Not Your Mother's Housing Market: How Single Wom..

Financing

Thank you to Brittany Fisher of financiallywell for sharing her knowledge in the world of personal finance with her background as an experienced CPA.  Connect with her at financiallywell.info | brittany@financiallywell.info.

Not Your Mother's Housing Market: How Single Women are Buying More Homes Than Ever

Photo courtesy of Pixabay by ErikaWittlieb

Financially-independent, empowered women are purchasing homes each and every day. Single women currently represent 1 in 5 homebuyers in the United States, purchasing their own homes at more than double the rates of single men. It’s hard to believe that just one generation ago, women still needed a male co-signer in order to purchase a home. (Yes, that really was the law in America until 1988.)

Fast-forward to today. Nearly 10 million women live alone in the United States, and that figure doesn’t even include the millions of single women who cohabitate with relatives, friends, and roommates. More than ever, women are becoming financially stable and independent - with or without a significant other. It’s only natural that many of these same women would eventually want to take the next step and purchase their own home and enjoy the many financial and personal benefits of homeownership.

If you’re a single woman who is looking to take the leap into homeownership, there are a few factors you’ll want to consider. A new home is a big purchase. Just like with any major investment, you will want to be prepared.

It’s helpful to start by doing your research ahead of time. Know your credit score. Determine your debt-to-income ratio. What can you afford? Will you require a cosigner? Do you have a nest egg saved up to cover your expenses during an unexpected emergency?

These days, the average single female first-time homebuyer spends a median of $153,000 on her new home. If you’re unsure what you can afford, there are many online calculators that will help you crunch the numbers.

Of course, many single women who are purchasing homes are not first-timers. In fact, divorced women often purchase their own homes after a breakup. These women also face the major decision of what to do with the home they formerly shared with their ex-spouse. If you owned a house with your former spouse and are now considering purchasing a new home on your own, the two of you may want to meet with a lawyer to discuss what to do with the house you once shared.

You should also consider whether or not you will hire a moving crew. Although this might be an extra expense, it is often worth the money. For starters, there are the obvious benefits to hiring professional movers. You’ll have extra muscle to help you move your belongings. Your big move will be much more likely to go smoothly. Plus, you can also spare yourself the pain of watching your former home become empty on moving day.

In addition to the benefits listed above, professional movers can be particularly helpful for divorcees and the newly single. If you’ve recently gone through a big breakup, the movers act as a buffer between you and your ex, hopefully helping you avoid any awkward situations. For many women, this alone makes it well worth the cost.

If you’re a single woman looking to purchase your own home, congratulations on your big decision! Purchasing a home unlocks your path to further empowerment and equality. In the words of author Liza Mundy, "More than ever, this is becoming a woman's world. Success and happiness will probably go to the men - and women - who best adjust to the fact."