The usual route to home ownership tends to start with meeting a special someone. When you’re a couple and you want to begin a life together, it makes more sense to get a new home for yourself. You may plan to get a roomier home for the two of you, and especially if kids are part of your plan in the foreseeable future.
What if you’re single? That doesn’t mean that you can’t get a house in Montreal, or a condo in NDG (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce) or anywhere else in Canada. Here are some tips that can help if you’re single and determined to buy your own home:
- Get your finances in order. This is the first and most important rule, as money will always be an issue for you especially since you don’t have a partner to share the expenses. It can be problematic to get a mortgage when you’re single since you’re less likely to repay a loan than two people together who both work for a living. So, pay off your credit card debts, raise your credit score, finish paying for your car, and have enough money to put down 20% of the house price as down payment.
- Have lots of money in the bank. What if you lose your job right after moving into your own home? You’ll need money for all your expenses while you search for a new job. You need some money in your bank account that’s equal to three to six times your monthly wages. Keep in mind that as a homeowner you have to pay for your home’s upkeep along with home insurance and property taxes.
- Make sure to account for all your possible expenses. First-time owners are often unpleasantly surprised when they encounter expenses that they don’t normally deal with when they were apartment tenants. Home ownership can be very costly, especially when you have to remodel your home. It’s also difficult to estimate what you’d have to spend, especially when you have a backyard to maintain.
- See if a condo makes more sense for you. In general, a condo unit makes a lot more sense than an actual house if you’re still single. A condo will probably be located closer to where you work. It’ll also be located right in the middle of the city you’re in, so entertainment establishments are conveniently nearer. A condo building can have amenities that you’ll appreciate when they’re nearby, such as a gym or a salon. It also provides you with more social opportunities to meet new people so that you’re no longer single (if that’s what you want, of course).
- Be conscious about security. Security is another reason why condos work best for singles as they usually have guards in the lobby to keep out strangers. If you’re living in your own house, you may want to put in a strong lock on your doors and perhaps on your gate. You should make friends with your neighbours, who can call the police when they see strangers in your home when you’re not there. A security camera tied into your smartphone can help as well, though a dog can also be useful.
- Look for houses with a friend. Couples have the advantage of having someone to discuss their home options so that they’re more certain of their choices. If you’re looking for possible homes to buy, make sure you call a friend to come along. They can help you think logically so your emotions don’t get the best of you.
Of course, one “side effect” of having your own home when you’re single is that you generally become more attractive to potential partners. Just make sure you buy the right home when you can actually afford it, so you can actually enjoy your new status as a homeowner. For the Silo, Dimitry Karloff.