Do you want to buy a home as a single mom? If so, I get it. As parents, we all want what’s best for our families. We want to provide our kids and ourselves with the best lives possible, and often that means looking into homeownership. It may seem daunting and overwhelming to consider buying a home on just one income. As a single mom should you continue to rent or buy that home that you’ve always dreamed of? Are you ready to take the leap into the exciting but sometimes confusing world of home buying and mortgages? Here are some tips and resources on how to buy a home as a single mom so you can create a life of abundance and comfort for yourself and your children.
Should you Buy a Home as a Single Mom?
The decision to become a homeowner is not one to take lightly. You may wonder if homeownership makes sense for you. So, the first step in buying a house as a single mom is to determine whether or not it’s currently the right path for you and your family. It’s a big decision.
Choosing to buy a home means knowing you’re able to cover long-term mortgage payments. It’s also important to realize whether or not you have sufficient funds for a down payment. Mortgage approval can come with closing costs, cosmetic upgrades and even repairs if you aren’t buying new construction.
You’ll likely come across things that need to be addressed within your home before you move in. The first step in buying a house as a single mom is figuring out how much you can afford to spend on your new home. Speak with a mortgage professional or use an online mortgage calculator to get the ballpark price range you should be looking for.
Can a Single Mom with Low Income Buy a House?
A single mom with low income can buy a house as long as she meets the loan requirements. The home buying process can be very stressful. So while raising children, working full time and taking care of a household it is definitely a decision that needs to be thought through.
One thing to consider when buying a home is the money needed up front to get into your home. There are down payments, closing costs, and other small fees that you will need to be prepared for. Once you get the home, improvements may also be required.
Most new homeowners find themselves at the home improvement store for weeks and months after signing on the dotted line. There’s always something to be done or something new to add or upgrade that isn’t always apparent in your walk-throughs. Little projects add up so it’s important to keep that in mind when deciding whether to continue to rent or buy a home.
With those things in mind make sure you are preparing yourself financially well in advance. Then, when you’re ready to buy a home, you already know what you’re looking for in terms of space, bedrooms, and amenities. Once you’re certain of your needs and are confident in your decisions you can begin your home search and see what’s available to you to buy a home as a single mom.
Programs that Help Single Mothers Buy a Home
There are several programs to help single mothers buy a home, whether you’re seeking mortgage grants for single mothers or assistance finding and buying your first home, you have options. If credit is an issue there are programs like the FHA and the USDA Rural Development loans let you use your credit history from other sources like rent and utilities as long as you have a good payment history for at least a year.
Single Mom First Time Homebuyer Programs
The single best tip for the single mom saving for a house is to look into savings accounts for families looking to purchase a home. Individual Development Accounts allow individuals to put money into the savings account. That money is then matched by the organization. According to the Social Security Administration, “an IDA is a special bank account that helps you save for your education, a first home or to start a business.”
If you don’t mind putting in a little bit of sweat-equity, Habitat for Humanity is a great choice. Single parents can roll up their sleeves and learn the ins and outs of building their own home. The organization repairs older homes and builds new ones for families in need. Not only does your family come away with a custom-built home, but the home loan is offered interest-free; learn more about the Habitat for Humanity selection process.
The United States Department of Housing and Development (HUD) sells foreclosed homes throughout the country. Check out the listing of HUD homes to find one in your area. Similarly, The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) offers loans to first-time buyers with a 3.5 percent down payment. There are zero income-eligibility requirements for an FHA loan. A minimum credit score of between 500 and 580 is required depending on the loan percentage. Learn more about FHA loan requirements.
Mortgage Grants for Single Mothers to Buy a Home
Saving the funds for a down payment on a home can be challenging, especially for single parents. Grants for single mothers trying to buy a home do exist and it’s fairly easy to apply once you know where to look.
Homebuyers across the country apply for and receive grants toward the cost of their downpayment. These funds do not have to be paid back. Often called down payment assistance grants, they originate from local state and non-profit agencies.
There are of course stipulations, guidelines, and rules to receiving a down payment assistance grant. The home to be purchased must be a primary residence, not a vacation home, and may be income-based. Special grants are available if you are an EMT, firefighter, law enforcement officer, or K-12 teacher. You may qualify for a Good Neighbor Next Door grant. This grant gives the recipient 50% off of the list price of their home.
You can also check with your mortgage lender/bank for discounts on closing costs down payment assistance. Major lenders often provide this as an option for single moms and others looking to buy their first home. Also, if you are a veteran or current service member, you may qualify for a zero-down VA loan.
The best way to determine what grants you may be eligible for if you’re looking to buy a home as a single mom is to consult with a knowledgeable mortgage lender to help you assess your individual situation and circumstances.
Alternatives to Purchasing a Single-family home
If the idea of purchasing a single-family home right now seems daunting, there are other options. Keeping up the maintenance of a home can be a challenge. If you’d rather not spend your weekends weeding or painting, consider whether a condo or townhome is a better choice.
The same mortgage grants for single mothers apply to condominiums, so don’t let the idea of constant home maintenance stop you from pursuing your dream of homeownership. For every unique family out there, the perfect home is out there just waiting to be discovered.
Single Mom Saving for a House
As a single mom, saving for a home is one of the biggest things you should do when you decide you want to buy a home. A solid saving plan is essential to make sure you have enough for your down payment and fees once you get approved for your mortgage. Determine how much you need to have and start saving as early as possible. Get your finances in order to make the process easier.
Budget your money ruthlessly. Cut your household expenses and spending and use the savings to put into a special account for your home buying fees. If income is an issue, start a side hustle that will be specifically for saving for your home as a single mom. Then automate the saving of that extra money. You can setup an automatic payment from your bank account to have it go to your home fund.
Ultimately you can buy a home if it’s something you want to do. It will take some work but you can get there.
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