In record numbers, single women are purchasing homes now. More than one out of five of all buyers of homes are unmarried women and many of these women are age 72 and above. If you are excited about this trend and want to take part by becoming a homeowner yourself, you might want to sit yourself down to do some thinking first. Read on for some ideas and considerations to take into account before you sign on the dotted line and accept those keys.
Being single is seldom to your advantage when it comes to lending. Lenders cannot discriminate against single women outright, but having only one income might mean having to settle for a cheaper home than you might get with two incomes. That being said, it is not that uncommon for home buyers of any type to be told they can afford a mortgage that is far higher than what they are comfortable with. Pay close attention to the bottom-line housing expense your new purchase entails. Think carefully about what you may have to sacrifice to make the budget work given the mortgage, homeowners' insurance, taxes, and maintenance costs. Additional considerations should be given to upcoming retirement plans; what might have been manageable on earned income might become a burden on a fixed income. To help you understand what you might be facing, consider taking advantage of the many educational opportunities offered by lenders, real estate companies, and non-profits like Homefree USA.
Many single women have different needs when it comes to housing. Living alone can mean a greater need for security and safety, so limited-access neighborhoods and condominiums are popular with women on their own. Crime statistics can figure heavily when considering a given area as well. This might be one area where your desire for security can run counter to your need for a smaller home. If you have your heart set on a single-family home in a gated neighborhood, it can be challenging to find one that is not the typical 3 bedroom, 2 bath. Condominiums might be a better choice for those who only want or need two bedrooms or less.
Women tend to shy away from new construction and gravitate toward older and more affordable homes due to budget considerations; however, that can mean more maintenance issues. Home warranties can be expensive, but that form of insurance can help you budget better for the repairs that an older home might need.
When you're ready to make that big move, speak to a real estate agent and get started on making that dream a reality.