When I purchased my first condo, in Liberty Village, as a single woman twenty-three years ago, it felt like a rebel move among my peers! I was done waiting to meet the perfect partner and was ready to take matters into my own hands. It was the best move I could have made from an emotional and financial perspective. But, of course, with more women than ever demonstrating their independence and financial capability in the housing market, my self-proclaimed rebel status would not quite hold water today!
Since leaping into the real estate market 23 years ago and becoming a Realtor, I have developed an affinity for people independently jumping onto the Real Estate ladder and love seeing them through that epic and inspiring process.
Below are a few unique considerations an individual purchaser should consider to ensure the homeownership experience is great!
Solo Living Equals Solo Responsibility
As a single person, a buyer will likely hold the title to the property as a sole owner and will be solely responsible for the mortgage, taxes, and other expenses. This can be great as it eliminates any chance of ownership disputes, but it also means relying solely on a single income. Without a partner to share financial burdens or surprises, having an emergency fund in place is crucial to cover unexpected expenses, such as home repairs or a loss of income.
Flying Solo In The Mortgage Market
Purchasing without that second income can impact the amount a lender will provide for a mortgage, making it essential to understand your budget and financial limits clearly. This is when speaking to a great mortgage broker and financial advisor will be handy!
Solo For Only So Long?
As much as you might enjoy your solo-derity (I can’t help myself), it is essential to consider your long-term goals and how they may affect your housing needs. For example, if you plan to start a family or change careers, these changes may influence the type of property you purchase or your chosen location. Sometimes, it may be best to extend your budget so that you have a place to grow into and avoid incurring the added expenses of moving within too short a time frame.
Security and safety
Living alone provides an amazing sense of independence and freedom that can be hard to come by when living with others. However, it’s essential always to ensure your safety and well-being. Before purchasing, evaluate the neighborhood’s safety and the property’s security features. Talk to neighbours and explore the area around your potential new home to ensure you can enjoy an evening walk confidently and feel at ease throughout the day.
There is no shame in asking for help! There will be times when a second set of hands is essential, and you will want to do your best to have a few of those on speed dial…or text! It’s essential to have a support network, whether it’s family, friends, or neighbors, to assist with tasks like home maintenance or provide emotional support during challenging times. Let’s face it; people like to help, so you are doing them a favour!
Channel Your Inner DIY Ninja
You have your support network on speed dial, but there will be times that ‘independent you’ will want to handle the nasty tasks yourself! When that happens, you need skills to earn those ‘I did it myself’ bragging rights! It may seem daunting initially, but anyone can become handy around the house with curiosity and gumption! Plenty of online tutorials and resources are available to help you develop your skills, and if you are a person that prefers to learn hands-on, Home Depot has the occasional in-store DIY homeowners workshop, which is great! With patience and persistence, you’ll soon tackle all those pesky little home repairs like a pro, and when you can’t, use that speed dial!
Potential for Airbnb
It is common for footloose, and fancy-free individuals to suddenly decide traveling is in order or that a temporary relocation for work would be a great adventure! If you anticipate the occasional dash out of town, Airbnb’ing can allow you to monetize your property and offset some ownership costs. But, of course, there is a negative side when it comes to Airbnb, so be sure you completely understand the pros and cons, as it is not something to decide upon lightly.
If you know the property will not be your forever home, consider its potential resale value in the long and short term. Your needs and circumstances may unexpectedly change over a short period, and you may need to sell the property sooner than expected. Of course, there are some things you can’t avoid, but doing your best to buy in a neighborhood poised for growth will never be something you will regret.
Life insurance and estate planning
I don’t want to be a bummer, but we must discuss this. As a single homeowner, it’s essential to have adequate life insurance coverage to ensure your mortgage and other financial obligations are taken care of in case of an untimely passing. And lastly, don’t forget to update your will and estate planning documents to reflect your new property ownership.
So remember, we have shifted how we view solo owning and living. Instead of being perceived as a lonely and negative experience, going solo is celebrated as an expression of independence, financial security, and personal growth. So, if something in your belly tells you it is time to take the leap, go for it! Come to think of it, there is even a growing trend of married people purchasing separate homes and living independently, but let’s save that for a different blog!
Bonnie Visentin – Sales Representative
Visentin Real Estate
In each episode designer Hilary Farr and realtor David Visentin compete for the homeowners’ final real estate decision on whether to stay in their newly renovated home or to sell it and move on to another home better suited to their current needs.