While a lot of stereotypes about the times-a-changin’ have been spouted by generation after generation, there is one aspect of American life that is verifiably different than it was a few decades ago: the age of marriage.
In 1990, the average age at marriage was 26 for men and 23 for women. Today, the ages are 29 and 27 respectively.
And that’s just the national average. Numbers can vary much more extremely in specific locations. Colorado is on par with the rest of the U.S., but in Washington, D.C., for example, men and women alike are waiting until their 30s to get married.
Now, while there are all sorts of theories about why people are staying single longer, we’re real estate agents. We want to look at the question from a real estate perspective. And that’s exactly what we hope to do in this single person’s guide to buying a home.
For a lot of people, single living means more parties, more dining adventures, and more nights out on the town. It’s not until we settle down that we really start thinking about the future. Buying a home is going to require a down payment, so if you’re planning on becoming a homeowner in the next few years, set a budget and start putting your savings away today.
You could even make your plan very explicit. Say, for example, you tend to eat out three nights a week. You might decide to cut this down to twice a week and transfer the money saved into your savings account every Friday when you would have been out. This psychological trick will get you to replace the habit of eating out with the thrill of seeing your down payment savings grow.
Traditionally, a mortgage requires a 20% down payment, but that number can look impossible when you are trying to buy a home on a single income. But don’t fret, there are other options that are specifically meant for people in your situation.
An FHA mortgage, for example, will only require 3.5% down. While you’ll end up with higher monthly payments due to the required private mortgage insurance, you’ll be able to buy a house much faster.
Just because you’re single now, that doesn’t mean you’ll be single forever. But you also shouldn’t let the future hold you back from making your present the best it can be. You might hesitate to buy right now because you wonder “What if I meet the love of my life in a few months?”
Homes don’t have to be permanent. You can always sell yours off down the line should you meet someone and decide to upsize for a family home or move to a different neighborhood. Your first house is one of your best investments, so holding off too long means throwing away years and years that you could have been building equity.
So whether you plan to live the single life forever or you’re still waiting for that special someone to come along, there’s no reason to put off buying your first home. When you’re ready to start looking, Walden Novak is here to help. From finding the right neighborhood to securing financing, we can help you every step of the way. Get in touch today.