|Single women have come a long way
in real estate
And single women tend to be very practical in their
requirements, according to statistics with the National Association
||When women look for a home, they prize:
Single women, like single men, tend to be "more
detached with the analysis" that goes into buying a home, says
One for the money
For many women, buying a home is not simply about the shelter. A
house is also a chance to get in on a great investment opportunity.
For the past five years or so, the national real estate appreciation
rate has been about 12 percent, says Stevens. Even though "that's
not normal," the 6 percent to 7 percent that real estate agents
expect to see over the next few years is a tidy profit for homeowners.
"It's still better than you can do with your
money anywhere else," he says.
And many women are taking advantage of the opportunity
to have a home and nest egg all in one.
"For a long time now, professional and nonprofessional
women acknowledged the value of purchasing real estate as a wealth-building
tool and an obvious financial strategy," says Phipps.
But a woman's path to homeownership is not without
Single women and men spend about the same for a home,
with a median purchase price around $100,000, says Drew. But for
single women, that will take a larger chunk of their paycheck.
Forty-three percent of women spend more than 30 percent
of their income on their mortgage payments -- a threshold Drew calls
Only 30 percent of single men and 25 percent of couples
are spending that large a portion of their income on housing.
Doing the homework
The secret to a good buying experience is plenty of research.
Spend a little time online to get an idea of your
own budget and what
you can afford. Then start shopping neighborhoods.
At some point in the process, start talking with lenders
and get prequalified for a mortgage, says Glink.
And don't be afraid to wear out a little shoe leather.
"Walk around the neighborhood on your own," she says.
While you're there, take notice of the agents who are active in
If you can narrow your search to a couple of areas,
"you're ahead of the game," she says. "Homing in
on a neighborhood is a plus, and knowing what you can afford is
a big plus."
Dana Dratch is a freelance
writer based in Atlanta.