Single Women Are Home Buyers Single Women Are Home Buyers

The notion that realtors perceive married couples as a lesser risk when buying a home than singles is diminishing, particularly towards single women. Women are not waiting around for their soulmate to show up to buy a home. They are going out and getting it on their own. According to The National Association of Realtors, women are becoming the second largest group as homebuyers. Many single women are becoming homebuyers due to higher divorce rates, delayed marriages, and longer life expectancies. Women are also making more money, giving them the income necessary to purchase a home. According to a Nationwide Survey conducted by Sears, Roebuck and Co., married couple households are declining.

Becoming more educated and financially stable has given single women the confidence to procure a home. They research and read every single line of an application or contract before purchasing a home. Females understand that homeownership will bring them tax benefits. They realized that buying a home is an investment that will benefit them in the future. Purchasing a home gives them a sense of economic security and a place to live when they retire. Since women understand that a good home investment brings equity, many of them are investing into buying a second home.

-Single females accounted for 13% of all second/vacation homebuyers in 2001/2003, according to the Realtors Profile.
-Single women purchased approximately one in five homes in 2003, while men purchased more than in 10.
-More women (15.5 million) than men (11.8 million) lived alone. Among these, women were more likely than men to own their homes (56% vs. 47%).
-In 2001, the total homeownership rate was 67.8% overall, 49% for single mothers, 51.9% for single women without kids, 69% for single men with children; for racial and ethnic minority women overall, homeownership rate is only 35.5%. (2001 Census)
-Fannie Mae predicts that by 2010, women headed households are to increase to nearly 31 million-close to 28% of all households in the country.

Stricter government regulations on discrimination and the realization that many single women have a solid income and good credit has contributed to the increase of single women homebuyers. In the past, real estate companies showed prejudice towards women because they were skeptical that a woman could not handle a home by herself. Mainly if she lost her job or took time off to raise a child causing her to be late on payments or not make a payment on mortgages. Now real estate companies go out of their way to help single female homebuyers, especially since there is an abundance of women taking advantage of the low interest rates that are being offered to them.

The increase in financial assistance programs has made it easier and encouraging for single women to become homebuyers. There are also special programs that specifically target divorced and single parent women. Many of these programs assist women with their closing cost, obtaining a low-interest mortgage, and down payment. Financial assistance programs can be private lenders or sponsored by the government. Fannie Mae is a lender that provides financial products and services which make it possible for low, moderate, and middle-income families to buy homes of their own.

Freddie Mac is a federal mortgage company that provides funds to mortgage lenders, ultimately helping homeowners and renters get lower housing costs and better access to home financing. To look for government assistance in your community, talk to a local realtor agent who is familiar with such programs or visit the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

There are also non-profit organizations that help single women with buying a house by offering grants. Some non-profit organizations such as AmeriDream Inc. offer assistance to expand affordable housing opportunities for underserved groups and promote the value of homeownership as the foundation for building strong communities and individual prosperity. The Down Payment Assistance Program isan organization that helps homebuyers with the necessary cash at for their down payment and closing costs that they do not have to repay. You can also visit the Homebuyer Funds website for a list of other non-profit assistance.


Trends

Most first-time single women homebuyers are under the age of 45 and make good money. Female homebuyers focus on buying a home base on their needs. They look for properties that will cost them a median range of $139,500 with little maintenance required. According to NAR three out of every ten single females, purchase either a condominium or townhouse because of the low maintenance costs. Many do go for houses that need a lot of maintenance because they know it will be a good investment if the value of their home increases. 20% of women are single-family homebuyers. Women also take their time to look at houses because they want to buy in safe neighborhoods and live in proximity to family and work. They are looking to purchase a home where they can live at least five to ten years and resell or rent out as they move up the economic ladder.

To best way for a single women to get involved in the real estate market is to do the research by going to seminars, reading books, and talking to lenders about options they may have. By doing this, she can decide if homeownership is right for her and prepare herself to get involved in the process of purchasing a home. For a stress free way to shop for a home, check out Handling House Shopping Stresses.

Information provided by The National Association of Realtors

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