Shirley Tyler's blog

Buying a Home as a Sole Owner? Here are Some Things You Should Know

woman sitting on sofa reading beside traditional fireplaceSingle and thinking about buying a home on your own?  Do your research and take your time.  Start learning what you need to know several months before you are ready to start viewing properties.  The more you know and the better prepared you are, the quicker you will find the right home to meet your wants and needs.

There’s a huge sense of independence in owning your own home, being comfortable in your own living environment, and making your own rules and decisions.  I guess that's one of the reasons they call it the American Dream . . . the ability to have freedom and control over your space.

Many single women and men are buying their own homes. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors® single women accounted for 21% of all home purchases in the year ended this past June, while single men accounted for approximately 10%.

Here are a few important financial tips for single home buyers (women and men):

How To Really Know What Your Home Is Worth

If you're reading news publications, consuming social media posts, and/or watching the evening news, then you have probably been hearing a lot about the housing market and how home prices are increasing around the nation.

What does this really mean to you?  If you saw a report that said home prices increased by 5% since this time last year, does that mean that the value of your home increased by 5%?

What it really means is that the average or median price of homes that sold increased by 5%. Your home may have not increased in value at all, or it may have increased by 10% or more.  It depends on where your home is located, and specifically, your particular neighborhood.  It also depends on the condition of your home as it relates to average homes in your neighborhood.

Don't be mislead by the websites that display the market value of your home . . . those sites use a computer model to determine a 'likely' value . . . and are often wildly inaccurate.  

There are only two ways to get an accurate determination of what the value of your home is today.

The Credit Score You Purchased Online Is Not The Score Home Lenders Use

Did you think that the credit scores you purchase online from Equifax, TransUnion or Experian are what lenders use to approve and price a home loan?

Then you might be in for a surprise.  The credit scores offered for sale online are not one of the FICO mortgage scores that mortgage lenders use. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Chief, the actual scores used by lenders can be higher or lower by as many as 75 points or more.

The selling of useless credit scores has become such a big business that the CFPB is trying to stop the practice.