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Home Buying Advice

Singles: Protect Yourself and Your Assets When Buying a Home

Open Door with KeyDid you know that nearly one-third of all homes sold last year were purchased by single persons?  Many single women and men are buying homes on their own. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors® single women accounted for 21% of all home purchases last year, and single men accounted for approximately 10%.  

So if you are a single man or woman about to venture into owning a home on your own, there are some things you should make sure you have buttoned up to protect yourself and your assets.

How Small Is The Median Down Payment For First-Time Buyers?

Although the median down payment for a home for first-time home buyers is 6%, many buyers secure mortgages for as low as a 3% down payment, and veterans qualifying for a VA loan can realize a zero down payment. 

So, for a $250,000 home, a buyer could conceivably invest less than $10,000 by having the seller pay for most of the closing costs. Some loan programs even permit the down payment to be a gift from a relative. The approximate monthly payment for a $250,000 home, with a 3% down payment, assuming a 30-year fixed mortgage with a rate at 4%, would be $1,150 per month. Add in taxes and homeowners insurance for the complete payment amount, which will vary per property.

Should You Buy A Duplex And Have A Renter Help Pay Your Mortgage?

It's very possible that the best first home for you may be a multi-family home.  Having a tenant to help pay your mortgage can really pay off.

A duplex is a single building with separate units and separate entrances.  You can live in one of the units and rent out the other. Being a first-time homebuyer and landlord can work well together, especially if you live on the same property as your tenants. As a new homeowner, you may be more flexible about your living arrangements, having lived in apartments, and perhaps are without too many other heavy responsibilities such as children.

Many first-time buyers who purchase a duplex and rent out the other unit are working to prepare themselves for the next property . . . perhaps a single-family home where they plan to start a family.  The plan may include keeping the duplex as an investment, renting both sides, and using the supplemental income to help with the next home purchase and begin building steady long-term wealth.