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