A consumer segment that continues to grow year-over-year is single-women home buyers. According to survey data from the National Association of Realtors, single women accounted for 18 percent of all home purchases in 2017, compared to only 7 percent purchased by single men. That makes women the second-largest home purchasing group, behind married couples, despite that single women can only afford to purchase 39 percent of the homes available on the U.S. market, according to a 2018 Zillow study .
Rising rent payments may be one of the reasons why single women are seeking more home purchases. A recent study conducted by the research firm Builders Digital Experience found 23 percent of single women cited rising rents as a “trigger” motivation behind making a home purchase, compared to a 16 percent average for all recent buyers.
Kelsey Porter, a ReeceNichols real estate agent In Kansas City, has seen buying patterns backing up those statistics. "I have definitely seen a trend of more single-women home buyers first hand, especially in the past couple of years. In looking back at my sales in the last 14 months, 43 percent of my transactions were with single females,” says Porter. “The biggest reason I have seen for this increase is the rising costs of rent, along with more buyers viewing homeownership as a smart investment."
Purchasing your first home as a single person can be intimidating at first, but with careful preparation, you can start investing your hard-earned money into your own property instead of someone else’s. Here are a few tips to ensure the loan process is smooth and hassle-free:
- Check your credit report. Scrub it for any mistakes, unpaid accounts, or collections.
- Look at your credit utilization ratio (how much credit you’re using in relation to your available credit limit). The higher your rate, the lower your credit score. Ideally, you want to keep it around 30 percent.
- Know your cash flow. As a first-time homebuyer, understand your spending habits, including what comes in and what goes out.
- Document! Typically, mortgage lenders will want to see two recent pay stubs, your past two years’ W-2s & tax returns, and the past two months of bank statements – every page, even the blank ones.