Women are waiting longer to marry so it makes sense that single women represent more than 20% of new home buyers, and more than 40% of these women are first time home buyers. It's exciting to see women developing the skills, and more important, the confidence to make life changing decisions like buying a home.
Women's demographics are amazing – our age, ethnic background, living alone and our living situation. More than 50% of women are living alone, single mothers represent 30% of all women plus windows, divorcees and those living with other adults.
Important Tips for Single Women Buying Homes
The tips here show how women are succeeding in their quest to become home owners. The hope is that more women will learn from those who've gone before them, and you'll soon begin the journey towards home ownership. Good research is where it starts and if you like the summary here, you might want to read the full report in the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, Buying For Themselves: An Analysis of Unmarried Female Home Buyers in June 2006 (full report).
- Women recognize that a home is a great financial investment and they should not tie building financial security to getting/staying married.
- Women buy lower cost homes (75% spending less than $200,000) that match lower earnings.
- Women buy more 2 bedroom homes (34%) while single men prefer efficiencies or one bedroom units.
- Women are slightly more likely to buy a condo seeing the benefit of not having to handle exterior maintenance chores, and they don't require more bedrooms than most condos provide.
- Condos also offer lower cost options so women can focus on their desired location, and benefit from neighbors who are more likely to be single.
- Women are developing new approaches to housing to meet their needs, i.e. co-housing communities which are attractive with the privacy of owning your home and the benefits of a supportive community.
- Women prefer cities over the suburbs, and are concentrated more in the Northeast and South as that's where their demographic resides.
- Women are more likely to compromise on size and cost of their home, versus a focus on location and friendly neighborhood.
- Women value a realtor with strong communication skills and they're less likely to rely on the web in their search for a home.
- Women buyers also face lending discrimination according to a study by The Consumer Federation of America showing women are more likely to be put into higher-cost subprime mortgages, regardless of their credit and income.
As the founder of the Association of Women Home Owners, I have to end by reminding home owners that buying a home is the beginning of the journey. Unlike a dress or a car that loses value and ultimately you replace, a home is an asset that can grow in value with proper care. It is my goal here at A4WHO, that we can provide women home owners with the knowledge to succeed at every step in the home ownership experience.