As if the stress of divorce isn’t enough, many people facing a relationship breakdown also have to deal with uncertainty about where they’ll live. After years in a family home, getting started on your own – with your very own mortgage – can be overwhelming.

The good news is there are options which can help make the journey easier.  Here are five tips to consider.
 
1. Location – it’s about what you know
It could be tempting to get as far away as possible from the place where it all went wrong, however staying in the neighbourhood has its benefits. If you’re living close to work, public transport, shops and services you know, and a support network of friends or family, buying in the same suburb or as near as you can afford, could be worth it.

And if you have kids, it might be beneficial if they can stay in their current school – being somewhere familiar can be comforting.
 
If you want to stay in the area but it’s too expensive, consider options that will increase how much you can borrow without adding to your loan repayment amount. Once of HomeStart’s borrowing boost loans may be the answer you need.
 
2. Don’t become a tradie’s delight
Think you might save a few dollars by skipping the building and pest inspections at a property you want to buy?

Think again.

It is very important to make sure you know exactly what state the home is in. Shelling out for big ticket items such as re-wiring, repairing termite damage or replacing plumbing can be extremely expensive – and as a single person, it might be harder than you think to do it all yourself.
 
3. Be prepared for bills, bills, bills
If you’ve managed to save enough for the deposit, fees and charges to get started, well done! However, it’s a great idea to have enough saved to cover at least three months worth of bills such as connection fees for utilities and the Internet, council rates and restocking your pantry.

You might also want to factor in a little extra for unexpected emergencies, like blocked toilets or tree removal.
 
4. Borrow smart
It is very important to make sure you’re not putting yourself under too much financial pressure with home loan repayments. It might take a while to adjust to what you can actually afford, but buying within your means puts you in a much better position in the long run.

Remember that unless you have a fixed interest rate & repayments, or the Repayment Safeguard, your loan repayments are going to increase every time your lender puts up its variable interest rate.
 
5. Size IS important
Think carefully about the type of home that’s going to suit you now and in the future. If you have children living with you, finding a place with enough bedrooms is probably going to be important and you might need to compromise on something else to get the space you need.

On the other hand, you may not need a double car port or huge backyard.

Finding the right home for your situation now, as opposed to what it used to be, may be hard – but at least the decision will be yours.