In honour of International Women's Day, we talked to over a dozen women that we know who have purchased property as single ladies. This tribe of amazing and wonderful women were so eager to share all of their thoughts, experiences and advice with me. Thus, I have complied this and am sharing it back with you!
It appears that single women are leading the charge as we see the demographics of home buying shift in Canada. There are more property options available now than ever, and with easier financing options and more ladies striking out on their own, we see some unique shifts in our housing culture.
I reached out to my network, and I got responses from friends and family across the country who have bought as single women and all is compliled below.
- The main point to remember -
This is YOUR place. This needs to be on your terms, and a place that suits YOUR needs. You are the one who has to live with the location, mortgage payment, space and re-sale when it comes time. So be a little selfish, it's ok!
Don’t be afraid to ask for help moving.
100% agreed! Even if you are new to the area and don't know anyone, you can hire out a moving company. Remember that you are a boss lady, and you don't need anyone's permission. Get some references, do some research, and interview at least 3 places. Remember, the cheapest option is not always the best. If you get lots of quotes around the same number, that is likely about right.
Have savings.. and save more than you think you need.
BEFORE - save for the down-payment (min 5%), legal fees (most lawyers will easily offer this info) and then some
AFTER - Blinds, landscaping (new or old house), furniture, yard equipment, movers, etc.
Knowing costs to run the household
- Make a monthly budget of all your expenses. Seems obvious but people rarely do it.
- Ask the sellers what their monthly costs are
- If you don’t want a condo because you don’t want to pay condo fees, you can always hire out snow and grass maintenance
Get a security system right away
- Safety is always a concern for single female purchasers.
- Check online crime stats
- Make sure your parking area is secure
- Ensure the exterior of your home and street is well lit
Check your credit as soon as you know you want to be a homeowner.
- Make sure there are no mistakes, you can check this for free at Equifax
- Use all the tips to get your credit score up – consult with a mortgage broker
- Chat with a mortgage broker early on, before you think you are ready
Due diligence when hiring for contractors or inspectors.
- Don’t be intimidated about asking questions, ask for a reference (or to see their work) and do Google and court searches.
- Use home inspectors that you know, your agent knows or a trusted friend has used.
Take the time to really learn each step.
- A buyer’s consultation and sit down is very important. I always offer this as a perfect first step towards helping you get started. Not only do I have a buyer’s package that is specifically geared for first time buyers in Edmonton, I have walked countless people through this process. A good realtor has answers that come from experience, and can help you feel educated and supported every step of the way.
- It is possible that at times you will feel overwhelmed. Depend on your support circle and of course your realtor for sound advice, but please know this is very normal! I had a friend tell me she felt highly anxious, and that can happen too for several reasons. I really believe that if you are prepared, have done the right research for the home you want in an area that suits you, you are pre-approved and feel ready, that should take care of 90% of those jitters!
To finish, a very special and sincere thank you to the dozen or so women who helped me compile this information. For privacy reasons, I have not named them or their locations, but they are spread out across the country. Much love to you all, YOU are my very own Tribe.