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Six ways to buy a house without a partner

Written by: Emma Lunn
Buying a home as a single person can be difficult in an era of rising interest rates and out-of-control property prices – but it’s not impossible.

Morale is low for everyone currently seeking a mortgage but it’s particularly challenging for those looking to secure one by themselves. Having more than one person’s income on the application inevitably boosts the amount you can borrow and reduces the risks for lenders.

However, experts say that single people shouldn’t write themselves off as far as getting a mortgage is concerned.

The Mortgage Advice Bureau has the following advice for people wanting to get on the property ladder without a partner.

1. Consider buying with a friend

Buying a house with a friend is a popular option for many first-time buyers. Buying with a friend makes the process more affordable by pooling resources such as deposit funds and combined incomes.

If you have a close friend in a similar situation to you, it’s certainly an idea worth considering. Before signing on the dotted line you should agree what you will do if one of you later wants to sell or move out – obviously couples should have this conversation too.

2. Work on your credit score

Regardless of your relationship status, a decent credit score will up your chances of getting a mortgage.

Being on the electoral roll and paying off debts will both improve your credit score, as will paying household bills on time.

3. Re-evaluate your budget

With interest rates so high, it’s best to put down a bigger deposit as possible so that you are borrowing less from the bank.

Money experts recommend employing a 50-30-20 rule when it comes to budgeting, with 50% of your monthly income going on needs, 30 on ‘nice to haves’ and 20 into your savings. If you’re saving for a home, you may want to look at cutting back on ‘nice to haves’ and putting more into your savings.

4. Open a Lifetime ISA

A Lifetime ISA is one of the best places to start saving up for your deposit, as it allows you to save up to £4,000 a year tax free.

The government will add a 25% bonus to the money you save (up to a maximum £1,000 a year). You can use the bonus after 12 months of opening the account if you buy a house under £450,000.

5. Look at different areas

Some areas of the country are much more expensive to live in than others. While relocating is, of course, not a decision to be taken lightly, it’s worth thinking about if it means a better chance of getting on the property ladder by yourself.

You can find ‘heat maps’ of where properties are less expensive easily online.

6. Get help if you can

Although the Government’s Help to Buy scheme is now over, there are other options in terms of government support that those looking to buy on their own might consider. This includes UK-wide shared ownership schemes, as well as Help to Build equity loan schemes.

Single buyers might be able to borrow money if one of their parents can act as a guarantor for the loan. Your mortgage being guaranteed means less risk for the mortgage lender.

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