INDIA  :   Real Estate

Single women home buyers

Saturday , 13 February 2016

With an increasing number of single women purchasing homes, here are some pointers to keep in mind  

For many single women across the globe, buying a home brings with it a sense of achievement and fulfilment. The thrill of doing up a place in one’s own way, coupled with the independence it provides, makes home buying a fulfilling process. It also bestows a sense of security of owning a real estate asset. It has assumed greater importance today, as divorces are commonplace and women, too, contribute in looking after parents in their old age. In India, single working women in metro cities constitute 20-30 % of the home buying population. Banks are also offering attractive home loan schemes, for this buyer profile. Here are a few tips for single working women, to keep in mind while buying a home:

Buy what you can afford

A buyer, whether single or married, planning to buy a home has to be careful not to over exceed their budget. The amount, she pays as EMI every month, should be comfortable, and preferably a little less than half a month’s salary. She should be able to take out money to pay for her medical insurance, retirement plan and other savings.

Loans and concessions

Nowadays, banks are wooing single women buyers with attractive loans and schemes. Time should be taken out for ‘loan shopping’ to decide on the best deal. Also, availing every concession that one can get from financial institutions, is beneficial. Don’t just settle on a bank that has been recommended by a friend. Look around for the best possible deal. Most Indian banks offer rates that are 1.5% lower than normal rates. In recent times, it is public sector banks, which are seen reaching out to more women customers.

Down payment

One of the key factors of home-buying is arranging for a down payment. It is great if one has adequate savings or else one can borrow from family members, instead of taking a personal loan, as this helps you save money on interest. Buying property involves a number of costs like stamp duty, registration, renovation (in case of resale flats) and property tax. A single woman must understand this, and make arrangements for the same. If one is buying a home only as investment, one can take a loan from a relative/friend, with the incentive that one will share a part of the profit after appreciation.

Check out the neighbourhood

With the rising crime rate against women, safety is a huge concern, especially when one is living alone. Conduct a research on the locality whether it is crime-free. If buying a flat, the building should also be a safe one in terms of security features like CCTV and intercom.

Lifestyle matters

Understand your requirements. If one has a stressful job or long working hours, one might like to live close to parents or relatives. The locality should be self-sufficient, in terms of medical services, civic services and lifestyle options.

Clarify on beneficiaries 

The entire responsibility in many cases falls on the buyer. She must decide who would take over the property in case something happens to her. She must consider what will happen to the house, in case she gets divorced after marriage. One of the best ideas is to keep the house in one’s own name.

Negotiations 

If a single woman feels she can’t negotiate well, whilst undergoing the process of home buying, then she should enlist the help of a friend or relative. Emotions also need to be kept in check as one cannot fall in love with a property and become obsessed. In the present scenario, discounts are offered so one needs to be smart at the negotiating table.

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