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Young or old, rich or poor, single or married — people in all stages of life are looking to invest in a home instead of throwing away money on rent. Despite low inventory, rising interest rates, and steadily increasing home prices, single female homebuyers make up 18 percent of all buyers, according to a report from the Nationa l Association of Realtors NAR. For two years in a row, women were the second most common household buyer type behind married couples, which made up 63 percent. Single male buyers came in third, making up only 9 percent.
But what do single women getting into the homebuying process need to know before meeting with builders, flipping through listings, and going to open houses? Here are seven things single women need to be aware of and what it means for them to be leading in the market.
In contrast, only 65 percent of men said homeownership was at the top of their minds. Who are these single women homebuyers? Nearly half live alone already and another 30 percent are single mothers.
Two-thirds were ly married — either divorced or separated, the research suggests. Why are they moving? A majority of single female homebuyers 54 percent said home prices and interest rates were what triggered their urge to buy, while increasing rent and more income were also at play in the decision-making. As a single woman, you only have one income — your own — to make homeownership work. That single income will need to cover qualifying for a home loan, making a down payment, and making the monthly mortgage payments.
As a general rule of thumb for conventional mortgages, you should make a down payment of at least 5 percent. However, 20 percent down is your best bet if you can afford it. You need to make sure your financial house is in order. Another option that may be available to you is to ask a family member, such as a parent, to act as a guarantor or co-er. Your next step is to speak with lenders, shop for the best interest rates available to you, and feel out how much of a mortgage you prequalify for. With a single income, you could quickly become a slave to your mortgage with very little wiggle room.
Are you living comfortably or just barely getting by? This is an exercise that could give you an honest read for what you can feasibly afford. The BDX research suggests 30 percent of single women buyers just wanted a place of their own, and 10 percent wanted a bigger space. Single women may be shopping for a few distinct features though — namely safety, convenience and size of home.
Security is key, too — single women prefer safe neighborhoods or gated access.
More safety measures you can take when searching for homes: avoid homes that bump up against dark alleys, of those with front doors hidden away from the street. Bookmark homes with entrance paths that are well-lit, drive-in garages with interior access into the house, and built-in alarm systems. You may end up moving cities for a new job opportunity, change careers, or get married and start a family. This could mean buying a home with rental property potential so you can lease your condo, townhouse, or home if needed. If times get tough or you want to save on living expenses, you could even consider renting out a spare bedroom.
Choosing a good option for you now could also mean buying a house with high resale value.
This step is worth every penny because experts could point out any issues. There are also the unforeseen housing expenses, such as leaky pipes or a broken stove, that will crop up. Whenever you dip into thismake sure to replenish it, too. But remain calm, ride the wave of ups and downs and keep your eye on the price: in a Bank of America poll, 46 percent of women said that homeownership made them feel responsible, independent 43 percentand empowered 31 percent.
Shop around between lenders and real estate agents until you recruit the right team. Do your research on neighborhoods, collect crime stats from the regional police, and visit open houses to get a feel for what you like. Ready to begin looking?
Head over to NewHomeSource for current local and international listings! Carmen Chai is an award-winning Canadian journalist who has lived and reported from major cities such as Vancouver, Toronto, London and Paris. For NewHomeSource, Carmen covers a variety of topics, including insurance, mortgages, and more.
By downloading our guide, you can also look forward to receiving our New Home short series. You may opt out of this subscription any time you wish. Great these r the things I told my daughter. Save Extra and Get Your Credit in Order As a single woman, you only have one income — your own — to make homeownership work.
Does this home fit into my lifestyle? How big of a home do I really need? Carmen Chai.
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Comments Great these r the things I told my daughter.Single woman first time home buyer
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Single Women Homebuyers: What You Need to Know