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    The Single Person’s Guide to Buying a Home On Your Own [Valentine’s Special]

    Written By Robert Van Rhijn — As the founder of, Robert is one of Ontario’s leading experts on the GTA condo market. He is also the Broker of Record at Strata.

    On Valentine’s Day – or during the entire month of February, for that matter – it’s difficult to avoid talk of dating and even marriage. Good news is, the ‘proper order’ of things that your parents like to drone on about is simply a construct. There’s no real reason you can’t buy a home before you get married (not that you have to get married at all). It’s 2021 and the rules no longer apply.

    Funny happy young woman holding mop microphone singing song in modern living room interior with big window

    In fact, there are many benefits to buying a property alone:

    • No need to compromise. Just think how hard it is to decide what movie to watch with friends, and then imagine how much more heated the arguments would be when deciding on a location, an ideal budget, or required closet space with a partner.
    • It’s all yours. Being the sole owner of a property means there’s no fear of splitting from your partner and having to sell -- or having to live in a home haunted with memories of your ex!
    • Reap the unexpected rewards. Condos, in particular, are actually great for singles. Between common spaces, amenities and even elevators, there’s plenty of opportunity to meet your neighbours along the way. Post-pandemic, of course. Whether you’re looking for ‘the one’ or just want some new friends, it’s nice to know there are other people nearby when living on your own.

    If you’ve read this far and you’re convinced buying solo is for you, here are some things to know before moving forward.

    Understand the financial risks

    There’s no one to fall back on when you purchase alone. So speak to a financial expert to understand what you can truly afford by yourself. And have a plan in place for worst case scenarios, like losing your job. real estate agent Larry Medina says he couldn’t agree more.

    “The best advice I have for clients is to connect with a mortgage specialist. This person can walk you through how much you can afford, plus all the costs associated with a home purchase. That includes land transfer taxes, down payment requirements, and even lawyer fees.”

    Medina also adds that this process will give you a clear idea of how much you need before you start shopping.

    Save, save, and save some more

    Naturally, saving for a down payment is more difficult with a single income. But by no means is it impossible. According to a report from Mortgage Professionals Canada, 84% of first-time homebuyers cite ‘personal savings’ as the source of their down payments. And Medina believes that’s something we all have control over.

    “Create a savings goal and be frugal. Keep your eye on the prize. Set up automatic withdrawals into a savings account, and you won’t even notice.”

    Jenn Costigan is also an agent at She says a downpayment of 20% is required, unless you’re alright with paying mortgage insurance.

    “If a homebuyer is able to put down 20%, I would always suggest they do so. I understand that not everyone has the means to do this. But it’s still of benefit as you’ll avoid insurance premiums and pay less interest on your overall mortgage.”

    There are countless ways to save up for that down payment. Whether it’s setting up auto-transfers from each of your paycheques or temporarily downsizing your rental unit — the trick is to find a method that works for you.

    Lower your debt

    Debt-to-income ratio is very important when trying to secure a mortgage. So pay down credit cards and student loans as much as possible. This will increase the odds of securing a mortgage for a higher purchase price.

    Stop fantasizing...and asking ‘what if?’

    When viewing properties, don’t let yourself wonder what will happen if you meet someone. This mindset can cloud your judgment. You might end up passing on something that's really great for you because you're worried whether there will be enough space for your hypothetical future soulmate. Instead, buy the home you love now, and worry about making it work for someone else when the time comes.

    Find someone to confide in

    Bring a friend along to view properties, just to keep yourself in check. This will also give you someone to bounce ideas off of. While the final say will be all yours -- if the person knows you well, they can validate good decisions and help you avoid bad ones.

    So to any single people reading this, we say: Don’t let societal pressures get you down. If you feel you’re ready to buy a home on your own -- go forth, tune out the haters, and let our advice guide you on this exciting new adventure!

    Starting your search for a new home? Click on any of these links to access active listings, sold listings or contact a Strata agent.

    For any questions about this article or media inquires, please email