How do you know you’re ready to buy a new home?
For many, homeownership is something they put off until the “right” time – when you reach a certain stage in your career, when you have a family, when you adopt a dog. For others, homeownership is a rite of passage into adulthood, signaling financial independence and an investment in the future.
Regardless of your timeline, you may be readier for homeownership than you think! Statistics show that folks are eschewing past traditions and proving that the “right” time can be any time you’re financially prepared.
One trailblazing group makes up a growing share of the percentage of new-home purchases: single women. Despite the persistence of a gender pay gap, a greater number of single women are changing their status to “homeowner.”
According to the National Association of Realtors, single women account for 17 percent of homebuyers in the United States, while single men make up just 7 percent. After married couples, single women are the largest homebuying demographic in the country. In recent years, homeownership has become a more attainable dream for single women, as the job market is steady and interest rates are favorable.
What makes homeownership the right choice for this growing number of single women? Whether it’s freedom from lease agreements, financial independence or a desire for a space of their own, growing numbers of single women are realizing there’s no time like the present to find “the one”: their new home!
Break Up with Lease Agreements
Kayla Sloan, a single homeowner in Colby, Kan., purchased her first home, unassisted, at the age of 21. “I was faced with a pretty unique situation. Because the town I moved to is very rural, there are not a lot of choices when it comes to real estate,” says Sloan.
The lack of rental homes available made Sloan decide to buy a home of her own. “Luckily, the cost of living is very low, which makes it a great place for single people to buy homes.”
Sloan wanted a space of her own that she could customize to her own tastes, without having to worry about lease agreements and appeasing a landlord.
Although Sloan was initially surprised by some of the upkeep and costs associated with homeownership, she’s learned new skills and is now able to maintain her home.
Invest in Your Financial Future
“There really isn’t any reason not to buy a home these days if someone is financially qualified to do so,” says Dave Barisic, principal at Brandywine Homes, a top infill builder in Southern California. “This certainly applies to singles as well.”
Instead of watching your paycheck disappear into your rent check each month, you’ll be able to put your money toward something you own.
Depending where you live, buying a new home may be more affordable than you think. “People are figuring out that homeownership is almost the same price as renting,” says Jen Teague, a Realtor at Keller Williams Ellis County in Waxahachie, Texas.
“Instead of ‘wasting’ money for a lease, homeowners are understanding that the same amount of money can be put toward equity for themselves,” says Teague. “As a woman, I know that I am more concerned about my return on investment that anything else. Instead of wasting money, I’d rather invest it.”
For many, new homes are a way to build wealth and security for the future. “The key word here is “invest” — the relative security of a good economy will lay a foundation for stability if, and when, singles decide not to be single any longer,” says Barisic.
Define Life on Your Terms
“Singles are taking their time in getting into relationships, but they don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to invest in a home,” says Teague.
Owning a home is a huge step toward independence. With no landlord or lease, you’ll have the freedom to design and customize your space as you choose.
“New homes are great for singles because they are able to help define the neighborhood: instead of ‘fitting in’ to an established area, they help form the community,” Teague says. “With a new build, a single person can purchase a home exactly as they want.”
If fear of commitment has kept you from considering homeownership as a single person, take some inspiration from Kayla Sloan and the other 17 percent of homebuyers that are single women.
“Just because you’re single doesn’t mean homeownership isn’t ideal or doable,” says Sloan. “I really enjoy being a homeowner and I happen to be single. My home is a pride of mine and I’m happy that I’ll have it to sell if or when I move someday.”
Seve Kale is an award-winning freelancer writer and former content intern for NewHomeSource. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in December 2013 with a degree in Government, Humanities and Spanish.
Prior to working with NewHomeSource, she interned in the Press Section at the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires and traveled extensively throughout South America