The single person's home-buying guide


By Beehive Money

Being single has its perks like no arguments about what to have for tea or what to watch on telly but when it comes to buying property, it can be costly for just one person to take on. In a Refinery 29 article, writer Shani Silver expresses how she wants to be ‘boyfriend rich’ and to be invited to ‘life’s 50% off sale’ when it comes to living expenses. She explains that by having a boyfriend she’d be able to pay half the rent or mortgage, half the pet insurance and even half the Netflix subscription and she’d have access to a lot more of her monthly income than she does currently.  

If you’re single and looking to buy a property, fear not, it can be done and you can access mortgages but, in truth, it can be harder and more expensive for you personally. If you’re ready for the next step onto the property ladder and you’ve saved your deposit – you’re halfway there, read on.  

Mortgage providers calculate how much they will lend based on how much of the mortgage can be paid back each month. It doesn't matter if it's just you buying a house, it's about how much you can realistically afford to pay back each month along with how much you want to borrow.  

In a nationwide survey of first-time buyers that we commissioned, it was found that one in three* (32%) believe that they will be able to buy their first home on their own and, in Scotland - 45% are willing to buy on their own. Alternatively, nearly one in 10 (9%) will be buying their first home with friends or family. But what if you do want to buy alone? Read our guide below to help you get to grips with securing a mortgage via an adviser.  

A good way to increase the choice of mortgages available to you on a sole income is to ask a mortgage adviser who can search a wide range of lenders to tailor a deal to meet your individual needs.  

Head of Beehive Money, Ben Osgood explained having just one income in the mix was only part of the calculation. He said: “It’s down to an affordability assessment on you, your income and outgoings. The lender takes into account reduced costs of living for someone on their own too such as single person discount for your Council Tax.  
If you are paying a mortgage on your own, the key thing is to consider what you would do if you couldn't pay your mortgage. In short, a plan B. When there are two people working, lenders may consider them a safer bet - if one of their incomes dries up, there’s the other to fall back on. Do you have savings, or would you be able to borrow from the Bank of Mum & Dad? Or have you considered income protection?"  

Mortgage advisers can help you by providing advice, narrowing your deal search based on your individual need and finding who will lend to you by searching a range of lenders. These are the steps you can expect on your path towards securing a mortgage via an adviser;

  1. A personal case handler will be assigned to see your application through to completion. 
  2. They will give the lender all the documents they need to progress the application. 
  3. The property will be valued. 
  4. You will get a formal offer of a mortgage, which your case handler will check through. 
  5. Your solicitor will carry out the necessary searches. 
  6. A completion date will be arranged to suit you. 
  7. The lender will send the money to your solicitor on the agreed date. 
  8. You have a handover period where you arrange key exchange. 
Why not use our mortgage calculator to quickly work out how much your monthly mortgage payments could be?  

  *653 first-time buyers were interviewed online between October 19th and 25th 2018 by independent research company Consumer Intelligence. 

Mortgage advice via the Beehive Money Marketplace

We've partnered with Mortgage Advice Bureau so you can access mortgage advice easily in our app. Their advisers will help find you the right mortgage from over 90 different lenders and more than 12,000 deals, some of which you wouldn't get on the high street. It's just another way we help make managing money that bit easier. Terms and conditions apply.

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