Single, female and shopping for a home
A level of financial comfort
Married couples typically shop based on home prices. Single women are likely to discuss the monthly payment they can afford, such as: "I want my payment to be $1,500 a month," Douthitt says.
Solo female buyers may be financially conservative, she adds. "She might qualify for $2,500 but she's comfortable at the $1,500 payment."
They "tend to buy more frugally and focus on financial security," says Mollie Carmichael, a principal at John Burns Real Estate Consulting, which sells research and advice to the housing industry.
That frugality can be a matter of necessity. As a group, single women have less money to work with. Their median income in 2011 was $50,200, compared with $58,400 for single male buyers, according to the NAR.
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"I definitely could have paid more," Ward says of her home purchase. She was working as a business analyst for the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. She chose a two-bedroom unit because it would be easier to rent out and she wanted the mortgage payment and homeowners-association fees to add up to less than local rental rates, so she'd turn a profit if she became a landlord.
Musselman was 32 in 2005 when she bought her condo in Santa Monica, Calif. Her financial strategy also led her to buy a two-bedroom home. She wanted to be able to add a housemate if her income dropped. She chose to buy a home at the lower end of her budget, for an added sense of financial security. Anyway, she expected she'd soon be "partnered up and moving on to a larger home with someone else."
Ward also scaled back on her purchase because she was afraid she'd intimidate men she might want to date. "Women in the workplace today, in many cases being the breadwinner, I think some men may find it emasculating," she says.
It's not an uncommon concern, Douthitt says. When her clients worry that buying a home will ensure they're single forever, she tells them, "Just because you buy a home doesn't mean that you're not going to get married. Once you get married you can use it as an investment property, or sell it and move."
Single women's needs
Some homebuilders and real-estate companies have conducted research to find out what women in general — and single ones in particular — want in a home. John Burns' research shows differences between the genders in homebuying preferences. Women, and single women, have distinct preferences. But "they're not super differences," Carmichael says.
Jessica Riffle Edwards, a real-estate agent in Wilmington, N.C., and Coldwell Banker Real Estate's consumer specialist, says men and women share many home preferences, as couples and singles do. They just differ in their priorities. Home security, for example, matters to everyone, but single women place the most value on it, Coldwell Banker learned in a survey.
For Ward, a house not located in a gated community was a deal-breaker. "I wanted to have that extra security of knowing that some random Joe Blow couldn't just enter and rob it. Living on your own … there is something about not having to worry that puts your mind at ease."
Musselman's experience was similar. "As a single woman, I wanted something on a top floor and with underground parking, for security purposes," she says. She might have found a bigger home with more amenities elsewhere, but she chose Santa Monica for its safety, convenience and the likelihood that a home there would hold its value.
Keeping home maintenance manageable is a top priority among single female buyers. When her clients don't grasp the work involved in owning a big yard or garden, Douthitt tries injecting a little reality. "I'll say, 'Are you sure?'" If that doesn't dissuade them, she advises, at least, that they include the cost of hiring someone for yard maintenance in their purchase budgets, since she's seen new solo homeowners overwhelmed by outdoor chores.
Single female buyers often are juggling demanding jobs and many have children, two reasons why they gravitate to condos and townhouses.
"I didn't want a full-scale single-family home because of the maintenance and the overall upkeep," Ward says. She'd watched her mother struggle to keep up the family home when she was widowed. Ward wanted a homeowners association that would do the landscaping and a home warranty "so that, if the dryer breaks, I am not flipping through the phone book trying to find someone to fix it."
Here are six tips for solo female homebuyers:
1. Find an agent you really connect with. Interview several agents and keep shopping until you feel mutual trust and respect. After all, this is someone who will help you make one of the biggest financial decisions of your life.
2. Get preapproved. Before you start home shopping, get preapproved for a mortgage so you'll have a realistic idea of your price range. While you're at it, learn what the mortgage process is all about. Talk to two or three mortgage companies before choosing one. Since interest rates are about the same everywhere, compare the quality of their service and the differences in their fees.
3. Keep it real. Nearly every homebuyer must come to grips with reality shock. "You're not going to get a million-dollar home for $100,000. That's reality," Douthitt says. Get a realistic picture of what the home you can afford is like. Try making a wish list and shop for the most important one or two features you can afford. If that doesn't work, maybe you're better off renting for a while longer.
4. Cut the maintenance. Learn about the maintenance requirements of each home you consider. If your budget permits, consider buying one that's new or in turnkey condition, or one that needs only a coat of paint. You'll pay more, but the newest homes can be extremely weather-tight, meaning lower heating, cooling and utility bills. Newer materials take less maintenance; some new exterior siding types require no repainting, for example. Also, a newer home lets you put off for years the expense of upgrading appliances, flooring, roof and other home systems.
5. Ask plenty of questions. Homebuying is foreign terrain for nearly everyone. The lingo, laws and procedures may be unfamiliar. Says Douthitt: "There is no stupid question. It's the ones that you don't ask that are stupid. If you hear that you need to get an inspection on the home, ask, 'What does that mean?' If there's going to be an appraisal, ask, 'What's that about?'"
6. Trust your gut. Back away from pressure. Don't talk yourself into something that feels wrong, don't sign anything you don't understand and don't let anyone else push you to go against your instincts. "If this doesn't feel right, there's a reason it doesn't feel right," Douthitt tells clients.
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I'm entering the conversation a bit late here but find this article hits the mark in terms of what's important to single women who are buying a home solo. My best advice is create a "community of advisors" to support you. That means a trusted Realtor and lender. Know you finances and don't over spend even if you're told you can. Absolutely ask ever question that's on your mind and if your gut's screaming at you about something by all means please listen.
If you have a story to tell as a single women about your home buying experience, I want to hear from you for my book. Please email me at
This article fail to mention that financial experts claim that people can maintain their mortgages payments only if they purchase a home < 2.5 x their annual salary. Ave salary in the USA is 45K. for college degreed folks. So most people should not pay more than 120-140K for a home to stay out of foreclosure and bankruptcy.
Why isn't the mainstream media not coverning this story??????
A child alive during an abortion procedure. Haven't heard about these sickening accusations?
It's not your fault. Since the murder trial of Pennsylvania abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell there has been precious little coverage of the case that should be on every news show and front page. The revolting revelations of Gosnell's former staff, who have been testifying to what they witnessed and did during late-term abortions, should shock anyone with a heart.
NBC-10 Philadelphia , Stephen Massof, a former Gosnell worker, "described how he snipped the spinal cords of babies, calling it, 'literally a beheading. It is separating the brain from the body." One former worker, Adrienne Moton, that Gosnell taught her his "snipping" technique to use on infants born alive.
who, like , has himself pleaded guilty to serious crimes, ". Fetuses and blood all over the place." Here is the headline the Associated Press put on a story about his testimony that he saw 100 babies born and then snipped: "Staffer describes chaos at PA abortion clinic."
"Chaos" isn't really the story here. Butchering babies that were already born and were older than the state's 24-week limit for abortions is the story. There is a reason the late Democratic senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan
Planned Parenthood recently claimed that the possibility of infants surviving late-term abortions was "." The Gosnell case suggests otherwise.
Regardless of such quibbles, about whether Gosnell was killing the infants one second after they left the womb instead of partially inside or completely inside the womb — as in a routine late-term abortion — is merely a matter of geography. That one is murder and the other is a legal procedure is morally irreconcilable.
A Lexis-Nexis search shows none of the news shows on the three major national television networks has mentioned the Gosnell trial in the last three months. The exception is when Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan on Meet the Press meant to foment outrage over an anti-abortion rights law in some backward red state.
The Washington Post has not published original reporting on this during the trial and The New York Times saw fit to run one original story on A-17 on the trial's first day. They've been silent ever since, despite headline-worthy testimony.
Let me state the obvious. This should be front page news. When Rush Limbaugh attacked Sandra Fluke, there was non-stop media hysteria. The venerable NBC Nightly News' Brian Williams "A firestorm of outrage from women after a crude tirade from Rush Limbaugh," as he teased a segment on the brouhaha. Yet, accusations of babies having their heads severed — a major human rights story if there ever was one — doesn't make the cut.
You don't have to oppose abortion rights to find late-term abortion abhorrent or to find the Gosnell trial eminently newsworthy. This is not about being "pro-choice" or "pro-life." It's about basic human rights.
The deafening silence of too much of the media, once a force for justice in America, is a disgrace.
Kirsten Powers is a member of USA TODAY's Board of Contributors, a Fox News political analyst and columnist for The Daily Beast.
In addition to its own editorials, USA TODAY publishes diverse opinions from outside writers, including our
Per my Agent, this is no longer the trend, it was a good story in 2011 but the Banks started facing reality and realize the Young, Single Buyers, though currently qualified are not a very good risk, and it has nothing to do with the person but their Employer,. Bankers tend to deal a bit more with reality than Obama and his propaganda machine. Employers are going to be laying off thousands of full time workers and cutting thousands of full time workers to part time due to Obama Care Mandates.
We also Again, have some sneaky business going on the Real Estate Market. Large National Companies have allegedly been telling their sales Agents Nation wide to "Boost" the prices on the homes they are showing. One must remember that some of these Companies Board Members "Bundled" money for their buddy Obama, so this gives the "illusion" that the market is picking up which is not..
HUD foreclosed homes are another problem and discouraging many from buying by the tactics HUD is using. Basically it appears that like the Banks they hold back homes from Sale and then release a small number and then try to force a "Bidding War" amongst the buyers. Hedge Fund Companies are usually the winners which is frustrating the first time buyers who walk away disgusted. These homes in some nice neighborhoods are then Rented out by the Hedge Fund Companies who occasionly cause a nice neighborhood to go south because of the type of people they are renting their homes too. In our neighorhood or sub division of 70 homes, there are 12 Rentals. And the majoirty of these people are well, pigs. They do not take care of the homes, park in the middle of the lawn, throw their Fast Food packages out on other peoples lawns and basically trash the neighborhood. Thefts of bicycles, Sports Equipment and home break in's have also increased accordingly. In my area it is a couple of companies from Texas who are behind the buying of these homes.
And sadly, this story appears to be an outdated story and just another sneaky backdoor way of solicitng and advertising for the Real Estate Market where there is none currently.
"One buyer wanted Douthitt to meet her mom, her dad, her pastor and her brother from California before she could commit to a purchase." If I had asked a realtor to do this, they probably wouldn't have returned my calls after that. It just sounds like asking too much to me. And the six tips for solo female homebuyers do not seem to me to be any different than tips for anyone buying any house.
As for the being single part, I don't believe that in today's market a realtor or seller would really give a damn about a buyers gender.Of course they would want you to be pre-approved before they start showing you houses. And I would believe that any single buyer would run up against it when applying for financing, once again, regardless of gender. The author wants you to believe that there is still an overwhelming gender bias in the industry, but I doubt that in this market that a realtor would give anyone a hard time if they were pre-approved for financing, a sale is a sale and that is what the realtor is in business to do. The realtor may, however, try to sell someone, (male or female), a house that may not be right for them, but I hardly think this would be driven by sexism.
Since the statistics show that twice as many single women buy houses than do single men, then how can women be discriminated against in any substantial amount? It just seems that so many times people are trying to inject sexist issues into areas where they do not seem to exist, especially in journalism. It seems that just as "sex sells", so does sexism in the news.
Here is a clue, Women will make Home Buying an emotional issue which is why a lot of Realtors are Women. That is why they are so Naive, a Women will buy a house based on the Color and Interior Decorating, while a Man will over look the cosmetics and look for the true value in a house: Construction, Materials Used, Electrical...etc. It will be a long time before Women will figure this out which is why Men are the typical home builder. Get a Clue Ladies this article is a setup of Female Emotions.
I guess someone needed something - anything - to write about, other than, say, the ECONOMY, Obama versus Congress, Politics, who to blame for "sequestration", increasing taxes and lost buying-power, poor job outlooks, how to hurt retirees and how to "save" Social Security for "future generations" and other stuff seemingly of importance to all - yes, to BOTH women AND men! So, single women seeking to buy houses... You're IT!
I confess amusement over the maunderings and flim-flam put forth in this piece. Seems that today it's all the rage to somehow paint strange pictures of a dire and constrained past. That, and everybody wants to be somehow special and recognized. So you single women are it, today.
But, just in case...
I'm old enough and knew plenty of single women, oh, say, 40 years ago. My divorced mom got a loan and house by herself - in 1966. My younger sister had her first 5 credit-cards - and over 37k in card-debt - by 1984. All by herself. MY wife was single until 1988- with credit cards, mortgage, house, stocks and bonds, bank accounts, for 10 years+ before I got her. My divorced auntie bought her first house by herself in 1962. She, too, had credit cards right as they came out, but unlike sis, was much more careful in how she used them.
But I guess these must all have been exceptional and "priviledged" people. Right. Actually plain working women who had ordinary office JOBS and paid at least most of their bills. Granted, they probably did get paid less per hour than their male counter-parts. That part was, and sometimes is, true. But no, they didn't apparently have any problem getting loans, houses, credit-cards. Or cars. All they had to do was exactly what every SINGLE MAN had to do - show that they had an income and could apparently afford the note they wanted. Our societal perception and assignment of gender-roles have enjoyed a storied past, but things really have changed a lot WAY before today.
Loans, real-estate, investments, cards. All have 2 things in common... They are all about MONEY, and MONEY (and the vast majority of its handlers) really cares very little about your gender. Being SINGLE versus being married - that's different. Married people share the liability, and increase the chance a note is repaid. Any lender would love to have more people to lean on to get his money back. Simple economics and lending security. That's why kids get co-signers, and new applicants without credit history rarely get the best rates. No secret. No sexism. Just plain common sense.
As to house prices... ANYONE who claims that the house they want is "over-priced" is simply saying that the seller wants MORE than they are willing to pay for it. Probably almost nobody (for sure, I can only really speak for the many I've dealt with buying and selling my houses over 30+ years, and for all those other buyer and seller folks I've ever known) sets a different price for single women over any other market segment. Why bother? It sounds like a good whine story, but no realtor could likely do that and get away with it, and the seller simply wants SOMEONE - ANYBODY (other than the racial issue that does rear up in this biz) to pay them what they want for their house.
I'll ask YOU for just as much as I'll ask of any other person off the street. Now, IF you happen to be a good friend, I may cut YOU a deal. But that' would go for any GOOD FRIEND, male OR female, SINGLE or NOT.
So. Go out and buy that house! Don't go in thinking that 1) it is "over-priced" (I'm sure it is - I never bought a house for what anyone was first asking for it - 9 and counting) and that you'll somehow get it for less because you say that. 2) Don't come to negotiate with any sour attitude or presumption of entitlement. Bring respect and you'll get it. Want an inspection? YOU buy it, unless the seller OFFERED it. Pretty simple, pretty clear, pretty FAIR, ladies!