Being a single parent can be a tough job. Aside from handling all of the parenting duties on your own, you also have to think about where you are going to live. The reality is that, with one income, many single mothers have a lower total household income than many dual income families. This makes buying a home more challenging, since it can be difficult to be approved for a mortgage loan with a reasonable interest rate.
Owning a home is considered fulfilling part of “The American Dream” to many individuals, and single mothers should not have to give up on this aspiration. While it may be more challenging, home ownership as a single parent is still possible if you make intentional and educated decisions. In fact, the research shows that 20% of homebuyers in 2010 were single women.
Let’s take a look at a few tips that can help make this dream a reality.
Establish a Budget
Before you can begin house hunting with a purpose, you must determine what you can actually afford. Go ahead and take a minute to make a comprehensive list of all of your monthly expenses – utility bills, car insurance, fees for your child’s activities, etc. This will help you to accurately determine how much remaining funds you have available each month to put toward a mortgage payment. Once you have established your budget, you can begin to search for homes that fit into your price range. Being a single parent already comes with enough challenges, so now is not the time to make it even harder for yourself by trying to buy a home that will put too much strain on your financial situation.
Research Various Assistance Programs
Since being a single mother means that only one income is available to support the family, there are special programs in existence that aim to make it possible for low- and moderate-income families to buy a home. Just a few of these initiatives include:
- Habitat for Humanity – This organization is dedicated to giving families a chance to help themselves by building and offering affordable houses.
- Homeownership Vouchers – This government program assists individuals and families who need help covering their monthly mortgage payment and other home expenses.
- Individual Development Accounts – These are saving plans where each dollar contributed to the IDA is matched by an organization. This helps individuals save up the funds that they need for a significant purchase.
- Community Development Block Grant Program – This program distributes funds to help provide safe and affordable housing for individuals and families, and there are programs available under this initiative that may assist single mothers.
- Down payment assistance programs – There are programs throughout the country that aim to help first-time homebuyers get the down payment that they need. Organizations like the Nehemiah Community Foundation exist to help low- to moderate-income individuals become homeowners.
Regardless of your circumstances, buying a home is a big step. By remaining informed and involved throughout the process, you can feel confident in knowing that you are making the right decision for your family.