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The dream of buying a home becomes much more complicated when you are a single parent.
Not only do single parents often have a lot less disposable income to work with, but qualifying for and paying off mortgages is an uphill battle when you’re working twice the amount for what’s often half the pay, especially if you’re a single mother.
But light can be found in the darkest of times.
If you’re a single parent working towards becoming a homeowner, you’re not alone, and this guide is for you.
We will dissect some common challenges single parents face going through the homeownership process and outline some tips about achieving this vital goal while keeping God at the center.
Common Challenges Of Homeownership For Single Parents
If you’re a single parent, chances are you’re exhausted most of the time.
Parenting is hard enough when you’re working in tandem with another person, but being both mom and dad to your kids simultaneously can be all kinds of fatiguing.
Significant emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion comes with single-handedly raising a family. But there’s also a financial side that often gets forgotten about.
Not only are single parents often working with significantly less income, but qualifying for a mortgage becomes a much more complex and challenging process when you don’t have a spouse.
If you’ve recently looked into the prospect of homeownership, you may have encountered one of the following hurdles:
When you’re a single parent, you usually have a single income. And even if you are divorced, and the other parent contributes to your kids’ school or living expenses, most single parents still have to cover their rent and accumulate savings.
Naturally, the less disposable income you have, the harder it is to make substantial savings, whether it be for future college tuition, starting a business, or, in this case, buying a home.
Harder to get a mortgage
To qualify for a mortgage, you need an excellent credit score. And dual-income couples are far more likely to have high credit scores than single parents. They’re also less likely to have debt and usually have dual income that adds extra surety.
Real estate agents prefer married couples.
Moreover, competing with married couples for prime real estate takes work, even when you have the money to spend.
Homeowners often prefer to sell their properties to married couples because, on paper, they appear more stable than single parents. This means the deal is more likely to go through, and they will save time.
Seeing Challenges As Opportunities – How To Become A Homeowner As A Single Parent
Despite all the difficulties of being a single parent, many reasons exist to be proud of it.
Exceptionally, few people actively choose the single-parent life—it may be due to a divorce or the passing of a beloved partner that has created these circumstances.
Regardless of why you’re a single parent, it’s essential to acknowledge the incredible strength, grace, and courage it takes to walk this road alone. It might not always feel like it, but your kids and God recognize and appreciate all your hard work.
That said, working towards becoming a homeowner is an excellent step possible with the right strategy. Here are some tips for becoming a homeowner as a single parent:
Ensure your finances are in order.
Banks and lenders examine your income, expenditure, debts, and credit history.
Before approaching a lender or exploring mortgage options, ensure you have all your financial affairs.
Ensure you don’t have outstanding bills, your taxes are correctly filed, and you have a clear idea of what you can afford to spend on monthly mortgage payments.
Know which mortgage to apply for
If you’re intent on becoming a homeowner, you’ve got to get serious about your research. While many mortgage types are not geared toward single-parent applicants, some are specifically tailored to them, such as:
● VA – The Veterans Administration offers significantly reduced mortgages to single mothers who have served or been married to someone who served.
● FHA – FHA loans are designed for people with lower credit scores. Even better, the downpayment doesn’t have to come directly from you; it can be made as a gift if you have a willing contributor.
● USDA – the United States Department of Agriculture offers reduced-rate mortgages to people who want to buy property in “rural” areas. But, the term “rural” can often be a misnomer and apply to farm-style residencies outside city centers.
Next time you go to a bank to inquire about mortgages, ask them about these programs. If they don’t offer these in particular, find out what other options may be available. Often, they only mention them if they’re specifically asked.
Join a church
A church is a place of worship. But it can also be many other things. Primarily, it is a community space for both adults and children to find connection and support from like-minded individuals.
Being a single parent isn’t easy, no matter who you are, but by joining a local church, you can access a space that is as socially comforting as it is spiritual.
Churches are great places to make connections with people.
You might find other single parents to bond with over your experiences or even an opportunity to rent or buy your own home via a community member who shares the same faith.
Many churches have notice boards and online forums for important information, news, or requests to be advertised. Don’t be shy about reaching out and letting your needs be known.
Deepen your faith
No matter who you are or your beliefs, establishing a spiritual connection with God can be a massive source of comfort and support.
Deepening your relationship with God and His scriptures can serve as emotional nourishment in challenging moments and remind you of the untapped strength and guidance you always have access to.
If you need more certainty about your housing situation, make plans proactively. Don’t forget to look after your relationship with God; it might be precisely what you need.
Keep The Faith & Buy Your Dream Home
Being a single parent is one of the most challenging jobs in the world. But with the right strategy and enough faith, anybody can become a homeowner.