How can a single parent buy a home?

How can a single parent buy a home? | Beanstalk Mums

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How can a single parent buy a home?

As a single parent, buying a new home might seem as inconceivable as your children voluntarily tidying their bedrooms. Yet with the knowledge, know-how and a few handy tips buying your first home, on your own, might be more achievable than you think.

According to HomeStart Finance nearly 20% of their customers are single with dependents. That’s an encouraging figure and one that should incentivise you to navigate the housing market alone.

There are many advantages to owning a home, which include a sense of stability, security and pride, a closer tie to your community and greater privacy. Plus there are lots of financial gains, such as the home increasing in value, predictable costs (with fixed rate mortgages) and possible tax deductions.

So with this in mind, here are some useful tips to help a single parent buy a home.

How can I purchase a property as a single mum?

Understand what counts as your income

Your income amount is paramount when it comes to getting a mortgage as it dictates what you can borrow. But did you know that some lenders allow you to include government payments as income? These include Family Tax Benefit A & B, Parenting Payments, Child Care benefit and large family allowances.

For more about financial support from the government see: What benefits am I entitled to as a single mum.

Check your eligibility for a First Home Owners Grant

Depending on your past history on the property market, you may be eligible for the First Home Owners Grant. These government initiative grants vary depending on what state you live in but they are definitely worth checking out.

Imagine receiving a $15,000 kick start towards your mortgage?

Find a great mortgage broker (who understand the needs of a single parent)

There really are some great, professional people out there who can guide you through the home-buying process. They have an intimate knowledge of the loan market and will help you find a lender that is right for you as a single parent.

Oh and don’t be put off by their charges as most lenders receive a commission from the lender, meaning that it’s a free service for you.

Avoid paying Lenders Mortgage Insurance

If you don’t have a huge deposit for your dream house you might find yourself with the additional cost of Lenders Mortgage Insurance.

This is charged if you need to borrow more than 80% of the property’s value and it can add significantly to the cost of your loan. To get a better idea of the costs that could be involved use this Lenders Mortgage Insurance Estimator Tool.

Also speak to your broker about ways to boost your borrowing power and if you can avoid this additional, unwanted sum.

Be a savvy saver

When you’re saving for a deposit you must adopt the habits of a savvy saver.

Make sure you utilise the best high interest savings account available, ideally with an incentive if you make regular payments but don’t withdraw. There’s some great advice around this in The Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape. And make it as painless as possible by setting-up an automatic periodical payment for as much as you can afford.

Also, cut-back on any everyday unnecessary expenses. For example, how much could you save if you change some of your food brands, or cut out your morning coffee a couple of days each week? This is a great time to teach your children the value of money too.

For more tips on saving see: Money saving tips for single mums.

Learn how to budget

Do you have a financial budget?

If not this could be the time to start one.

Work out your money in/money out each week and then cut down on your outgoings. You can also use this process to calculate what mortgage loan repayments you can comfortably afford so you don’t overstretch yourself when the time comes to buy.

Head to the fabulous MoneySmart website for a comprehensive guide to budgeting, or check out some great budgeting apps here.

How can a single parent buy a home? (cont.)

Consider ways to increase your income

Rack your brain to see if you can increase your income in any way.

Could you ask your boss for a pay rise? Put in some extra hours at work? Look for another job? Checked with Centrelink that you are receiving all the payments you’re entitled to?

An increased income will speed-up your deposit saving process and will boost the amount you can borrow.

Change your thought process and dream big

Stop thinking that owning a home is for other people, but not for you.

Understand that you have as much right as anyone to own a secure, comfortable home in which to bring-up your beautiful family.

Keep your dream home at the forefront of your mind. Find a picture of the kind of house you’d like and stick it to the fridge.

Most importantly, consider the bigger picture. So when times are tough while you save for a deposit, remember what you are aiming for and ultimately the wonderful gift you will be giving yourself and your children. This is something I can help you with in my “You’ve Got This” Single Mum eCourse.

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Sally Love

About the author

Sally Love is a pseudo single mum author who has been writing about single motherhood, separation and divorce for 8+ years. She has been a single mother for 10+ years and has two daughters, one of whom she co-parents and the other she solo parents. Sally has experienced all aspects of single motherhood from legal, financial, parenting, dating, travel as a single parent, re-partnering and re-building a career. She is an integral part of the Beanstalk community chatting and helping single mothers across the globe, as well as sharing her expertise, experiences and genuine reviews with major national newspapers and appearing on nation-wide television shows.

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