Single women may feel intimidated when entering the housing market due to old stereotypes and myths. However, you should know that single women accounted for about 20% of homebuyers in 2019, and more of these ladies own homes than their male counterparts.
With this said, do not get taken advantage of in a hungry market when buying a house as a single woman. You should know the importance of a home inspection and how to go about it so that you can avoid buying into a nightmare situation.
Tips for Buying a House as a Single Woman
The purpose of a home inspection is to make sure that you can make a fully informed decision when buying a house. Foregoing an inspection means missing out on valuable information about the property’s underlying condition.
Read on to learn how a single woman homeowner can protect herself and make a smart purchase with a home inspection.
Make It Part of Your Contract Contingency
Simply telling the seller that you pan for an inspection does not protect you as a home buyer. You must work with your real estate agent to protect yourself whether you are married, a single woman, or a single man buying a house.
A due diligence contingency allows you the right to a home inspection within a specified time period. Once the inspection happens, you may:
- Approve and move forward as planned with your purchase
- Disapprove and back out
- Request repairs by the homeowner to move forward
- Ask for a second inspection
If you do not add this into your contract, then you run the risk of buying into a money pit or losing the home to another buyer while waiting on an inspection.
Do not skip the opportunity to walk through your potential purchase with a home inspector. You want the opportunity for the inspector to explain to you any issues in person.
After the fact explanations may lose you in the details. On the property, they can physically show you as they explain so you can properly weigh out your decision.
Plus, the inspection serves as a great opportunity to learn the ins and outs of your potential new home. While the relator shows you around the rooms, the inspector will bring you to important valves and electrical breakers.
Know What the Inspection Covers
Get informed on what a home inspection covers. This will help you decide if you need to bring in additional help to check on areas of concern.
Inspectors generally go over infrastructure, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, appliances, roofing, and home exterior. Looking over a sample home inspection sheet ahead of time will give you an idea of what specifics the inspector will cover.
Understand What It Cannot Cover
You should understand the limitations of the home inspection now so that it does not catch you by surprise later. Inspectors essentially walk in as a guest. They do not tear into walls, climb on top of furniture, or do anything invasive to look for hidden problems.
If you do not understand something, speak up! You will not always have an inspector standing right there to explain details that will help you make an important life decision.
Also, if you feel like an inspector skimmed over something important, bring it to their attention. Yes, inspectors do this for a living, but they are also human and might make a mistake every once in a while. In the case that they did not, it will put your mind at ease.
Make an Informed Decision
Once your inspection is complete, talk over the report with people you trust. Ask your agent, inspector, and knowledgeable relatives how they think you should proceed with specific problems.
Big repairs require some serious thought. The seller should remain responsible for repairs like old roofing or safety hazards.
They may hire a contractor to fix them so that they pass inspection. Or, you might agree on a credit amount that they will deduct from the price you pay on the home.
Sometimes though, the buyer and seller cannot come to an agreement. Or, some problems, though, may require more work than the house is worth. In some instances, you may want to walk away altogether.
For instance, serious problems to the home’s structure may need much more than a simple repair. Serious water damage, reputable structural issues, and out of control infestations can all signal a serious nightmare to come.
Additional Advice for Buying a House When Single
Though the home inspection makes up an important piece of this process, you should also stay vigilant in other ways when buying a house. Home inspections cannot protect you against everything.
Know the Market
Research the housing market you hope to buy into. Is it a seller’s market or a buyer’s market?
Look at projections to see if you should buy now or sit on it just a little bit longer. Also, look to see if you can get into a comparable home for less money.
Understanding the economy will ensure that you get the most bang for your buck. It will also help you negotiate the price and stop sharks from draining you dry.
Look Into the Neighborhood
Single women may especially want to take a closer look at the neighborhood. Check out the crime rate in the area to make sure you feel safe when you move.
You might also want to look at the perks of the area! Is it near potential new jobs or places you’d love to frequent?
Single homeowners may need to worry a little more about the budget because if you fall ill or lose your job, you do not have a partner to back you up. This should not scare you away from buying. But, it should press you to create a strict housing budget for yourself and stick to it.
Enjoy Owning Your Home
Buying a house as a single woman may pose unique challenges, but it also comes with great rewards! Following his advice will ensure that you enjoy becoming a homeowner.
We want to help you make an informed decision. Schedule an inspection today!