In the 1970s, women were regularly denied loans for houses and even for their own credit cards. It was assumed that their husbands would be the main breadwinners, or if they didn't have husbands, they didn't have enough money for things like buying houses. Now, some thirty-plus years later, single women are buying houses in droves. In fact, single women now account for around 20% of all homebuyers. In other words, many women are not waiting to get married before buying a home.
There are several reasons for this. More women than ever are delaying marriage; the divorce rate is high which means many suddenly-single women need housing; more women are graduating from college and making better money earlier. These are just a few reasons why more single women are buying homes these days.
I can hear some of you single women wondering if it's time for you to do the same. You worry because the market is soft, and you do not want to lose money on your investment. While you are right to be concerned, keep in mind that there are always fluctuations within the real estate market. There are times when it's a seller's market and times when it's a buyer's market. It is a cycle that continuously repeats itself.
There are things a single woman has to think about when considering buying a home, but that is true of anyone. These include:
1. Whether you can afford the mortgage or not. Home buying is great, but it is not for everyone. You need to figure out how much you can set aside a month, realistically, and no one can determine this other than you.
2. Whether you can come up with a down payment, escrow, closing costs, and other expenses along the way. Most people focus on the mortgage and maybe a down payment, but be sure you know all the costs of buying a home before you embark on this journey.
3. Whether you are moving in less than three years. Buying a home is a commitment, though not necessarily a long-term one. However, it doesn't make sense to take the plunge if you are moving again in a year or two.
So, let's assume that you have decided that not only can you afford to buy your own home, you are ready and eager to get started. What do you do now? Well, there are several paths you can take. If you are a DIY, you could surf the net and look at different houses so you have some idea what's available and what you do and don't want in a home. This way, you will have a firm idea when you contact a realtor. Or, if you are a ‘jump into it with both feet' kind of woman, you may want to get a realtor first and then do the detail work. It really is a matter of preference and personal style. At any rate, only you can know when you're ready to make that leap and purchase your own home. If you are, it's the perfect time to buy.