Single women are part of an emerging trend in home-buying demographics. In the past, most single women in the American housing market were renters or co-borrowers on mortgage loans. In 2017, they represented 18 percent of home buyers, according to statistics compiled by the National Association of Realtors. When excluding real estate investors, professional females make up only 7 percent of buyers.
For many single women who wish to become first-time homeowners, Irvine real estate presents a nice value proposition. Here are some tips for prospective buyers who are going solo with their property acquisition.
Determine How Much Home You Can Afford
There was a time when home buying started with viewing properties before filling out a 1003 residential mortgage application. These days, it’s better to touch base with a bank or mortgage broker before looking at properties or retaining a real estate agent. Home lending has changed considerably since the calamitous days of the American housing bubble in 2008. The current mortgage environment is heavily focused on determining how much home you can reasonably afford, and this includes calculating monthly payments, complete with household expenses.
Research Market Conditions
Even though Irvine is one of the most stable housing markets in California, it’s not impervious to macroeconomic conditions and regional trends. In October 2018, mortgage interest rates climbed to their highest levels since 2011, thus creating a sense of urgency among some homeowners looking to sell before the holidays. With the Federal Reserve poised to raise the prime rate a couple of times through the first quarter of 2019, the market could slow down, and home prices could decrease a little.
Think About Home Maintenance
Fixer-upper homes often seem tempting to first-time home buyers, but they should only be considered by buyers who know they’ll be able to invest time, money, and effort. When calculating how much home they can afford, home buyers are instructed to include projected maintenance costs to their future monthly payments. Those who wish to avoid maintenance and home improvement projects should look into gated communities with homeowners association regimes that include maintenance as part of their fees. You’ll discover gated communities in almost every neighborhood in Irvine, including Quail Hill and Shady Canyon. Irvine condos for sale offer a wide variety of living styles.
Build Financial Reserves
Mortgage lenders generally require evidence of cash reserves before issuing a loan approval, and this is usually the equivalent of three months’ worth of principal, interest, and escrow payments. Smart home buyers can improve upon these reserves by taking into account utilities, maintenance, incidentals, and housing expenses, thus making cash reserves a reliable and sufficient fund to tap into in case of emergencies. It may be difficult to hold on to these reserves after the closing and upon moving in—furniture, decorations, and renovations are always a temptation—but this is precisely when financial responsibility and good judgement should take over.
Buying a home is a dream for many Americans, and single women are no exception. They are entering the home-buying market at higher levels than ever, and it’s important for them to know what to expect before they start to look. If you’re getting ready to buy your own home, make sure to find a real estate agent in Irvine you can trust. Call Irvine Residential Living today at 714-454-6304 to get started on your way to finding your perfect dream home.