Monday, 27 October 2014

Five Tips for Single Parent Homebuyers

More and more single parents are diving into home ownership with confidence. Here are five tips to keep in mind before you purchase the home of your dreams.

1.       Prepare your credit. Mortgage lenders typically want to see one to two years of clean credit with no late payments or judgments. Pay down as much of your past debt as you can.

2.       Mortgage shop. Mortgage competition is fierce. Use that as leverage to negotiate with your lender for both your first mortgage and renewal. Tracey, of the blog Middle Class Mom in Toronto, says “I broke and re-wrote one mortgage product with Scotiabank. The time I spent considering my options and negotiating saved me not only about $40K in interest over the life of my mortgage, but I also just shaved nine years off the amoritization. Two weeks ago it was being paid off at 25 year amoritization pace. Now, it’s at 16 years.”

3.       Consider the schools. If your children are school age, consider the school ratings in the area you are thinking of buying. The Fraser Institute has a helpful website to get an idea of how well Ontario schools are doing:

4.       How long will you stay? Your children will eventually leave the nest! Consider the age of your children and how long you plan on being in your new home. If you plan on a lifetime, perhaps finding a home with a liveable or potentially legal basement apartment is something you want to reflect on. When your children move out you will be able to use the extra space as extra income.

5.       Where will all the stuff go? Kids bring with them lots of stuff! Will you get a home with a large basement or storage area? Maybe you’d prefer a backyard with a shed? Or perhaps you can downsize and move into a smaller house in a more desirable area?
Are you a single parent Options homebuyer? Share your story with us!