According to industry experts, more and more buyers are deciding to dive into the property market alone.
This, of course, can be relatively pain-free if you are earning top dollar, but what about those on an average income who want to start investing their hard-earned money?
Realestate 88 Sales Executive Michael Adams has seen an increase in individuals entering the property market over the past 12 months.
“Many of the individual buyers we see are young professionals who may not have a significant other or are trying to be proactive in investing in a market that is projected to continue to rise,” he said.
The Agency Perth Property Partner Adam Simmonds believes the onset of COVID-19 has contributed to the rise of people entering the property market alone.
“With the global pandemic and subsequent quarantining, people have been forced to spend longer periods of time in a confined environment, which has triggered a rise in relationship breakdowns and therefore people buying property on their own,” he said.
Mr Simmonds said there was a number of factors to consider when buying a property on a single income.
“A single person is more of a risk to a lender, so it pays to do whatever you can to stack the deck in your favour,” he said. “Firstly, set up a direct debit from your everyday account to a savings account to prove your ability to save, even if it is just a small amount to begin with – the key is to just start.
“Get rid of any credit cards, store cards and personal loans, as they impact significantly on your borrowing capacity even if they are not being used.
“Speak to a broker and get a pre-approval so you have confidence in what you can afford.”
Mr Adams suggested not being too optimistic when it came to buying a home on a single income, as it could end in tears and financial struggle.
“Don’t buy above your budget or stretch yourself financially,” he said. “Calculate your budget and stick to it, plan for the worst-case scenario with your repayments rather than being optimistic and hoping for the best.”
In order to set yourself up for a successful experience, Mr Simmonds recommended building a solid team of people who could help in each of the areas when buying.
“Find a great broker by asking around and researching, then find a real estate agent in your area that you trust and ask them to help you find a suitable property,” he said. “You will also need a settlement agent that you are happy with.”
Often, buying on a single income means sacrifices need to be made in order to get ahead with savings. Mr Adams said these could be very simple sacrifices that would add up.
“It may mean saying no to a night out, taking lunch from home instead of buying it or making a coffee at work rather than going to a cafe,” he said.
Mr Simmonds suggested, if necessary, trying a bigger lifestyle change to stack up the savings.
“Increase your income as much as you can by increasing your skills and trying for a promotion or, if required, changing jobs to get a better income,” he said. “Look at buying in a more affordable suburb to begin with, even if it is not your ideal location, and then relocate once you have some equity and more savings under your belt.
“Buying a home on a single income is no easy feat, but with some forward planning, discipline and work, you will be living in that new home before you know it.”
Mr Adams had a simple parting message to those buying property on a single income – “buy with your head, not with your heart”.