According to the National Association of Realtors, single women are the second largest group of homebuyers, trailing only married couples. In 2016, 17% of home purchasers were single women, more than double the number of single men. Why is this?
According to recent data there are around 4 million more females than males, a difference of more than 1%. These numbers along with the trend of postponing or foregoing marriage means there are more single women than ever before. These women have more education and career opportunities than ever before, allowing for them to invest in the real estate market. U.S. Census Bureau Data shows in 2014 30.2% of women had bachelor’s degree or higher compared to just 3.8% in 1940. Since 1970, women civil engineers increased by 977%; pharmacists by 434%; physicians and surgeons by 334% and lawyers and judges by 681%.
Another reason single women buy more homes than their male counterparts is the desire to provide a stable home for their children. In 2011, there were 8.6 million households led by single moms compared to 2.6 million single dads, according to the Pew Research Center.
The National Association of Women in Real Estate Businesses compiled these tips for female buyers:
1. Make sure your home payments fit into your budget; an emergency should not send you into a vicious circle of debts.
2. Compare renting and buying, you might be surprised to see similar payment ranges. It might make sense to buy.
3. Consider your future; find a home that see yourself living through your old age.
4. Always have enough savings in your account to get you through multiple home payments, to get you through tough situation like layoffs.
5. Research home warranties and understand if your home needs it or not; in most cases it is useful especially when the home needs major repairs.
6. If you have a particular type of home in mind, a condo, a townhome, a single-family home etc., stick to your plan and do not be swayed by other people’s opinions
7. It is not wrong to buy a basic looking home, it is has a good value. Once you settle, you can take your time to decorate it as and when the budget allows
8. Take a homeownership class: learn about preventing foreclosures, home inspections, etc. Most states have Housing Counseling Agencies that offer free courses, some even specifically for first-time homebuyers.
Alan Creech, a Realtor with Soles Realty OBX, has decades of living and working experience on the Outer Banks. For more information, visit http://solesteam.com.