Single and buying a house: everything you need to know

November 27, 2023

You're single and you're keen to buy a house, possibly for the first time.

Yet should singletons buy a home when even couples and families are finding the house-buying world a tough one?

Rest assured, it is definitely possible for singletons to buy a home, even those earning a low wage.


Let's take a look.

Singleton statistics

The statistics say it all: the number of single or one-person households is growing fast.

Australian Bureau of Statistics data show such households accounted for 25.6% of Australian residents in the 2021 Census - or just over 2.37 million of the population - a 1.2% increase since the 2016 Census.

As well, a report released in March 2015 on the Demographics of living alone stated that one in four Australian households is a one-person household, and rates have increased sharply since the 1970s.

"Since the end of the Second World War the percentage of one-person households has increased in Australia by 300% - from 8% in 1946 to 24% in 2011," the report stated.

So, singletons, chin up - you aren't as alone as you think.

Be brave: don't assume lender rejection

Lenders are aware of property market difficulties such as cost-of-living pressures and interest rate rises.

Enter: the masses of lender cashback offers that only earlier this year started to plummet.

Lenders are also aware of the mounting numbers of singletons heading to their doors for a home loan.

They won't question singletons about why they're single, even if they're older.

Lenders are mainly concerned about your finances, particularly the reliability of your income and the size of your deposit.

Be encouraged: don't believe togetherness is easy

Being a singleton home buyer - rather than that of a couple or family - can have its benefits.

Let's look at the financial factor first.

A major - and perfectly valid - fear for singleton home buyers is that if their finances collapse or similar, they're on their own when paying off a home loan (to say nothing of all the other ups and downs that come with being a homeowner).

This is why lenders may consider singletons to be riskier than a couple or family as no matter how much you earn, you're still earning less than these two groups.

The good news is these issues can be conquered with proof of a strong deposit and savings as well as a good credit profile and few - if any - debts.

NB: singletons should have these points ticked off whether they plan to buy a home or not.

And remember: families and couples will be questioned about these points too.

It's also important to remember that families also have a lower disposable income, due to their children, or dependents - and lenders will question them about this point.

And, couples without children don't have an easy journey to a home loan either.

If couples are living apart, lenders tend to be cautious as their living expenses can be difficult for lenders to calculate.

Finally, for both families and couples - even those whose finances are 200% solid - money issues are renowned for increasing relationship stress.

According to data from smart bank, 886 400, early in 2021, 74% of 1,000 surveyed Australians said they had relationship disagreements about money.

Be relieved: singleton pathway is simpler

Not to quote any more of Bridget Jones, but there is definitely something to be said for being all by yourself when buying a home.

You don't need a family-sized - and therefore, more expensive - home, and you only have to consider yourself and your needs.

You won't have to quibble with a partner about whether the home has a man cave or consider if the location is close to great schools.

Another big bonus for singleton home buyers is that if the worst comes to the worst - even for a little while - you only need to take care of yourself.

You don't need to worry about paying for school fees - especially private ones - and other children's expenses, including decent meals.

While we're not advising you to live solely on bread and water for extended periods - or even a few days! - what we are saying is that everything's not lost if heaven forbid, a crisis occurs.

Single and buying a house
Enjoy the perks of being a singleton homebuyer! Only your needs to consider and less financial worries. Here's to decisions that are all about you!

Consider mortgage protection insurance

To ensure you're protected in a financial crisis, consider mortgage or home loan protection, insurance, as well as income protection insurance.

NB: the latter is useful for any singleton, regardless of whether they're in the home-buying lane.

This insurance will protect you if your finances drop unexpectedly, even for a short time ie you lose your job or can no longer work due to an accident, illness or even death.

Still scared: other singleton options

We at Listing Loop completely understand if you're still unsure about buying as a singleton, especially so, if this is your first time buying.

If this is you, we have some other options for you.

Firstly, guarantor home loans.

Such loans allow you to apply for a home loan, using the finances of a close family member, or even a friend or colleague - if your lender allows it - as security.

This financial backup will reassure concerned lenders who don't like the look of your singleton finances.

A particularly important part of such loans is that you won't have to pay Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI).

Secondly, buying with a friend.

You can buy a property with someone even if you're not legally connected to them, either now or potentially in the future.

In this way, you can split the cost of the home loan with either one person - or several people - and again, you won't have to pay LMI.

Thirdly, first-home buyer government grants.

Federal and State government grants are similar to guarantor loans in that the government acts as your guarantor so you won't have to pay LMI.

Best of all, you only need a 5% deposit for many of these loans.

NB: not all lenders will offer these options so check first before applying for a home loan.

We're here to help

We hope every singleton who reads this article feels braver about home buying - or if nothing else, equal to couples and families on the home-buying road.

Plus, you have Listing Loop to help you find and secure a great home!

We're Australia's leading marketplace for off-market and pre-market listings, so you'll be ahead of the buyer competition before you even start this exciting. process.

Listing Loop members also gain access to a range of services including home loans, expert property buying support, conveyancing, utility connections and specialised property financing solutions.

So, sign up today for free access to our hub of properties, or for more personalised support, learn about our BUYER ASSIST service here.


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