You might’ve fallen into the trap of thinking that home buying is just for the happy couples, and who could blame you?
That’s the image that will often come to mind when you think of that fateful day you take that one big leap into the real estate market hand-in-hand with your beloved. Who would ever assume such a life-changing event could be done alone?
Well, I’m here to tell you that it is possible!
Not that I’m implying you won’t find true love, mind you. Perhaps it just won’t happen at the exact time you decide that you want to invest in property! Life can be messy, and the housing market generally doesn’t work around that premise. So let’s go through some of the home truths around buying property as a single individual so that you can make the choice to purchase a home regardless of your relationship status.
Couple or single – the same rules apply
First thing’s first, when you’re applying for a home loan, the same standards and measures of eligibility will still apply whether you’re single or not. Apart from the obvious difference that couples will generally have the advantage of contributing two incomes, which means they will often be privy to borrowing more money, all other factors remain the same.
Credit history is going to be one of the most important elements that a financial provider uses to determine whether you’re a good candidate for a home loan, and has absolutely no bearing on your relationship status. The key thing to keep in mind here is that you’re going to be assessed by your history of responsible financial decisions and whether you can prove that you can be trusted to reliably pay back your mortgage on time. The same will go for couples. So, before you do anything before you even start thinking about house hunting in your childhood fantasy suburbs, go online and check your credit score. If it’s good, then by all means, hunt down those houses like there’s no tomorrow. If it’s less than stellar, it might be worth talking to a financial adviser to figure out the best steps moving forward.
Is there any help available for single home buyers?
When it comes to government-specific financial contributions there to help out single individuals afford a home, you won’t find much. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t take advantage of the multitude of subsidies that do exist for first home buyers.
Assuming that you’ve never owned your own home before, discounting investment properties, you will have access to exactly the same government programs as any couple planning on buying their first home.
One of which is the The First Home Owner Grant. This gives you access to a lump sum to put directly towards the cost of properties that come under a certain price threshold, which differs depending on the state you live in. Another option that can be of great use to singles is the First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSS), which gives you the chance to use up to $30,000 of your super to contribute towards buying your first home. Along with other additional benefits for first home buyers such as a significant reduction in the cost of stamp duty, these schemes can be incredibly advantageous to a single person looking to buy their first home.
Will I be treated differently as a single man or woman?
The short answer here is ‘no’. Any issues around home buying differences between men and women will be more likely to stem from an overall discrepancy in wages. Since men will generally be in the category of higher-income earners, they will likely find that they have less trouble saving for a housing deposit and will be in a better position to borrow more money. However, when it comes to assessing loan eligibility, it’s going to come down to Character, Capacity, Credit, Conditions, and Collateral. Often called the 5 C’s of credit, this is a guideline that lenders use to determine the potential for an applicant to successfully repay their loan on time, and to completion – gender will have nothing to do with it.
Consider finding a buying partner
If you’re not interested at this stage in buying with a life partner, why not find someone else? Family and friends who might also be in the market for a home can sometimes make the best people to partner up with to get you onto the real estate ladder, especially if you feel like you’re fighting an uphill battle trying to save for that initial deposit. Obviously, you’re going to want to be on exceptionally good terms with whoever you partner up with and flesh out all of the contract details in advance to mitigate any potential financial upsets, but assuming that’s all hunky-dory, this could be a brilliant option.
Do you have someone who could be a guarantor?
Perhaps you would prefer to remain solo in your home buying endeavours as you’d prefer to avoid the complications of buying with another person. Fair enough! If this is the case then it’s going to be in your interest to find someone willing to guarantor your loan. This will mean that you will likely be able to borrow more money since lenders will have the security of your guarantor’s property as an additional security measure were you to default on your loan… which you’re not going to do, are you? Glad to hear it.
Regardless of which route you take, you can rest assured that there are definitely options available for all the singles out there who just want the same joy of owning a home as the happy couples. Don’t let the stereotypes of coupled up property buying stop you from achieving your solo home ownership dreams!