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Single Women Have Buying Power When It Comes to Homeownership

September 9, 2021

Guess what? I have some good news when it comes to women and our efforts toward a balanced, fulfilling life. And it has to do with how savvy we are as long-term investors.

More Single Women Own Homes Than Single Men

That’s right. At some point - while we were working to move forward in our occupations, taking care of loved ones, and trying to find time for a social life – we moved ahead of men in the area of homeownership. According to the National Association of Realtors, “single women comprise 18% of homebuyers in the U.S., compared with 7% of single men.” (Source)

On the whole, homeownership is on women’s minds: 73 percent of women say owning a home is a top priority to them, over getting married (41 percent), and having children (31 percent), according to a Bank of America 2018 Homebuyer Insights report. In contrast, only 65 percent of men said homeownership was at the top of their minds. (Source)

Purchasing a home is no small feat and is often one of the largest investments you’ll make in your lifetime. However, having a known monthly payment rather than risking rent increases every year is something that might provide you with a feeling of stability – especially as your income increases over time.

Coming from a financial planning point of view, investing in a home can also help with retirement planning. By purchasing and putting money into your home, you can often increase its equity and possibly pay it off, which could keep expenses lower in retirement.

Think About This Before You Buy

There are a few things you should consider before you start down the real estate road:

  • As a single woman, it can be difficult to save for a down payment on your own.
  • Interest rates can fluctuate while you’re completing the mortgage process.
  • If you are self-employed, showing the consistent income that banks love can be difficult as well.
  • If you think you might be moving in a year or two, it might be better to wait on a purchase. Home prices can fluctuate significantly in a few years and closing costs add to that.
  • Don’t just buy something to buy something. If you aren’t sure what type of home you want and where, it’s better to take the time to think that over. You don’t want to regret the purchase after just a couple of years.

It’s also important to have some savings over and above the closing cost of a home because there are always unexpected expenses. If you’ve been a renter, you might not realize what a new furnace or roof might cost (something a home inspector should take a look at before you buy). Regardless of known expenses at the time of purchase, there are often repairs that need to happen during the first year or two of owning the home. It’s better to be prepared for the unknown.

Have I Scared You Yet?

That really wasn’t my intention. It’s my job, as a financial advisor, to make sure you have all the information you need before you make any significant investments.

I believe that homeownership can be a great long-term investment for any woman. After all, “women now dominate not only traditional ‘pink-collar jobs’ like nursing, teaching, social work, and human resources, they are a majority of medical students nationwide (make that future doctors). They are [also] a majority of doctoral students in universities across all fields, including biology, public administration, and the social sciences.” (Source)

The good news is that a financial advisor can help you run projections for you and help answer the question, “Should I rent or buy?” I can also help you decide where to source your down payment in the most tax-efficient way. By working together, we can help clarify your goals and ensure you’re comfortable with your decision.

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Securities offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through GPS Wealth Strategies Group LLC, a registered investment advisor. GPS Wealth Strategies Group LLC and Aspen Wealth Management are separate entities from LPL Financial.

The LPL Financial registered representative associated with this website may discuss and/or transact business only with residents of the states in which they are properly registered or licensed. No offers may be made or accepted from any resident of any other state.
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