The idea of home ownership may seem daunting as a single parent, especially as home prices are on the upswing in many areas. But single people, including single parents, are owning homes in record numbers, and benefitting from these rising home values. According to Statistics Canada, more than one in four homes in Canada were occupied by single owners in 2011.
What Could I Potentially Afford?
A number of factors will determine the purchase price range you can explore. The most fundamental of these are your gross household income (which may include support payments), how much money you have available for a down payment, and the mortgage interest rate. I provide a more in-depth explanation of how these variables and other monthly housing costs factor into affordability here, as well as a description of how you can use a mortgage calculator to explore different financing scenarios.
Will I be Able to get Financing?
Whether you are newly separated, or have always parented on your own, you may assume that obtaining financing under your circumstances will be difficult. Keep in mind, lenders want your business, and may even compete for it. I offer my clients guidance on mortgage financing and all other aspects of their real estate transaction. I can also recommend a mortgage broker, who can apply for financing at no cost on your behalf to several financial institutions at the same time, including lenders who specialize in higher-risk loans.
A pre-approved mortgage sets out the conditions under which the lender is prepared to provide financing, including details such as proof of income, maximum loan amount, and required down-payment. Once you have a pre-approval in hand, it is much easier for you and your Realtor to house-hunt together with confidence.
Think Outside the Box
As a single parent, you may have criteria in mind that take immediate priority, such as school districts, the safety of the property and neighbourhood, and proximity to friends and family. But long-range factors can play a valuable role in making a Real Estate decision that benefits you and your family over a lifetime.
As a parent, and as an experienced Ottawa Real Estate Agent, I can help you look beyond the obvious, to neighbourhoods in transition, new developments, and different types of housing such as those that can accommodate your business, or provide additional rental income. I can also help you cost out improvements that can turn an undesirable property into the ideal space for your family.
If you are a single parent ready to explore your Ottawa Real Estate options, please feel free to reach out to discuss your interests and needs. If you have other tips for single parents looking to buy a home, please share them in the comments below.