Exhale Lifestyle: 5 Tips For Buying a Home As a Single Woman

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More single women are now buying and owning property than single men. And their ranks are swelling.

That’s right, ladies are becoming landlords, or just buying for themselves.

In 2017 — the most recent year that data was recorded — 18 percent of U.S. homebuyers were single women, whereas single men accounted for just 9 percent of the market, says Jessica Lautz, vice president of demographics and behavioral insights for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), Chicago.

In fact, the percentage of single women buying homes has risen for the past three years. It is up from 11 percent back in 1981, according to NAR.

It’s great progress, but to secure their futures and boost their investment portfolios, younger women need to take the property plunge. The median age for single women buying homes in 2017 was 55 years old, versus 46 years old for single male buyers, according to Kathryn Coursolle, an economist with Zillow.com.

The good news? Women real estate investors are conservative and practical. They don’t overbuy.

“Women are not going to max out their debt-to-income ratios and guys will,” says Philip Ganz, senior loan officer with Fairway Mortgage in Boston, Mass. “Women have the reputation for being shopaholics, but it’s not true. Guys who can’t afford their mistresses made that up.”

A debt-to-income ratio, or DTI, compares monthly expenses and debts to how much you earn. It helps determine the size of loan a lender will extend to you.

“Women now understand that financial freedom is their equality,” says Courtney Poulos, owner and broker at ACME Real Estate in Los Angeles. “It’s the only thing that really talks. The minute you empower yourself to make big financial decisions you become the driver of your life.”

Read more including tips from ACME’s Courtney Poulos at exhalelifestyle.com.