5 Home Buying Resources for Single Parents
If you dream of owning your own home, don't give up. Single-parent home buying programs exist to assist you with everything from finding affordable housing to qualifying for a mortgage. You can begin by reaching out to the following federal and community-based organizations working to help single-parent families purchase their own homes.
Contact Your Local Housing Authority
Before you look for national home buying programs, find out what specific homeownership programs may be available to you right in your state. To do this, you need to visit the website of your state's local housing authority, which you can find through the Public Housing Authorities Director's Association.
Meet With a Housing Counselor Funded by HUD
HUD stands for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Your local HUD office has resources that can help you buy a home, including the opportunity to work with a professional counselor trained to help you find housing options in your area. A HUD housing counselor can answer your questions about the home-buying process, obtaining a mortgage, and more. They may also be able to tell you about various home buying programs in your area, including some lesser-known programs that you might not hear about otherwise.
Consider Buying a Home Through HUD
Another option is buying a home directly through HUD, which sells properties in every state in the U.S. You can learn more about HUD properties by visiting the HUD website and searching for homes available for sale in your state. Be aware, though, that some of the properties available through HUD may be in what some may consider less desirable neighborhoods, so do your homework and get to know the area before you invest.
Apply for a Habitat for Humanity House
Habitat for Humanity builds homes for families in need, and they're one of the most well-known organizations offering practical and financial support to single parents. If you want to be added to their list as a potential homeowner, start by becoming familiar with the criteria they use to select homeowners. During the selection process, Habitat for Humanity considers:
- The need of the individual applying for the home
- The individual's willingness to partner with Habitat
- The individual's ability to repay the interest-free loan
Single parents who wish to participate should expect to be very involved in the home-building process. That means getting out your hammer and tool belt and getting down to business. But don't let that scare you: Habitat for Humanity also provides training. Plus, the opportunity to work on a home being built just for you will only make the investment more meaningful. To apply for consideration, contact Habitat for Humanity directly.
Buy a Home With an Individual Development Account (IDA)
An Individual Development Account is a matched savings account, usually set up by a community organization, to help low-to-mid-income families save money toward the purchase of a home, education costs, or financing a small business. In some cases, organizations that offer IDAs will match your savings dollar for dollar. You can find out which organizations in your area offer IDAs through the Prosperity Now website. Be sure to pay attention to the fine print, though, as there may be restrictions on how much you must save, where you purchase a home, or when.