4 tips for single, female home buyers
A lot of single, female home buyers are taking that bold step in high heels, with no one at their side.
Buy with confidence
You shouldn’t think of a home as an investment that will make you rich,” Aiken says. “But if you buy a home that you can afford to pay off, maintain and live in over a long period of time, you’ll have a low-cost place to live in retirement.
Don’t stretch your budget too far
Buying a home today takes a certain confidence — in the market and in your own financial strength. A lot of single, female homebuyers are taking that bold step in high heels, with no one at their side. Nationally, single women accounted for 21 percent of all home purchases in the year ended this past June, while single men accounted for just 10 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors. Find the best mortgage rates Bankrate can help you find the lowest available mortgage rate. Experts say female homebuyers share characteristics and concerns that set them apart from male buyers. Following are four tips single, female buyers should keep in mind when purchasing a home. Buy with confidence A variety of factors — such as a greater likelihood of working at jobs that offer paltry retirement and other benefits — keep single women from achieving their financial goals, says Mariko Chang, a consultant who recently completed a report on the wealth gap for women for the Insight Center for Community Economic Development in Oakland, Calif. Although the nation has witnessed a housing bust, homes should still climb in value over the long haul, leaving longtime owners with a valuable asset, Chang says. Chicago-based Certified Financial Planner Leisa Aiken says it is a mistake to expect a quick run-up in property values, especially since there’s still an abundant supply. Still, Aiken agrees with Chang that owning a home can help women enter a more secure retirement if they pay down their loan balance over time. “You shouldn’t think of a home as an investment that will make you rich,” Aiken says. “But if you buy a home that you can afford to pay off, maintain and live in over a long period of time, you’ll have a low-cost place to live in retirement.” Don’t stretch your budget too far Mortgage lenders may approve borrowers with good credit and other favorable factors for a home mortgage but experts caution it could be a mistake to borrow as big a home loan as a lender will approve.
Shop aggressively for financing
Mortgage lenders may not provide women with all loan information and options because of stereotypes about women’s alleged lack of financial sophistication. Check rates with several mortgage lenders, and don’t simply select a lender based on a recommendation from a friend.
Try to get seller concessions
Many buyers are able to get concessions from sellers upfront to fix any imminent problem an inspection turns up. That helps cut maintenance, at least in the near term. Moreover, buyers frequently ask for one-year warranties that cover repairs on appliances and major systems, and sellers are providing and paying for these policies.