Buying a home is a huge dream for many young professionals, but many worry if the time is right. Renting is more flexible—and can even seem more affordable, though that is often a misconception.
Some young people feel it is best to invest in a home only after marriage, but with more people waiting to marry until their late 20s or early 30s, waiting to buy a home isn’t always the best choice. Homeownership is a valuable investment at most stages in life, and buying while single presents some major advantages.
Buying When Single
Despite common wisdom, there are a lot of advantages to buying a property while you are single.
A single person’s expenses are quite low compared to a couple’s or those of a family with young children. This is an advantage for single person, because they may not have to cut their budget as drastically to save up for the down payment or for mortgage installments.
Investing in a property also makes sound financial sense as a single person. Think of it as another form of saving account. Just as you are putting money away in a bank for your future family or future expenses, investing in a piece of property helps you save money for the future.
Another advantage is only having one person’s set of requirements. As a single person, you are buying the home of your dreams, and the only person you have to compromise with is yourself.
The most common disadvantage of owning a property while single is the extra effort you may need to make all the necessary payments, particularly the upfront cost of purchase. If this is an issue for you, consider ways of offsetting that cost, particularly renting out your extra space. If you invest in a larger house, consider renting out some of the other rooms, perhaps even to friends. This is a clever twist on the young-professional-roommates situation, especially if you planning to spend more time in the area than some of your colleagues or friends.
All that being said, there is still a strong argument to waiting to buy a house—or selling and buying a larger place—once you settle down with a life partner.
Buying After Marriage
Buying a property after marriage is different way of thinking about homeownership. Usually it goes hand-in-hand with other life changes like settling into a more permanent job or deciding to have children.
One of the biggest advantages of purchasing a property after getting married is the extra emotional and financial support. Your partner is there to help you through all the emotional ups and downs of looking for a home, and you likely have another breadwinner in the household with whom to split costs. Importantly, marriage also provides a number of federal tax breaks that can make homeownership a more concrete possibility for couples than for single people.
Another major advantage to purchasing property after marriage is the increased likelihood of living in one place for a long time. Many younger professionals are forced to jump between jobs and cities, making owning property seem like an burden rather than an worthwhile investment.
Regardless of your relationship status, buying property can be a valuable investment at any time of life. Don’t let your assumptions about homeownership prevent you from making a decision that could help your financial future. Talk to a real estate agent about your options if you have any questions.