Single women are becoming first-time home buyers in record numbers. So basically the world and the housing market are your oysters. According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies:
- One-fifth of home buyers are single women.
- Twice as many single women are buying homes than single men.
- Single women have comprised more than one-third of the increase in real estate ownership since the mid-90s.
Single women have many reasons to buy a home — not the least of which is that they’re simply ready to be homeowners. Many women, however, are house hunting on their own for a different reasons:
- Their career, and ultimately their finances, have taken off.
- A relationship has ended and they need their own space.
- A new job or new opportunity drives them to a new city or community.
Regardless of your reasons for buying a house on your own, single women are an empowered and powerful force in the housing marketing. Here are three tips to help you make choices that lead to the right investment at the right time.
Be Confident in Your Budget
Know your budget and be confident in your buying power. Whether you have a new job with a higher source of income or are readjusting your spending habits after a divorce, knowing your financial limits before you start searching is essential to a making a successful long-term investment. There are going to be moments of temptation, times when you try to convince yourself that you need that extra bathroom and it’s only slightly higher than your budget, but stay the course. Commit to your budget and empower yourself to find the right opportunity within your price range. Before making a purchase, you can use a home cost calculator to determine estimated costs, including for utility bills, property taxes, and home insurance.
Know Your Financing Options
Talk with your financial planner or bank loan representative way in advance so you understand the kind of mortgages and loans available to you. If you’re expecting income from the sale of your previous house, find out all you can ahead of time about how much you’ll be getting and the smart ways to spend it. Be sure to check out your credit score, and understand your financial responsibilities if you’re coming out of a long-term relationship.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
You’re a superwoman, but even superheroes need a sidekick every once in a while. As a single woman, you might feel empowered to handle the entire move yourself, but consider hiring help to ease the transition. If you’re relocating to a new city, hiring movers to haul your belongings across state lines can help reduce the stress and tension of a long-distance move.
If you’re moving after a breakup, be kind to your emotions. Ending a relationship and transitioning to a new home can overwhelm the heart and the mind. Hiring movers to haul your items from your shared space to your new one can put much-needed distance between yourself and your ex. A smooth moving day is both a good ending and a solid start. It’s important that you acknowledge your emotions, but during the move-out, try to be as calm as possible. Take time for deep breathing, and focus on your new, hopeful future.
Regardless of why you’re moving solo, watching your old home sell or leaving it for a new adventure can be a bittersweet experience. You may feel alone or you may feel invigorated.
You may be excited to do this on your own, or you might wish things were closer to the way they were. Just remember, owning your own home, on your own terms, is a very rewarding opportunity. You’ll feel an array of emotions at different times, but faith in yourself should be at the top of the list.