Purchasing a home as a single person can be daunting, but more and more young professionals are becoming homeowners as the housing market continues to improve. Local realtors provide tips and advice to guide you through the process.
Janet McAfee Real Estate
• Ninety percent of buyers start their home search on the Internet. Work with your realtor to get access to the MLS (multiple listing service) and get a feel for what’s out there in the market.
• Think about your single-person lifestyle to decide if you want a condo or home. Maintenance-free condos may work better for someone who travels a lot or is away on the weekends.
• Be realistic about price and expectations. If this is your first house, you’re not going to get your dream home. It’s something to live in for four or five years, then move on.
• Be careful of who you bring with you on the home search. Family members and friends can be helpful, but they also can confuse you with their opinions. Remember that you are the one who will be living there.
• The decision shouldn’t be completely emotional. Even if your gut is telling you that this is the right house, listen to your agent and consider all factors involved.
The Kirk-Holton Team at Keller Williams Realty
• Interview several real estate agents and decide who is best for you, personality-wise. Having a good rapport and trusting your realtor is very important.
• Safety should be a big concern, especially for a young woman buying property. Get crime statistics for an area and decide if you’ll be comfortable walking around at night.
• Make sure the location is convenient to your job. Create a radius around your work and search from there.
• The place you buy should fit how you want to live. Take all of those lifestyle factors into consideration because there’s nothing worse than having regrets about the purchase a year later.
• Single buyers want updated, move-in ready homes. If you are wedded to your work, you won’t want to spend the weekends working on your house.
Prudential Alliance Realtors
• Walk through the entire process with your realtor from the first hello to closing day. You should understand the process ahead of time so you are prepared for the timeline and what’s necessary to buy a home.
• Don’t rush or be rushed into making a decision. A house is probably the most expensive purchase you will make, so make sure you’re happy with the decision.
• Be willing to walk away from negotiations if the seller isn’t willing to sell at a fair price. You don’t want to overpay in any market.
• You can change the house; you can’t change the location. ‘Buy’ the location and then find the house within that area.
• As a single buyer, you will be in charge of maintaining the home and property. It’s smart to set aside some funds for house maintenance.
Dielmann Sotheby’s International Realty
• Now is the best time to buy. With historically low interest rates, a good inventory of homes and low prices, it’s a perfect storm for a buyer.
• Write down the five most important factors to you and narrow down the options from there. You can wish for everything and want everything, but you probably won’t get it. You have to make sacrifices somewhere.
• You may have money for the downpayment, but don’t forget about closing costs.
• There are plenty of locations in the St. Louis area for young, single people to buy homes, but you can’t go wrong with the central corridor along Highway 40.
• Be sure to consider how long you will be in the house. Will the property be the right size for you in the future if you get married and/or have children?
ELIZABETH Real Estate LLC
• Find a lender you trust and get pre-approval before looking for homes. Don’t fall in love with a property before you find out what your price point is.
• Be sure to think about resale possibilities. Some single first-time buyers want to live in a trendy area, but the resale value may not be great. Look for two-bedroom places because one-bedroom homes are hard to resell, and keep school districts in mind.
• Have your realtor help you make a ‘pro’ and ‘con’ list to compare two homes. The agent can help you analyze the nuts and bolts of the properties.
• If you can put 20 percent down, you can avoid private mortgage insurance. If you can’t, it might be worth living at your parents’ home one more year and save up.
• The more educated you are, the better. Be a sponge of information and ask lots of questions.