Buying a home is an exciting thought, but it’s normal to start getting overwhelmed by nerves when you’re about to cross that threshold. This is especially true for single parents because they find themselves in a unique financial and emotional position. Unlike couples and individuals who have more leeway regarding their house selection and mortgage opportunities, single parents can depend only on themselves to make everything work. It’s up to them to determine all of their needs, make ends meet, and face the consequences of any mistake they might make.
If you’re a single parent and find yourself in this boat, you must make each decision count. After all, it’s your child’s happiness and security that you’re putting on the line here.
Fortunately, you can start taking steps in the right direction by following these four tips.
Sit Down and Reflect
If you’ve been house hunting, you know how difficult it is to decide which one is right for you. Each house and neighbourhood comes with its own pros and cons, and you won’t want to sign any dotted line without first making a thorough assessment. However, how do you begin this assessment if you haven’t even identified your needs and preferences?
Sitting down, reflecting on these things, and making a list is the critical first step to successful home buying. Always begin with your needs, and be realistic about them. Do you really need a big kitchen and three bathrooms when a medium-sized one with just two bathrooms will do? Don’t forget to think long-term, too, because you won’t want to wake up in five years and realise that your house no longer meets your needs.
Keep your preferences in a separate list. This could be a spacious garden, a patio, and a privacy fence. These are things you could do without but are added factors that can influence your decision. The third and final category is the things you consider red flags. Unsafe roads, wild animals, questionable infrastructure, and major repairs are good examples of what will make you refuse a house.
Start Your Sinking Funds
Once you’ve narrowed down your options and have a good idea of how much you’ll be needing, start your sinking funds. If you’re not familiar with this, it’s basically a savings fund with a set goal and deadline. In your case, it’s the house in the Modeina community or similar neighbourhoods in Burnside that you want to live in.
Whether you want to pay in cash or get a mortgage, sinking funds is a great idea to pool your resources towards this big purchase. Having a deadline will compel you to cut back on certain splurges and throw those extra dollars into your savings account instead.
Moreover, you’ll be less likely to dip your hand into it as you do with your other savings account, as you’ve already determined how it should be spent. As a single parent making ends meet, this is a practical and highly efficient technique that you’ll want to take advantage of.
The truth is that you need help, primarily from a realtor. Connect with one who understands your needs and the extra assistance it warrants. If you’ve never been involved in buying or selling a house before, then it might surprise you just how much paperwork a sale entails. The house’s title has to be searched to prevent you from taking on any debt or lawsuit connected to it. Some documents also need collecting, signing, and checking for the actual purchase, which requires a lot of time and effort.
An excellent realtor who has your best interest at heart can handle all of these on your behalf for a decent fee. While it’s understandable that you might want to handle certain things yourself, delegating will spare you from missing out on work or much-needed bonding with your child.
If Possible, Get Your Child’s Opinion
It’s just you and your child, so it matters that you count their opinion, too. They may not make objective decisions yet, especially if they’re just toddlers, but letting them participate may alleviate your stress. You’ll have someone to confide in and share ideas with, and the two of you can make the entire endeavour more exciting by planning how you’ll decorate.
It May or May Not Be Your Forever Home
When buying a home for you and your child, remember that it may or may not be your forever home. Opportunities may come to sell it and purchase something bigger and better. It could also be that you’re happy with it and you want to make some renovations in the future. Regardless, prioritise meeting your needs and aligning them with your financial capacity. When you do this, you’ll find a house for your little family that you can easily call your home.