Data from the 2017 American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, suggests that single women homeowners own 22 percent of American homes compared to single men’s 13 percent. These stats may not mean much to the typical first-time home buyer, but it’s an interesting bit of data that could indicate a growing trend in home ownership.
Single home owners in general-men or women-can benefit greatly from an FHA loan with the lower down payment requirement and more forgiving credit score minimums. It’s easy to assume you might not qualify for a home loan as a single person, but is that the reality?
Single men and single women, as demographics, are not as simple as the labels imply. Some may be single parents, some may have roommates or cost-sharing arrangements with the homes they own, etc. There are many options when buying a home with an FHA mortgage that can make the process more affordable with less money spent up front, etc.
FHA home loans have features that can make a big difference to single home owners and those who want to be.
For example, single parents who receive alimony or child support payments can have those payments included in verifiable income if they meet FHA standards and lender requirements. You are not required to do so, but if the income is there and meets FHA requirements, such income may be submitted for verification by the lender.
Another feature of FHA home loans that can help a single borrower who wants to be come a single home owner? The ability to get down payment assistance from approved sources and down payment gift funds that meet FHA requirements.
Basically, any gift or assistance with the down payment must be sourced properly and not come from payday loans, credit card cash advances, or other non-collateralized lending. Down payment help cannot come from anyone with a financial interest in the outcome of the transaction.
Single women and single men who want to purchase a home and who happen to be single parents should know that Fair Housing Act regulations do not permit anyone in the housing process (sale or rental) to discriminate against them for having children (or not having children), or due to their status as single parents, etc.
The ONLY criteria for approving or denying a home loan is related to financial qualifications and being a good or bad credit risk.
FHA home loan rules in HUD 4000.1 cite lower FICO score requirements to qualify for a home loan backed by the FHA; there are also rules allowing the lender to consider seasonal income, part-time supplemental income, commission pay, self-employment and contractor income, etc. when approving the home loan.
Talk to a loan officer today to learn more about how an FHA loan can be an advantage as a single borrower looking to purchase or refinance a home.