I bought my first home as a single woman in Austin in January 2017. Despite the large percentage of single women home buyers, there is very little information geared towards this growing segment. That’s why we’ve created our Single Women Home Buyers Series. We’ll be covering a long list of common concerns and questions, but if you have a specific issue we encourage you to email us so we can help!
What Happens If I Have to Move?
One of my biggest fears in buying a house was “what happens if my situation changes and I can’t live there anymore?” In talking with other single women, I found this was a common theme; everything from “what if I meet someone and they don’t like my house” to “what happens if I have to relocate for work?” Overall, my focus group of single women home buyers were very worried about being stuck with their investment. The good news is that with a little forethought, you can minimize the risk.
There are two clear options if your situation changes and you can’t live there anymore: sell the house or rent it.
Selling is usually the best choice if you think you won’t want to live in the house again. There are tax benefits for owners who have lived in the property as their principal residence for 2 of the last 5 years. (A single person is exempt from taxation up to $250,000 in capital gains – that’s a huge benefit.) If this is your back-up plan, you are going to want to consider the home’s likelihood to appreciate quickly before buying it. That way, you have a better chance of coming out flat or ahead if you must sell (relatively) quickly – always remembering there are no guarantees.
The rental market in Austin has been strong so renting is a viable option if you think you may return to the property in the future. A bit more work is involved with being a landlord, but that effort is offset by your ownership of an appreciating asset. (Translation: you put in the work but you likely make more money when you sell it.) If you’re moving out of Austin or think you’ll be too busy to DIY, property management companies are available to assist in the day to day management of the home. When looking at homes, consider who might want to rent the property and how appealing it would be compared to other options. My home has two similarly sized bedrooms, each with an attached bath. While that wasn’t ideal for me, I’d have preferred a true master, it’s great for renting to roommates.
Overall just remember that you have options and you shouldn’t feel stuck in a house. With a little pre-planning, you can have a great back up plan ready to go.
Considering Buying a Home in Austin?
We can help! In our 55+ years of combined experience we’ve helped people just like you find their dream home. Check out our Austin Home Buyer page to learn more about who we are and how we work. Then, call us at (512) 827-8323 or email us at info@11OaksRealty.com to schedule a no obligation consultation.