispute them. 

You also need to check if there are any instances of identity theft by reviewing your credit reports, and if you find anything suspicious, dispute it instantly. You would want to start this process as soon as possible, as disputing the entries on your credit report takes time.

Keeping your payment history clean is also important as having a sound track record of making your payments on time assures your creditors that you will pay them back on time. So before going through the home loan application process, make sure that all your payments are up to date.

  • Sort Out Your Requirements Before You Start Looking

Before you start looking for houses, you need to clearly understand what your family requires. Your requirements will affect the price of the home; for instance, what will be the price for a one-bedroom home compared to that of a three-bedroom home. 

Some of the basic considerations should be: how many bathrooms are there, how many bedrooms are there, what is the size of the yard, what is the cost of the upkeep, are there any daycare or schools nearby, are there any pools or parks nearby, and how far are the healthcare facilities and transportation? 

You will need to consider how the new home will go with your lifestyle. Do you want to live near your family? What kind of features do you need to make available to your family? Keeping all these things in mind, you should start looking for the type of homes you want.

  • Take A Look At The First Time Home Buyer Programs

You may qualify for a first-time homebuyer program, provided you haven’t bought a house before. You can avail various financial assistance from these programs, such as special interest rates or tax credits.

Each of the first-time homebuyer programs will have different requirements for you to be eligible. To know if you qualify, you should talk to your bank and see if they offer a first-time homebuyer program or look up the programs offered by your state.

Summing Up

Being a single parent makes the already serious task of buying a home more daunting. You can be strategic about your budget and try to avail the assistance programs; this way, you won’t have to compromise on your family’s requirements while getting a home. Having sufficient knowledge in the sector might also help you be an investor in the real estate field. Best of luck with your future endeavors. 

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