Single Women and the Housing Market

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Out-purchasing single white men, today’s single women represent 20 percent of homebuyers – men only account for 12 percent. Even with those percentages, many remain in the dark about the ins and outs of the homebuying process. Whether it’s because they are uncertain about their credit, confused by mortgages, or have a hard time finding a realtor they trust, many remain unsure of how it all works.

Here are some tips to help guide you through the home buying process:

  • Talk to family and friends. If you’re unsure about buying a home, vent your concerns to a supportive group of family and friends. Since these are the people who know you best, they can help you decide the best course of action. A couple has each other to talk to, but often single women have no one.
  • Avoid debt at all costs. Don’t overextend yourself when it comes to a mortgage. Too many women fall into the trap of hitting their pre-approval limit. You want to own this home and be able to do what you want. With interest rates as low as they are, women can buy what they want—and pay less.
  • Know your credit rating. Mortgage lenders have become stricter than ever, so you’ll need your credit to be in tip-top shape if you’re hoping to get approved.
  • Ask lots of questions. Never be afraid to ask questions! Women’s fear looking dumb can impact their finances if they aren’t armed with the right information. You should ask questions until you understand the concept. Forget about feeling intimidated.
  • Make a wish list. You’ve got to be realistic about what you can and can’t afford in a home. Women should be willing to compromise to stick to their budget.
  • Know your broker and agent. Women want to have a relationship with their real estate agent and mortgage broker, not a transaction. For most women, this is intuitive, but it’s important to get a sense of who you’re working with, from their experience to how they make you feel before taking the plunge.
  • Get pre-approved. First-time homebuyers are notorious for overlooking this major important step, which determines how much mortgage you can afford. There’s no point in setting your sights on a McMansion if you can’t even lock in the mortgage.

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