Women have long been a powerful force in the real estate market, and that trend is only becoming more pronounced. According to the National Association of Realtors, single women made up 18 percent of all homebuyers in 2017, and they are increasingly buying homes on their own.
There are a number of factors driving this trend. For one, more women are delaying marriage or choosing not to marry altogether. Additionally, women are now outpacing men in terms of education and earning power, giving them greater financial independence. Furthermore, things like advances in technology have made it easier for women to buy homes without the help of a partner. However, single women also face some obstacles. For example, they are reliant on one income, which might make it more difficult to qualify for a home loan or make a down payment on a property.
Are you a single woman who is thinking about buying a home? Here are 8 things to keep in mind:
- Financing your home: Buying a home is a big financial decision. Before you start shopping for homes, it’s important to get pre-approved for a mortgage. This will give you an idea of how much you can afford to spend. It’s also a good idea to get your finances in order. This means knowing your credit score and working on paying down any debt you may have.
- Saving for a down payment: A down payment is typically 20% of the purchase price of a home. So, if you’re looking at homes in the $600,000 range, you’ll need to save up $120,000 for a down payment. This can seem like a daunting task, but there are ways to speed up the process. One option is to get a loan from a family member or friend. Another is to look into government programs that offer down payment assistance. You could also consider a smaller home or condo instead of a single-family home. Whatever route you decide to take, remember that it’s important to have a realistic timeline for saving for your down payment. If you’re not able to come up with the full amount all at once, don’t worry—you can still put down a small down payment and finance the rest of the purchase price. However, this will mean paying interest on the outstanding balance, so it’s important to factor that into your budgeting. Ultimately, the best way to save for a down payment is to start early and make regular contributions to your savings account.
- Shopping for the right home: Buying a home is a big decision, and it’s important to have a clear idea of what you’re looking for before you start your search. Make a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves and start your search from there. Once you find a few homes that meet your criteria, it’s time to start comparing prices. It’s also important to consider the location of the property, as well as any potential problem areas. For example, if you’re looking for a quiet neighborhood, you’ll want to avoid homes that are located next to busy roads.
- Making an offer: You’ve finally found the home of your dreams. Congratulations! Now it’s time to make an offer. Your real estate agent will be a invaluable resource in this process, as they will be able to help you determine an appropriate offer based on the current market conditions. Keep in mind that you are not obligated to accept the first offer that you receive, and there is room for negotiation. However, try to be reasonable in your expectations, as the seller may also be working with an agent who will be looking out for their best interests. With a little patience and creativity, you should be able to come to a mutually agreeable solution. Soon enough, you’ll be signing on the dotted line and officially making this house your home.
- Getting a home inspection: Once your offer on a home is accepted, it’s time to get a home inspection. This step is important even if the home appears to be in good condition. A home inspector will look for any potential problems that could arise in the future. This includes things like structural damage, foundation issues, plumbing and electrical problems, and more. The home inspector will also assess the condition of the home’s major systems, such as the HVAC system and the roof. After the inspection is complete, you’ll receive a report detailing any issues that were found. This information can be used to negotiate with the seller to have repairs made before closing on the home.
- Applying for homeowners insurance: As a responsible homeowner, you’ll want to make sure your property is properly protected in case of fire, theft, or other damages. The best way to do this is by purchasing a homeowners insurance policy. Homeowners insurance will reimburse you for any damages to your home up to the policy limit, and it can also provide coverage for your personal belongings. In addition, most policies include liability protection in case someone is injured on your property. When shopping for homeowners insurance, be sure to get quotes from multiple insurers and compare coverages to find the best policy for your needs.
- Getting a home warranty: A home warranty is an optional but recommended service that will cover the repairs of certain items in your home. This can be a valuable service to have, especially when you’re first starting out as a homeowner. A home warranty can cover items such as your heating and cooling system, electrical system, plumbing, and appliances. If one of these items breaks down, you can contact your home warranty company and they will send a technician to your home to repair the item.
- Moving into your new home: Once everything is finalized and you’ve closed on your home, it’s time to move in! This is an exciting but also stressful time. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to pack and plan for the move. To make the process as smooth as possible, start by creating a list of all the tasks that need to be completed. Then, start packing up your belongings, labeling each box with its contents and the room it should go in. If you’re hiring professional movers, be sure to book them well in advance and give them a detailed list of what needs to be moved. And finally, don’t forget to change your address with the post office and update your contact information with utilities and other service providers.
At The Humphreys Group, we work with women to help them address their unique financial challenges and come up with solutions. If you’re a single woman looking to purchase a home, you may feel like the home buying process is rigged against you, but we assure you, you have options! Buying a home is a big decision, but it can be an exciting and rewarding experience. With a little research, strategizing, and planning, your dream home can be a reality. Reach out to our team to learn how we can help you plan for a home purchase.