While many women put off buying a home because they are waiting for a family, a better job or simply out of fear, you might be surprised to find that home ownership rates are higher for single women than single men.
As of November 2011, the National Association of Realtors reported that 64 percent of all home buyers were married couples and 18 percent were single women. Only 10 percent were single men.
Last year at this time, single women accounted for 20 percent of home owners while single men accounted for just 12 percent.
Why the Difference in Home Ownership Rates?
Eight year real estate veteran, Chantay Bridges, shed some light on these home ownership rates. Bridges says single women still out-purchase homes compared to single men. There are several reason for this including:
- Women view owning a home as a form of security and many will create an emotional link between home ownership and stability.
- Despite the economy, owning a home is still a priority for women.
- Women are usually financially savvy and do their homework when considering home ownership.
- Women continue to find that owning a home is not only the American dream, but theirs, too.
Candace, a marketing director in Washington said buying her first home was a priority because she had two large dogs that made the cost of renting double what her mortgage payment would be if she owned instead. Additionally, she had recently started a new job and buying a home allowed her to eliminate the hour commute by moving closer.
While the down housing market may concern some people, Candace was able to buy a large, beautiful house that only needed some cosmetic improvements. “My goal was to buy in a down market and buy a fixer-upper to take peak advantage of when the market improves in the next few years. My goal in buying any home is always to make a profit,” says Candace.
How to Realize the Benefits of Home Ownership
If you are single & thinking about buying this year, here are some tips that can help get you started enjoying the benefits of home ownership sooner:
Candace sought out advice from her parents, who have extensive experience buying homes and land. She also looked up home buying terms online to familiarize herself with the concept since this was her first home purchase.
Research: Research doesn’t have to stop at the home or the neighborhood. Candace went a step further to do background checks on the people she was buying the house from to ensure there was no risk of getting ripped off in the future.
Candace also checked the home values in the neighborhood since she was buying a fixer-upper. If there have been any improvements done to the home you’re thinking about buying, check with your city or county government office to make sure the correct permits were obtained.
Estimate: Use a mortgage calculator to estimate your payments based on current loan terms and interest rates. This will help you work through the numbers ahead of time to know what price range you can afford.
Be Picky: The last time I purchased a home, I looked at over 50 houses because I couldn’t find anything that felt right. Don’t be afraid to look at as many homes as it takes until you find the right one. After all, this is likely going to be your biggest investment!
When you do find something you like, don’t forget to check the neighborhood after dark, look for things like railroad tracks or other things that may be an intrusion to a home owner.
Take the Leap: Don’t be afraid to buy something you can fix up, but know the associated costs associated and limitations.
When it comes to buying a home, research is going to be your biggest asset. While you can’t predict everything that will happen during your home buying process, taking the extra steps to educate yourself & research the market can go a long way to making sure you pick the perfect house.