It has been ingrained in our minds that the best time to buy a home is when we’re married. With a spouse, we can combine our income and share the expenses. It indeed makes a lot of sense. Paying all household expenses by yourself sounds draining, after all. But as more millennials and Gen Z delay marriage — or opt out of it altogether — should we still push our ideals that “marriage first, the house later”?
Owning a house when you’re single is a remarkable achievement. While there’s nothing wrong with renting or living with your parents for a time, having a place you can call your own gives you more freedom and control. It’s not going to be easy, but at least you’re secure. Whether you bought the home on a mortgage or with your own savings, you still have an asset with incredible value.
Without further ado, here are the rest of the reasons to buy a home as a single individual:
1. People in Your Age Group are Buying
Though to join the bandwagon isn’t always the best reason to do something, it can draw out realizations. If people in your age group are starting to buy a home, it could mean that you are dominating the market. As such, mortgage lenders could be eyeing you as a worthy borrower.
If you are a millennial, your peers are definitely on their way to home ownership now. In 2021, the proportion of rent paid by millennials had dropped as they bought their first homes. And Gen Zs aren’t replacing them at the same pace. Instead, they preferred to stay at their family homes to avoid paying rent. As a result, their generation’s rent bill grows slower than millennials ever did when they left home.
While the pandemic deterred Gen Z from renting and potentially sharing spaces with a roommate, they may still skip the renting stage under normal circumstances. That’s because mortgages with deposits as small as 5% became more widely available. This has negatively impacted the buy-to-let market. Many landlords are, in fact, already looking to exit because of the increased taxes and regulations.
If only a few homes are available for rent, then your options would be limited. Buying may be easier in this case because the mortgage is affordable anyway. Experienced mortgage brokers can find you the best deal no landlord can beat.
2. Renting is Becoming More Expensive
If you’d insist on renting, don’t expect to save much money. Rents in Great Britain have continued to pick up pace in the past year. The average rent increased 7.4% or £75 in August 2021. That was about £1,085 per calendar month.
Rents in the South West jumped 13.9%, and rents in the South East followed a 12.8% increase. The situation in East England is similar, though the increase is only 10.9%.
You’d only find cheaper rent in Outer London, where the rates dropped to 3.9%. Rent in Inner London isn’t that bad either, the remaining 8.8% cheaper than in August 2020. But between July and August 2021, rent in the area also increased 5.8% or £116.
With rents soaring and mortgage rates dropping, the choice is obvious. If you wait until marriage before buying, the costs of both might’ve already increased, delaying your plans once more.
3. A Home is an Attractive Long-term Investment
Richard Kiyosaki, author of the best-selling book Rich Dad, Poor Dad, may believe that a home is a liability. But ultimately, a house still appreciates in value over time. Therefore, it’s an asset that makes an attractive long-term investment.
If you stay in your home long enough, say, ten years, there’s a good chance that it would sell for profit when you move out. Even if your home deteriorates and becomes a fixer-upper, its foundation could still be worth a significant amount. In that case, you can resell it as it is (with the structure still intact) or spend for demolition and sell the land at an appreciated value.
If you buy a home now at 30 and sell it at 45 — unmarried or not — you can earn a fortune good enough for early retirement. This is isn’t guaranteed, of course, but if you invest the money and get high returns after ten more years, you may indeed retire before 60.
4. Mortgage Rates aren’t Biased Toward a Specific Marital Status
Not having a joint income with a spouse or partner isn’t always a disadvantage. It’s true that some lenders may prefer a double-income household, but at the end of the day, they want borrowers who can pay. Thus, if you make enough money to afford the monthly payments and interest, you’re qualified. A lender won’t give you a different rate because you’re single.
So, what are you waiting for? If you plan on getting married at all, buying a home before getting married creates the same joy as purchasing a home with a partner or spouse. You deserve your own space for being an independent individual.