Single Women Are Buying Homes

As I was reviewing my business over the
past year, I noticed a trend. Single women are buying houses.
Whether they have never been married, or are newly divorced or
widowed, it’s important to single women that they own their own home.

Buying a home is a big deal, and for
some of these single women it can be almost overwhelming. I know – I
did it myself several years ago. So as I work with these single
women who are buying houses, I like to play “20 Questions”,
which really turns into more like 100 questions, but 20 is a good
starting point.

  1. How much can you afford?

    This is the biggie. Keep in mind all
    the things you spend money on – hairstyling, manicures,
    medications, entertainment, gifts, decorating, clothing, auto and
    travel expenses, etc. and add them to your other bills such as
    utilities, taxes, insurances, cell phone, credit cards, cable TV and
    internet. You’ll need to budget for repairs and maintenance as
    well. Another factor to consider is interest rate. For every 1%
    increase in interest rates, your buying power diminishes by 10%. In
    other words, your payment will be about the same on a $300,000 house
    at 3% as it will for a $270,000 house at 4%. My suggestion is to
    get a referral from a friend or Realtor for a trusted lender who
    will take the time to discuss the details of your loan with you.

  2. Is the home and are the
    appliances energy efficient?

  3. Does the property require a
    lawn care or landscaping service?

  4. Are there Homeowner’s dues?

  5. Will you need to do any major
    repairs or remodeling?

  6. How much space do you need?

    Another
    important question…divorced and widowed women generally are used
    to having larger homes than they may now need, but struggle
    with the thought of over-downsizing.

  7. Do you
    have children, grandchildren or elderly parents who will be living
    with you – or visiting often?

  8. Do you
    work from home?

  9. Do you
    have hobbies that require additional space?

  10. Do you
    have a lot of furniture and “stuff” that you’ll be moving into
    the house?

  11. Do you
    like to entertain?

  12. How much
    maintenance do you want to do?

    Maybe your
    husband did a lot of the exterior work and you’re just not sure
    what’s all involved. Lawn-mowing, weed-eating, trimming shrubs,
    painting, gutter-cleaning…factor in either your time and energy to
    do it, or the cost of hiring it out. If you buy a condo, they’ll
    take care of most of these items for you, but you’ll be paying for
    it in your monthly dues.

  13. Do you
    have pets?
    (Will Fido tear up the lovely gardens?)

  14. Will you
    feel comfortable and safe here?

    Only you know
    how private, peaceful and quiet your home should be for your
    enjoyment. And it’s always a good idea to check out local
    crime statistics or talk to neighbors before buying a home.

  15. Do you
    like to take walks in the neighborhood?

  16. How do
    the nearby homes and businesses look?

  17. Is the
    property fenced, well-lit and have a security system?

  18. Is it
    convenient to work, friends, and family?

  19. Is it in
    a good school district?

  20. How do
    the Homeowner’s regulations (if any) fit your lifestyle?

You can see how
these 20 questions are just a tip of the iceberg. Depending on your
situation and experience, the questions will vary. It’s a big
decision – and one you don’t want to make without some level of
guidance.

I’m proud of my
great team of lenders, inspectors, title and escrow agents,
attorneys, lawn-care and pest-control providers, electricians,
plumbers, painters, etc. who help my clients settle in their new home
with a high level of confidence that they’ve made a good decision.

I’m also proud of
all those single women who are out there buying homes – you go
girls!