Monday, July 18, 2011

Single Women Focusing On Real Estate

In 2010, unmarried women made up 20 percent of all home buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors. That figure is higher than the 12 percent of single men who purchased homes during the same year.

It's unclear exactly why the discrepancy between single men and women. However, some experts contend that a home of their own and a sense of belonging are two important factors that cause single women to focus and buy real estate.

And those experts are right. The Joint Center for Housing Studies reports that the three main reasons that are driving single women to buy homes now are: relocation for job or family; a larger space; and to have a home of their own (nesting).

The new trend of female buyers is causing builders to add some extra features geared toward attracting single women. New home construction is featuring gourmet kitchens, more security features, and yards that require little or no maintenance.

Of course, the other compelling reason for anyone, including single women, to buy a home, is the historically low interest rates.

Experts understand that buyers are more educated than ever before. They've studied the market and generally have a good idea of the type of home and neighborhood they want.

So, what are single women buyers looking for? It's not solely location that seduces them. Single women buyers want a great location, good price, a property that's in good condition, and a home that is rentable. It doesn't have to be new, but it needs to have been given some TLC by the owner.

They want a good price. They're looking for a price that won't stop them from enjoying their single lifestyle. Experts recommend that a monthly mortgage should not exceed 28 percent of a borrower's pre-tax monthly income.

Another interesting point, is that single women buyers are from all different age groups and phases of life. Some are just out of college and pre-marriage, others are divorced, widowed, or never married, and still others have grown kids who've left the home (thus a downsize).

That causes this group of homebuyers to pay careful attention to things like rental properties in the neighborhood, proximity to retail and entertainment, and, the all-important concern, would the mortgage payment equal the monthly rent that could be collected on the home?

Single women buyers know that their circumstances may change so they want to be prepared. Making sure that the home can be rented out is often a key interest to this group.

Finally, even though single women are buying homes on their own doesn't mean that they'll shop alone. They may visit the property with friends, family members, colleagues, and of course, their agent. It's likely they're very savvy, so they'll be stopping by the home, not once, but probably several times and at different times of the day to get a feel for the home's exposure to the sun.
As single women focus on real estate, it's likely we'll see more builders and sellers catering to the needs of this buying group–and this group is all about getting exactly what they want.

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