Popcorn is great with a movie or possibly for stringing around an old-fashioned Christmas tree, but itâ€™s a little less universally loved when itâ€™s applied to the ceiling as a texture. â€śPopcorn
Why Single Ladies Are Buying A Place Of Their Own
Dated: November 22 2016
Why Single Ladies Are Buying a Place of Their Own
An article take from FannieMae The Home Story By Susanna Kim
Kristen Oâ€™Connor, a first-time homebuyer who closed on a home last September, says sheâ€™s â€śa little bit of a rarityâ€ť among her friends as a single woman with a mortgage.
â€śI canâ€™t pick out another person like me in my close-knit group who has purchased a house,â€ť says Oâ€™Connor, a 30-year old attorney in Nashville. â€śMost of them are either married and buying or buying with a significant other if theyâ€™re not married.â€ť
But Oâ€™Connor is far from alone. As it turns out, single women have been the second-largest homebuying group behind married couples since at least 1981, when the National Association of RealtorsÂ® started tracking the household composition of homebuyers. That trend is consistent among first-time and repeat purchasers.
Single females make up 15 percent of all homebuyers, according to the 2016 National Association of Realtors Homebuyer and Seller Generational Trends report. The percentage increases for older buyers: 20 percent of buyers between ages 51 and 60 and, 19 percent between ages 61 and 69 are single females. Thatâ€™s compared to the 9 percent of all homebuyers who are single males.
(Photo: Kristen Oâ€™Connorâ€™s home in Nashville, Tennessee.)
Although Oâ€™Connor may not personally know many single women who are buying homes, she said sheâ€™s not surprised by the statistics.
â€śGenerally speaking, women in general like to have our own space,â€ť she says, adding that she needed a home where she could have a home office to work remotely. â€śWe like to have something thatâ€™s ours, especially with so many more careers that provide flexibility in the workplace.â€ť
While single women have been the second-largest buying group for decades, there has been a slight downward trend since about 2009. Factors behind that trend include tightened credit conditions that have hampered both single male and female buyers, a drop in first-time homebuyers in general, and tighter inventory in some markets.
â€śThey are still a strong force in the market,â€ť Jessica Lautz, managing director of survey research and communications with NAR, says of single women. â€śWhen purchasing a home, they are overwhelmingly buying a home of their own but also for life changes.â€ť
Out of about a dozen homes Oâ€™Connor considered, a four-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom newly constructed home in East Nashville stood out. The three-story property has space for guests and a home office, she says. Itâ€™s also only half a mile away from downtown Nashville.
Room to Grow
Nashvilleâ€™s relatively affordable home prices helped attract Oâ€™Connor to the area when she moved in September 2014 from Virginia Beach. Many of Oâ€™Connorâ€™s friends live in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., where homes are among the priciest in the nation.
But price may not be the main reason women choose one region or community over another. â€śWhen purchasing their homes, [women] want to live close to friends and family, so they want a sense of community. This tends to be different than what you would see from a single male perspective.â€ť
(Photo: Kristen Oâ€™Connor stands in front of her home in Nashville, Tennessee.)
For young men 18 to 34, living at home with parents has been the dominant living arrangement since 2009, according to the Pew Research Centerâ€™s analysis of Census data. In other words, men in that age group are more likely to be living in the home of their parents than with a spouse or partner, while the reverse is true for young women.
Pew Research Center and NAR havenâ€™t detailed what may be driving gender preferences for living arrangements, but, Lautz says, â€śSingle females often are heading out on their own at an earlier age to establish their household.â€ť
Oâ€™Connor purchased the house with a potential future household in mind but primarily as an investment. While she calls her neighborhood â€śsought-after,â€ť she thinks the three-story setup is not ideal if she and her boyfriend marry and have children. Oâ€™Connor says she may live in the home for only three or five years before renting it out.
â€ś[Prices] here are getting out of control, so there are a lot of opportunities,â€ť she says.
Since Oâ€™Connor moved into her home, there have been seven new homes built on her block, and an eighth home just broke ground two doors down.
In such an up-and-coming neighborhood, Oâ€™Connor counts herself as lucky for having a homebuying process that was relatively quick. Before she saw the house for the first time, she had already met with a loan officer. Three days after her home visit, she submitted an offer, and it was accepted within an hour, she says.
â€śIt really is an empowering thing to say you own a home,â€ť Oâ€™Connor says. â€śI recognize now itâ€™s not an opportunity everyone gets to have, and Iâ€™m very fortunate that Iâ€™m in a position to do this.â€ť