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Fact sheet for single home owners

Buying a house or apartment on a single income can be a challenge, but it’s certainly not impossible. There are a host of options that can help to alleviate the burden of taking on a mortgage alone. Follow our tips to get on the property ladder sooner and make a sound investment.

Cost

Buying a home is a really exciting time, but going it alone can be a daunting prospect. Ask yourself:

  • What will your mortgage repayments and bank fees cost each month? How much are the council rates? Are there body corporate or strata fees? How much will insurances cost you?

  • Are you buying into an area that is going to increase in value over time?

  • How much does location affect the cost of a home? And does the condition of the house mean you’ll have to spend more to fix it?

  • Have you considered pairing up with siblings or close friends on an investment?

Location

 

Ask any real estate agent to list the three most important factors when buying, and you’ll likely hear: “location, location, location.” Depending on your lifestyle and budget, you might be drawn to an inner city apartment, or a suburban house that in an up-and-coming area. No matter your preference, ask yourself:

 

  • How close is this home to your family, friends and established social networks?

  • How close is this home to public transport? How frequent and convenient are the public transport options? Will you be able to get around easily or will you be car dependent?

  • How long will it take you to get into the city or work?

  • Will you have convenient access to shops, cafés and other services like libraries?

  • Is the home close to hospitals or other healthcare facilities?

Quality

Investing in a new home can be tricky on a single income budget, but it doesn’t mean you should settle on quality – especially if that means footing the bill for maintenance and repairs down the track. Keeping your eye out for quality can be tedious, but there are some simple signs to look out for:

 

  • Is the home well insulated?

  • Does it feature energy and water efficient fixtures and fittings?

  • Does this home have good cross-ventilation, orientation and outlooks?

  • Is it north facing to make the most of the sunlight? How much daylight access will you get?

  • Will you have access to high speed internet?

  • Can I afford a house or apartment with an extra bedroom to rent out?

  • Does this home comply with Livable Housing Australia’s guidelines for accessible design?

  • If it's an apartment, does it have a Green Star rating?

  • If it's a home, is it located in a Green Star community?

Liveability

Liveability is the sum of all the factors that add up to a community’s quality of life – everything from the built and natural environments to culture, community activities and cafés on your doorstep.

 

  • What sort of lifestyle do you want? How will this home support your lifestyle?

  • Is this home low-maintenance?

  • How much space do you need? Will this home suit your space requirements?

  • Do you prefer a garden or a balcony? Will you be able to fit your outdoor furniture in the space?

  • Do you have easy access to green space and parks?

  • Is it a safe neighbourhood?

  • What kinds of community activities are found in the area? Is it a diverse and inclusive community that brings together people of all ages and abilities?

  • Are you close to schools in case you want to start a family one day?

 

Investment

As a single income buyer, it’s important to consider whether or not your property is a sound purchase. No one knows what the future will hold – you might want to start a family or pack up and move overseas. It’s comforting to know you’ve set yourself up with a viable return on investment. Ask yourself:

 

  • Will this home retain its value?

  • What assurance do I have that my investment is secure?

  • Are there any major developments in the pipeline that could affect my property’s value? For example, high-rise apartment blocks that obstruct city views.

 

There are lots of advantages to being a single home owner. You’re able to make an investment based on your wants and needs without compromising. However, it’s always important to consider how your circumstances could change in the future.

 

A Green Star rating alleviates some of the stresses of owning a home, such as ensuring accessibility, cost-saving environmental features and plenty of amenities at your doorstep.