Being a single working mom is a daunting challenge as one needs to juggle a job, household tasks, and childcare simultaneously. Finances always seem to run tight, even if you get child support from your ex-husband.
But you will probably want to buy a home at some point because it brings security and stability to life. Besides saving you from the rental burden, home ownership is an advantage when you reach retirement age.
You can own the asset for a lifetime or downsize it to save some money. While everything about buying a house seems great, completing the steps it entails is the hardest part. You may run short of time, money, and knowledge as a single working mom. There is always a chance of making a wrong decision, but a little guidance can save you from all the trouble. Here are the best home-buying strategies for single moms.
Assess your current situation
The first step is to assess your current situation, from your finances to your lifestyle. Start by considering your monthly budget and digging deep into your income and expenses. For example, identify the frivolous ones you can steer clear of to maximize your savings. More monthly savings means you can amass enough for a down payment sooner than later. At this stage, you must also consider your family size and needs to decide on an ideal property before going home shopping.
Check your credit score
Besides evaluating your finances and lifestyle, you must also check your credit score. It determines your chances of getting a home loan as a single mom. You will surely need a healthy one to be a good prospect for lenders because they often have apprehensions about financing single women. But your professional status can be your winning point, provided you keep an eye on your spending habits. Minimize unnecessary spending with your credit cards, pay your bills on time, and stay ahead of debts to maintain a healthy credit score. Remember to assess your score to ensure readiness for home-buying.
Identify the ideal location
Before visiting the potential properties, you must identify the ideal location for a home. Ideally, it should be safe and accessible because these factors make things convenient for a mom raising kids alone. Malaysian homeowners prefer cheras as a residential destination because of the sheer number of parks it has. If you live in Kuala Lumpur, consider moving to this suburb for peaceful living and a lower cost of living. Do your homework on the neighborhood before looking at residential properties there. Ensure proximity of amenities like schools, daycare centers, hospitals, and shopping malls.
Create a wishlist of features
Once you nail an ideal location for your home, prepare a wishlist of features you expect your place to have. Decide on the size and number of rooms according to your current and future needs. If you have little ones, you must prioritize a child-friendly property with minimal risks of falls and injuries. Single moms with teenage kids must ensure enough privacy for their children. Looking for an eco-friendly home is a good idea if you want to save on energy bills in the long run.
Prepare for additional costs
Buying a home requires more than a massive down payment and a monthly mortgage. Single moms often miss out on the additional costs of homeownership and get their calculations wrong. Remember to factor in the extras like realtors’ commissions, title fees, moving expenses, and inspection costs because they can significantly elevate your budget. Also, consider long-term expenses like property taxes, homeowners’ insurance, and maintenance costs because you need to incur them year after year.
The best piece of advice for single working moms looking to buy a home is to think long-term. Consider the ROI on the property because it can make or break your financial position. After all, you may invest your life savings in the purchase. Buy in a healthy market where property prices and rental demand is high so that you can sell and rent lucratively. You may want to pick either of these options when kids leave home for education or start on their own. Planning for the long haul puts you in a good position.
Single-working moms can buy a home without a lot of stress and trouble, provided they plan well. You must consider the financial and lifestyle impacts of the decision before finalizing the deal. Follow this simple checklist to choose wisely and invest without mistakes. Also, do not hesitate to seek help and guidance.