BUYING A HOUSE ALONE, WHILE SINGLE AND UNDER 30 - What You Need To Know

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Recently, I made one of the biggest purchases of my life - a brand new apartment. It was big for me because II have dreamed of this and did this on my own, with cheers from my family. It was a rollercoaster ride filled with high moments, overwhelming moments, doubtful moments, exciting and confusing moments, the whole lot. I wanted to share with you that although the process may seem long, it is all worth it, and you can do it too if you want to. I share with you my story buying my first home and becoming a landlady before 30.


1. MAKING THE PURCHASE

Here's what happens - first you get to the point where you feel like it's time to buy a new house. This may be a result of finally accumulating the resources to purchase, such as a well-paying job, or you reach the age you planned you would begin the process, or you need to move to a city or neighbourhood, or whatever the reason.

For me, it was the next thing in line as I have always dreamed. I had graduated, had my own car, worked many jobs, and was finally in one that felt secure and paid enough to afford me something nice, and so I felt like it was time to have my own place even if I didn't move into it straightaway. I literally had been looking at new homes for over 2 years and imagined myself in a few of them multiple times. Matter of fact, I jumped at any home advertisement that popped up on instagram or anywhere on the internet. My ears went into satellite mode whenever I heard any radio advert for new homes. The more options, the better.

After I felt like I had saved a decent amount and made it past 3 months probation period at my workplace, I began to research how much I could afford in terms of a mortgage. A lot of the new home website and bank websites have helpful calculators that help with this (example here). Once that was established, I had a budget in mind which I was able to tell the sales reps at show homes when I visited - the mid 200s. In my mind, I thought I could push it into the 300s.

Next step is getting pre-approved. That is a meeting you have with a mortgage advisor who gives you a much better idea how much loan you qualify to receive. This is usually based on information you provide about your annual earning and regular expenses. This is the time when it is most advised to start visiting potential homes/show homes you wish to buy. I visited quite a number of them. 

Bear in mind when visiting new build showhomes that a lot of it is staged and upgraded. Try to see beyond the lovely furniture and colour coordinations and imagine it with your possibly minimal/not-so-coordinated decor. Ask about what the standard features are. See if you would like it.

I am always making lists and this was no exception. I went through many blog posts and videos to find out questions to ask before purchasing a new home and things to consider. I also had my must-have features list. I'll tell you a few:

Minimum 2 bedrooms
Preferably 2 bathrooms
Must have a separate dining room (The kitchen island is NOT a dining room!)
Storage space (at least some extra space in the laundry room to store my vacuum cleaner/suitcases/storage boxes/anything I want. Trust me, some builders don't think this is essential for someone on a budget.)

2. COLLECTING THE KEYS

This stage consisted of 2 appointments. The first was a walk-through called an 'Orientation'. it was my first look at the finished apartment. The first was a walk-through called an Orientation. It was my first look at the finished apartment. I met with a rep, and was shown the complex facilities including the W&R area, parking space, mail box and all the access numbers required for entry. The I walked into my new flat for the first time and was so happy, I couldn't believe this was actually happening and I wished I had had someone there to share this special moment. I didn't mention, Orientations are to be attended by the flat owner alone to avoid 'distractions'. 

The rep went through each room pointing out any outstanding deficiencies and any valuable information to be known about the thermostat, electrical outlets, windows, electrical panel, shut-off valves, warranties and then I signed to acknowledge receipt of the info and to seeing the deficiencies that were to be rectified. hen I received all copies of my keys in a big brown envelope and came back again the next week for an official 'Possession'. This time, I went with family.

3. CLOSING

Although I had received my keys, the flat was not entirely mine because the transaction was not complete yet. The builder was still in the process of registering the Condo (more details req'd). So I went away on Christmas vacation, while waiting for a confirmation. I had previously paid $1,000 to my lawyer for his services representing me, and had signed a whole bunch of documents.
Leon's Velvet Bed [links below]

Being mostly clueless on legal procedure, I signed most of the documents silently, hoping to God that I was not being cheated in any way. I basically nodded at everything the lawyer said and signed wherever he pointed me to. As soon as i got back from vacation, I went to sign the final papers which showed that Land Tile ownership had been granted. I still had to send an additional cheque of $800 for some extra expenses the lawyer had claimed. Anyway, this transaction was finally over!

4. MOVING IN

The best part about moving in is in the simple imagination of the whole apartment all furnished to the exact spec you always dreamed of. Yeah, actually moving in (or the attempt to) was almost dreadful. It was not funny when I realised how many more steps and how many more doors had to be taken and opened to get as simple things as groceries from the car through to the apartment door. It was so exhausting. And I did this all by myself! Yeah, no big cousins, or ride-or-dies around. Just the rude Leon's delivery guy on one occasion, and my handy dandy little dolly of a helper. Also, no matter how much I had saved up for furniture, it was never ever easy to let go of the savings for any reason. And the number of times I made returns and exchanges! Moving HAS to be the most painful of the entire process, until it is finally done and you start to see the beauty in the new buy. Only then does the love start to show up again :)
Leon's Velvet Sofa [links below]

5. LIVING ALONE

This part for me was a little complicated. You see, I live with my parents and 2 siblings. My parents recently have been living mostly outside the city, which means the family is pretty much separated (physically). Buying my own place and moving in to the other end of town meant even more separation. I have dreamed for a long time of the glories and perks that came with living alone - my own schedule, my own space, using any room as my filming room, being able to stay out late without being worried that others are worried about me...Basically the sort of lifestyle I enjoyed while I was at university. A different form of independence. Only thing is this time, I had to pay more mind to my bank account, how much water I was using, how many light bulbs were on per time so as to not rack up a hefty utility bill. 

I needed to consider if it was wise and practical to fully move in. Remember I mentioned how exhausting simply getting groceries into the house was, talk less of removing all my clothes and possessions from my room in my parents' house and hauling them up the elevator. Even the 40-minute drive from theirs to mine was enough food for thought. And my new place was not any closer to my workplace. I was kind of stuck in the middle of trying to make the wise decision and trying to make my dreams (or fantasy) come true by all means. So I took a pause. 

THANKFULLY, it was Christmas holiday. I spent 3 weeks with the family overseas and it was right about the most refreshing time I had had in a very long time. I can't explain it but I came back home in the new year so much happier, more positive, and ready to start a fresh new me. 

I had discussed with my parents that I would rent out the house. When my siblings arrived from holiday, we spent some time at my place while I worked on finding a tenant.

6. RENTING IT OUT

About 2 years ago when I began searching for a place to buy, I had a real estate agent showing me around. I had to let go of his services at some point because I did not like the options he was presenting to me. I wanted brand new, bright, modern; he was showing me old, dark, investment-practical homes - good if I had investment property experience or if that was my priority. I wanted something I would be excited to move into for myself, and maybe rent out in the future. So I did the whole buying process myself, pretty much.

I called him again, after my decision to rent out my place, this time, as my property manager. We had a number of meetings and he came to take a look at the property and took some photos to post a listing. I also took some photos myself (much better than his, I must say) and I posted an ad on kijiji. Just now, when I took the post down, I had about 500 views of the ad. About 10 people contacted me and the rest was traffic that my PM received. We began the search process in February, and my tenant moved in the second week in March. 

What happened to all my furniture I'd been buying? Well I had to leave them in as part of my rental agreement. I really didn't want to. (my tenant needed to move in the next day from the evening when I got the call that she liked it, so I had no time to move anything or switch up any furniture). In fact I was sad about it! My brand new sofa. My brand new bed I'd slept in less than 5 times. My new dining and chairs, and carpet, and ensuite bathroom I hadn't even used. My musical washer/dryer - sigh! Now I will never get to decorate this beautiful flat to be Pinterest worthy...

Okay, whining aside, I was relieved that I finally got a tenant, and could make the most of my income, whilst appreciating the perks of living with family. Sure, my schedule isn't always mine, but I can come home and enjoy some company, some prepared food, and still have my room to myself. My friend once told me something along the lines of, 'living alone, that independent lifestyle, isn't all that it's painted to be". And I can kind of understand that. I am glad I went through the process, and glad I still have a house (well apartment) to my name. Cheers to great beginnings.

Hope you enjoyed this post. Have you been thinking of becoming a homeowner and worried about having to do it alone? No matter how much you read and prepare, it only gets clearer as you take each step. What are some of your best/worst experiences if you became a homeowner while single or at a young age or both!


Thanks for stopping by. Take care, Kemi.A. x


SHOP MY FURNITURE 
1. Velvet Sofa similar
2. Velvet Swivel Chair similar
3. Carpet
4. Grey Velvet Bed
5. Office desk similar


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