Let’s face it, we all dream of owning a home. You no longer have to comply with all your landlord’s restrictions. Thus, you can make it your own. But buying real estate is not cheap. Particularly when you’re single and have no one to help with those mortgage payments. That’s probably why, in the past, only single-career men could afford it. However, times have changed. Nowadays, more and more single women are purchasing homes. And this is great. After all, you work just as hard and deserve something of your own. Still, buying a home is a big decision. Thus, you have to be sure before placing an offer. Plus, a question always arises: should you buy a house or a flat as a single? So, let’s compare these two options to help determine which suits your needs best. 

What can you afford?

Before answering the question “Should you buy a house or a flat as a single?”, look at your finances. Mainly because it doesn’t even matter which option is best for you if you can’t afford it. Firstly, take into account your current income and write down all your monthly expenses. See how much you’re left with. Could you afford the monthly mortgage payments? If you could, that would be great. But you should also factor in the additional costs of owning a home. These can include maintenance and repair fees, taxes, and homeowners’ insurance.

A happy woman holding money in her hand.
Should you buy a house or flat as a single? It depends on what you can afford.

Secondly, do some research on mortgage options. Identify those that you’re eligible for and get pre-approved. This way, you’ll know exactly how much you’ll get and whether you can afford a house. At the same time, if the lender is willing to grant you more money than you’d expect, this doesn’t mean you should spend it all. Be smart about it. Plus, you can cut some non-essential costs to save money when buying a property, but don’t go overboard. After all, you still want to enjoy your single life, not become a workaholic to pay for your home.

Should you buy a house or a flat as a single? 

Once you determine that you can afford real estate, it’s time to decide between a house and a flat. And before we go any further, you should know there’s no right or wrong answer to this question. It all depends on what you want. Specifically, you should consider the following factors when making your decision.

What are your midterm goals?

Of course, you can’t buy a home every month. But this doesn’t mean you have to live in the same one for the rest of your life. You can always sell if your home no longer suits your needs. Or you can rent it out to benefit from a monthly cash flow. That’s why you shouldn’t consider your long-term goals but the midterm ones. For instance, are you planning on focusing on your career or having a baby in the next few years? This will have a significant impact on choosing the location and amenities.

The location is crucial

Unfortunately, you’ll rarely find houses and flats in the same area. Usually, you’ll find flats downtown and houses in the suburbs. There are some exceptions, but they are either very expensive or located in bad neighborhoods. Thus, it all depends on your preferences. Do you enjoy the busy city life or the quiet life of the suburbs? Do you prefer spending your free time going out with friends or inviting them over to your place? You should carefully analyze all these things when making a decision.

A busy street in downtown Montreal.
If you enjoy the busy city life, you’ll have more luck finding an apartment downtown.

Furthermore, you should also do some research on neighborhoods. Because you might be willing to give up a flat or a house for the perfect neighborhood. When picking the right location, you should first research the crime rates. After all, you don’t want to be scared of coming home alone at night. Then, remember your midterm goals. For instance, if you’re planning on having a baby, you should look for good school districts with lots of green areas.

Narrow down what you want

The choice between a house and a flat also depends on your desired amenities. And you should get very specific if you want to find the perfect home. One of the first things you should decide is how many bedrooms you want or need. Are you willing to consider moving into a smaller apartment to reduce the costs? How would you prepare for this change? Or would you rather live in a big house with several spare rooms? Just because you’re single doesn’t mean you don’t need a lot of space. You can turn spare rooms into a home gym, office, and dressing room.

At the same time, you should also consider the outside amenities. These can include everything from a parking space to a backyard and a swimming pool. But you should also look further than that. Think about your comfort. For example, it’s very convenient to have a grocery store, a good restaurant, and a pharmacy nearby. Not to mention close access to public transport. All these things can help you avoid wasting time being stuck in traffic.

A woman shopping in a grocery store.
Amenities, such as close access to a grocery store, contribute to your comfort.

Never ignore your gut feeling

If you’re still not sure if a house or a flat is best for you, you can go to a few viewings just to see what’s out there. Listen to your gut when making the decision. And you should do this even after you begin your house hunt. For instance, if you feel like you can’t let go of a certain property, it means you’ve found the right home. However, if you find the perfect neighborhood but your gut is telling you the property is not suitable for you, don’t ignore that. 


So, should you buy a house or a flat as a single? There’s no perfect answer; it’s all up to you. If you can afford either option, then it all depends on how you envision your dream home. Nevertheless, remember that the location is vital. After all, it doesn’t matter if you find the perfect home if it’s located in the worst possible neighborhood.