Category Archives: female home owners

Building wealth through the property market

 

From 1948 to1970, close to half a million people from the Caribbean were invited to what was commonly referred to as the ‘mother country.’  Arriving as British citizens (despite never living in Britain) is a trait rooted in the legacy of the Empire. Whilst there were many reasons for their arrival in Britain, many were seeking superior opportunities for themselves and their offspring. Early settlers spoke about a five-year plan to save money and return back to the Caribbean. Prohibited to find suitable accommodation, many migrants were confronted with signs such as, ‘No Coloureds or Blacks’, which was routinely used alongside the use of ‘No Irish and Dogs.’

Where Caribbean’s were permitted to rent, the standards and conditions of the dwellings were typically unsavoury. Consequently, there was a determination to purchase one’s own properties using a system popularly known as pardner, which involves the collaborating of resources to provide access to funds. This system was particularly useful when banks would not loan to black people. Early settlers from the Caribbean owned houses in what are now some of the wealthiest locations in Europe, such as Notting Hill and Paddington. It was not rare for these residents to own more than two houses that were rented out, characteristically large three or four story Victorian terraced houses. As the decades proceeded, many of these houses were sold due to the owners returning to the Caribbean, or simply moving. Similar trends occurred in Shepherds Bush, Balham and more recently in Dalston, Brixton, Peckham, leaving a decline in property ownership amongst succeeding Caribbean heritage peoples within the UK.

While the cost of properties has been exorbitant in London, where according to the last Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) Census for England and Wales, 58.4% of black people reside, the cost of properties in locations such as the West Midlands (which is said to host the second largest population of black people) at 9.8%, is considerably lower.

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Black Landlords UK (BLUK) in Birmingham aims to revitalise the calibre of not only black home ownership, but also the number of black landlords. Founded in late 2017, one of the committee members Garfield Reece revealed how the organization came into fruition. ‘’It evolved (BLUK) from conversations that Rod Shield (senior investor in Birmingham) had during his networking meetings. People were asking him the same questions wherever he went.’’ Some of the questions that Reece cited were ‘’How we got into property management? How to turn a single let property into a high yielding HMO (House Multiple Occupation)? How to resolve issues and conflicts with tenants.’’

Initially, Rod Shield decided to establish a Whatsapp group to address the myriad of questions he was bombarded with and to mobilize the engagement of black people within the community. The Whatsapp group quickly demonstrated the demand for such an organization and according to Shield, “The Whatsapp group numbers exceeded the allowable quote on Whatsapp; well in the excess of 200 investors in the group. So that’s really where it all started.’’ It was during this time that the committee (who volunteer their expertise for free) decided to galvanise all those that expressed an interest in property to congregate in one room. This lead to BLUK’s quarterly meetings; “The first meeting was held back in January this year,’’ declares Reece.

The first BLUK meeting in January 2019 had approximately 50 people in attendance, and numbers have been growing rapidly. At BLUK’s last quarterly meeting for 2019, the committee expect to have 120 investors. “We are giving service providers and businesses within the community, an opportunity to sell and promote their businesses,’’ Reminiscent of a market stall, there will be six tables with businesses each discussing topics such as finance and how to raise mortgages. Half of the meeting will consist of Keynote Speakers, who will talk about the process one has to go through when acquiring property. The other half of the meeting will be dedicated to roundtable discussions, “It will be like mini workshops,’’ states Reece. “Each roundtable is going to talk about a different investment strategy,’’ Reece adds.

The next BLUK meeting will take place on Saturday, November 23rd, 2019 from 14:00 – 18:00 at the Legacy Centre of Excellence (formerly known as the Drum) 14 Potters Lane Birmingham, B6 4UU.

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Dispelling myths about land lease communities

One of the biggest hurdles land lease communities face is a lack of awareness Canadians may have about this housing option. Many do not understand how the arrangement works. Surprisingly, two in three Canadians are unaware that land lease is even a home-ownership alternative. Here are some frequently asked questions about land lease home-ownership, and answers that correct the myths.

1. What happens when your lease is up?
Some people mistakenly think that their lease could change dramatically, or worse, they could lose their home. At end-of-lease term, a homeowner can either renew their lease or continue on a monthly basis. If someone sells, it just starts a new lease. “We must follow the provisions set by the Residential Housing Act and Planning Act, which means increases and changes to the lease are governed by law,” says Robert Voigt, director of planning for Parkbridge. “Leases are typically 21 years in length, and depending on the project, we have mechanisms for creating longer-term leases. Our main focus is to work collaboratively with residents within the legal framework.”

2. Does the value of your home rise like freehold homes?
Homes in land lease communities go up in price the same way as other homes on the market. “In our experience, if you have a well-maintained home in Parkbridge, it will appreciate in value the same as freehold homes do in the same market,” says Voigt. “Homeowners sell their homes using real estate agents with support from the Parkbridge property team. As an example, our records show that for homeowners in the Antrim Glen community near Hamilton, well-maintained homes have experienced an average seven-per-cent increase in value per year over the past decade.”

3. Are people in land lease homes typically lower income?
“While perception may be that residents are lower income, in reality, they have simply chosen to leverage the equity in their home for the lifestyle they want to live or enter the housing market,” explains Voigt. They’re just looking for ways to make their money go the furthest and get more living space for less.

4. Does the 21-year lease make it difficult to get a mortgage?
Since most mortgages have a 25- or 30-year amortization, the 21-year lease for most land lease homes could require adjustments. “You may have to have a shorter amortization period based on your lease, which will mean higher monthly payments, but your home would be paid off more quickly,” says Voigt. “And it could still be less money than you’d spend monthly for a freehold home of equal value.” Parkbridge is working with financial institutions to support financing options.

5. Is it difficult to sell a land-lease home?
Not at all, says Voigt. “Homes go up at the same rate as freehold homes in the same area. If the home is well looked after, you should have no trouble selling it at a similar rate of return as any other house in your community.”

6. Is the community closed off from the larger neighbourhood?
These are not gated communities. “They are built to the same quality and look like other houses, streets and park areas in the broader local community,” explains Voigt.

To learn more about land lease opportunities, visit parkbridge.com.

Source: TheStar.com – Mon., July 29, 2019
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Home renovations are costly, prone to errors

Jennifer Skingley and her partner—the former an erstwhile project manager and the latter an executive manager—are meticulous planners, so no detail was spared when they planned a home renovation. However, no amount of planning could have prepared them for the aggravations they would subsequently endure.

“We got the keys to our home in February 2018 and before we even took possession of it we had teed up people to do the work. We really researched and organized our renovation,” said Skingley. “There were several false starts trying to get people who were available to commit to doing the work. We interviewed a ton of contractors, got multiple estimates and did as much of the leg work ourselves as humanly possible without actually being construction experts. We tried to hand everything over on a silver platter, but for the work to actually start was like pulling teeth.”

And that was only the beginning, added Skingley.

The basement level needed external waterproofing, upgraded plumbing and a new bathroom was fitted in, while the kitchen and upstairs bathroom also received significant work.

However, because of last minute cancellations by contractors and a seeming deluge of errors, the home renovation took much longer than originally anticipated and cost over $80,000.

“Management was the issue,” said Skingley. “There were some blatant oversights and lossages with the team of people we picked, so we definitely ended up spending more money than we had allocated, even though we budgeted quite thoroughly from the outset, because we know when you tear things apart you find ugly surprises, but we there were things like having to tear floors out a second time because they forgot to get a permit. Silly little things like that took us way over and above. Even sourcing material was challenging.”

Unfortunately, Skingley and her partner’s nightmare renovation is extremely common, and given the exorbitant cost of the work, most homeowners can afford nary a thing to go wrong, says Casper Wong, co-founder and COO of Financeit, a consumer financing platform.

“When most Canadians renovate their homes, they aren’t offered flexible payment plans by their merchants, and while there are more traditional ways of paying, like with cash or using HELOCs [home equity lines of credit], not every Canadian can afford to make cash payments up front,” he said.

“Not everybody has access to HELOCs. Only three million Canadians have access to them, and on average Canadians owe $65,000, and 25% of Canadians with HELOCs just make interest-only payments.”

Financeit, a digital platform, works with thousands of contractors to homeowners make those large renovations in low-installation payments.

“We use our technology—and we own the entire stack, which allows us to manage credit, underwriting, servicing, and we work with multiple lenders and have a mobile app,” said Wong. “Not every Canadian can afford to make cash payments up front and usually when they do, they’re more reliant on credit, but credit cards have high interest.”

Source: Canadian Real Estate Magazine – Neil Sharma 12 Aug 2019

 

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HOME INSURANCE 101

HOME INSURANCE 101

Whether you’re a homeowner or a tenant, your home deserves to be properly protected. Unlike auto insurance, home insurance is not legally required by the government. Instead, it may be deemed as a requirement by anyone who has a financial interest in the property. For example, a landlord can require tenants to maintain specific insurance coverage while renting the dwelling. Similarly, a mortgage company can stipulate that homeowners maintain adequate insurance at all times, which is a way to protect their interests.

Now that we know why other people are interested in you having home insurance, let’s focus on why home insurance is, and should be, important to you. Let’s start by defining what it actually is. Homeowner’s insurance provides you with protection against damages that may occur to your home. For example, fire or flood damage (to name a couple) could be quite costly to repair — not to mention when the damages are beyond repair and require replacement or rebuilding. Your home insurance policy is there to cover you should such incidents occur.

In addition to covering damages to your dwelling and other structures, your home insurance policy provides coverage for your personal property. Insurance companies commonly refer to your personal property as contents. Each policy has a defined monetary limit when it comes to contents. When purchasing a tenant’s insurance policy, this limit is usually set by you.

A handy way to determine an appropriate contents limit is to create a personal inventory. This document lists all of your belongings room-by-room, along with their value. The total value of all the items is the total amount of contents you’re wanting to insure through a tenant’s policy. A homeowner’s policy, on the other hand, handles contents limits a bit differently: usually, this limit is a percentage of the total cost calculated to rebuild the home.

A home insurance policy also provides you with coverage for liability. As with auto insurance, your home insurance policy protects you in the event a third party attempts to take legal action against you as it relates to your home. Liability coverage also comes in handy when you may be held responsible for damage to a third party’s property. One of the factors to consider when choosing your liability limit is the exposure you may have to risks. If you operate a home-based business, for example, you could be vulnerable to additional risk because you have a higher volume of people visiting your house. Having tenants is another example of liability risk.

The next time you’re shopping for a home insurance quote using the traditional route, keep in mind the multitude of details you’ll need to organize to help ensure a hiccup-free process (see our helpful checklist below). With aha insurance, however, we can save you a lot of time and hassle because the entire process is completed online, leveraging secure, state-of-the-art technology. In fact, the only information you’ll need to know for a home insurance quote with aha insurance is your address!

Checklist:

1) Address
Okay, we know this one sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s important to specify your exact address when getting a home insurance quote. This is particularly important for those who live in more rural regions with rural routes.

2) Insurance Information
If you have a current home insurance policy, ensure you know its details, such as the renewal dates. It’s also useful to know what your current coverages are, including replacement costs.

3) Claims History
Be prepared to share the details of your home insurance claims history. You’ll also want to make sure you have the specifics about how the claims were settled, including the amounts that were paid out as well as the reason for the claim (e.g., water damage, hail damage, theft, etc.).

4) Home Occupant
Who will be living with you? If you rent out rooms or the basement of your home, provide this information to ensure you have the proper protection.

5) Property Details
Know your home, inside and out. You should know your home’s approximate living space. You should also make note of its construction, including the year it was built and the materials used. Details about your plumbing, electrical, heating and roofing will also be required. You should be aware of the materials, as well as the most recent dates they were updated. You should also note how close your home is (in metres or kilometres) to the nearest fire hydrant and fire station.

6) Personal Belongings
How much stuff do you have? If you’ve ever created a home inventory, now is the time to refer to it (and update it). Your home insurance quote will automatically calculate an amount for your contents, but if you have anything that should be given particular attention due to its value, such as jewellery or expensive antiques, you’ll want to include it.

When it comes to home insurance coverage, every insurance company sets their own requirements for the information they’ll request in order to provide you with a quote. But if you keep this checklist in mind, you’ll certainly be prepared for whatever they’d like to know.

If you’re looking to upgrade insurance coverage, we invite you to get started with an online quote. When you purchase home insurance through Hudson’s Bay Financial Services and aha insurance, you’ll be eligible to receive up to 4,000 Hudson’s Bay Rewards points.1

Source: HudsonsBayFinancial.com

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Real Estate Investing, It Isn’t Just for the Boys Anymore

When 51 year old stay-at-home mom and part time piano teacher Gena H. from Washington State woke her husband up at 1:15 AM and said “I want to be a real estate investor,” he patted her on the shoulder and said, “that’s nice dear.” In the morning he shared all the reasons he believed it could not work for her. Fast-forward a few years and Gena, who obviously didn’t listen to the husband she adores, is a successful and very profitable investor. She has in her words “dramatically changed the financial course for me and my entire family.”

Stories like these are coming to my attention at a rate like I’ve never seen in my well over 20 years of investing. I’ve been fortunate to watch countless people go from real estate observer to successful real estate investor. But never before has there been such a massive wave of women taking ownership of the household finances using real estate.

In watching this transition, I believe it’s due to a couple of primary factors. First, we all know that the real estate market peaked like never before around 2006, and then the bubble burst and the market crashed. It reminded me of flying down Space Mountain in Disneyland. However, after the bottom comes the inevitable shift in the market, when it begins trending back up as we are seeing now. This is truly a magical time for investors.

Second, I think we are heading into the years of more empowerment of women. I could be criticized for saying this, but I think it’s less about women’s liberation, as that was yesterday’s news. I see it as more that women are just losing any hesitation at all to do anything they want. I think it’s a very positive trend for our country. I watched my single Mom struggle to support my sister and me growing up, so I’m always cheering for the ladies. I think we are entering a whole new era of advancing equality. But that’s for another story.

Jen G., a single Mom, was working in an accounting office with no windows and too little pay each month to support her and her son. Frustrated, stressed and wanting a new path in life, she decided to reinvent herself through real estate investing. Friends and family told her real estate investing was for people with money and experience. Some even expressed resentment and actively discouraged her. Recently, Jen called to tell me: “Just six months after starting, I got to walk into my office and tell my boss I no longer needed her services!” Jen quit her job and has done more than 185 real estate transactions so far and feels she is being the Mom she always wanted to be.

Tammy R. lives in a crazy fast moving market in CA. This is a market where even seasoned investors are afraid to take the plunge. However, this determined Mom of four, who was homeschooling her children when she started investing, refused to yield to her fears. She didn’t listen to her husband who said “it won’t work for you.” Like Jen, she didn’t have a ton of money to start, but researched a method called “wholesaling.” Wholesaling is matching up monied investors with good deals, and making money in the middle. On one transaction alone she made more then she did the prior two years, and she is currently working on her 23rd deal. “You just can’t let the naysayers spoil your dreams” she said when asked about the secret of her success.

Whether you’re in a strongly rebounding large urban market like Tammy, a more rural and smaller city in Alabama that’s coming back at a slower pace like Jen, or somewhere in the middle like Gena in Washington State, it doesn’t matter. The current state of all of these markets is opening up endless opportunities for investors to gain the knowledge to profit and who aren’t afraid to go for it.

Real estate is my life, and with over 20 years of non-stop investing I’ve personally experienced that there is always a profitable strategy that fits the current market cycle. However, the massive spike in real estate, followed by the inevitable and dramatic crash, is setting up a solid rebound. I truly believe this is the greatest time for everyone who would like to secure a better future to get educated, learn from those who are doing it, and jump into real estate investing.

I’m currently doing 30 to 50 deals every month all around the country, in 9 states actually. I’m working with women like Gena, Jen and Tammy, as well as a slew of others who are crushing todays shifting real estate market rather then complaining about it.

Maybe real estate investing is cooler and more possible then you think. All I can say is that the boys better step up.

Source: The Huffington Post 07/12/2013 –   Dean Graziosi

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Tired of Toronto? Why not move to the St. Catharines-Niagara region

Affordable homes in the St. Catharines-Niagara region are attracting buyers from Toronto.

It took Russell Phipps just one day to sell his three-bedroom, 1,800-sq.-ft. house in Ajax, Ont., after a fierce bidding war. With an early closing and no place yet to live, the Toronto native moved into a friend’s 550-sq.-ft. Corktown condo in the city to give downtown living a try. It didn’t take long before he realized he wanted out − far out.

“It’s expensive,” Phipps says of living in the core, where the average price of a detached home is $1,336,640, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB). “Parking is expensive. When people come to visit you and you try to find them parking on the street, that’s a hassle. And I was always in the shadow. Wherever we seemed to go downtown, it seemed the buildings were always blocking the sun. I like a little bit more of a view.”

Like many others, Phipps, 48, turned his views to the St. Catharines-Niagara region, which is benefiting from Toronto’s spillover effect as buyers look for more affordable homes.

When Phipps’ request for a job transfer came through, the case manager with the Ontario government, started shopping for a condo. Within a few days he found the perfect pad: a two-bedroom, 1,118-sq.-ft. penthouse in Pinewood Homes’ mid-rise Fairview Condominiums project now under construction in St. Catharines. He’ll move in this fall.

Phipps can’t gush enough about all the pluses of leaving Toronto. He didn’t have to deal with intense condo bidding wars. He only had to pay a $20,000 deposit instead of about $80,000 in the big city. He avoided what he calls Toronto’s “double land transfer tax.” Parking, storage and finish upgrades were all included in the $389,000 price tag. He can walk to work, the mall and the gym but is still within an hour’s drive of Toronto if he wants to pop in to see friends. And he’s just 10 minutes from the beach. “I get all the bonuses of condo living but I get it in a suburban atmosphere.”

Affordability

With the Toronto Real Estate Board pinning the average cost of a home in 2017 at $727,928 in Toronto and almost $800,000 in the 905, it’s no surprise folks are starting to look further afield for affordable living and, perhaps, a less frenzied lifestyle.

According to the Niagara Association of Realtors, the average price of a home across the region is up 24 per cent year-on-year to $345,294, while condo prices rose 31 per cent to $288,868. They don’t release the average price of a detached house. However, in The Six a detached house costs about $1,337,000 and a condo is about $471,400, the TREB said.

While high-end properties in Niagara can swell far above $500,000, there are still a lot of savings to be made for more space. And with a 10-year, $13.5 billion program to expand the GO regional express train network − including weekday service to Niagara Falls by 2023, new stations in Grimsby and upgrades to Via Rail stations in St. Catharines and Niagara Falls − there’s even more incentive to make the move.

“We’re probably the best bang for your dollar in the country right now, anywhere from Port Colborne to Grimsby,” says Patrick Dummitt, president of Niagara Association of Realtors. “Even the further east you go − Fort Erie, Port Colborne − people never used to venture out that far. Now people are leaving Toronto and settling in Fort Erie and doing the commute…. We’re becoming quite metropolized to the chagrin of a lot of people. But what the heck, why not? We’re like the last frontier for people. We’ve been dubbed as the suburbs of the GTA.”

Dummitt first noticed the region’s real estate landscape changing about a year ago when bidding wars started cropping up in Niagara for the very first time. Today, $340,000 will buy a 30-year-old house needing $40,000 in upgrades. But with so many people wanting in, supply is scarce and properties are fetching multiple offers 30 to 40 per cent over asking prices. He says those coming from Toronto, Mississauga, Hamilton, or Oakville don’t bat an eye because their houses are selling for more than double Niagara’s prices so they have extra money to renovate.

All the attention has developers busy, with dozens of condos, townhouses and single-family homes on the go, or in the works across the region. St. Catharines, for instance, issued permits for 383 new dwelling units last year, up from 224 in 2015, and 36 to date this year in and around town. As such, the city has built a performing arts centre, a 5,300-seat arena and new parking facilities to accommodate the traffic.

“We’ve sketched out a bold new vision for our city,” says Brian York, director of economic development and government relations at the City of St. Catharines. “Now we’re adding colours, and the palette is perfect for new business and good living.”

Unprecedented growth

In Niagara Falls, Mayor Jim Diodati uses words like “explosive” and “feverish” to describe the unprecedented growth in his city’s south and southwest ends. More than half of the new home and condo purchases are from GTA buyers, he says, with “entire subdivisions selling out before we can get services in the ground.” Some 761 building permits worth $238.5 million were issued last year, up 27.3 per cent from 2015. Those numbers “are from outer space,” Diodati says.

The Niagara region’s population is expected to grow from 447,888 now to 610,000 by 2041, according to the municipality’s forecasts.

The city and the region are building and upgrading water and sewer treatment plants, pumping stations, fire halls and expanding transit to ensure infrastructure keeps up with demand. There’s a commuter airport and talk of a ferry service to the Toronto area, and the Go train expansion will improve capacity and service levels.

“You don’t have to look too far down the QEW [Queen Elizabeth Way highway] to see where the average house price is $1.2 million,” says the mayor, who grew up in Niagara Falls. “For a third of that you can get a lot more house, a lot more yard, in Niagara, and with that extra equity you can start a business, buy a place in Florida or a cottage…. It really is the perfect storm of opportunity.”

Along with a host of local, GTA and overseas developers getting on board with intriguing projects of all shapes and sizes. Entrepreneur Ted Zhou of Evertrust Development Group Canada Inc. in Toronto, for one, considered building luxury condos in the GTA but felt the market was saturated.

He inspected more than 100 sites before settling on two acres within Thundering Waters Golf Course in Niagara Falls that will soon house his 150-unit Upper Vista Condominiums, fulfilling the Toronto resident’s goal of becoming Niagara Falls’ “pioneer” of luxury condos. It’s now one of dozens of low-rise, mid-rise and high-rise projects drawing eyeballs from out-of-towners.

Another project that has people talking is Paradise, a $1.5-billion development being proposed by GR (Can) Investment Co. Ltd. of Niagara Falls on 480 acres of land surrounding the golf course. The city has conceptional plans from the group calling for about 3,400 residential units (including bungalows, townhouse, condos, estate homes and vacation homes), a five-star boutique hotel, restaurants and 200 acres of wetland.

It’s the Hong Kong-based company’s first foray into Canada but chief executive officer Zhiying Chang, who moved to Toronto in 2011, expects to replicate it in other cities here. A longtime lover of Niagara Falls for its natural beauty, she’s excited about increasing Niagara Falls’ curb appeal to both residents and tourists.

With so many projects and proposals, there’s no doubt that the region will continue its ascent as the new “It” spot for frazzled city folk looking for a happier, more affordable life.

“They can keep the smoke stacks in Toronto as long as people come home [to Niagara] to buy their groceries and their cars and their clothes and pay their property taxes and have community,” says Mayor Diodati. “There’s nothing wrong with that.”

Source: Suzanne Wintrob, Special to National Post | February 20, 2017 |

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Why single women are buying homes at twice the rate of single men in U.S.

More single women are buying homes than single men in the U.S., according to data. Although women have been ahead of men in National Association of Realtors' data since 1981, the gap has widened even further in recent years, said NAR’s managing director of survey research and communications.

In recent years, the gap has widened and it’s the women who dominate as home buyers. Single women account for 17 per cent of home buyers in the U.S., compared with 7 per cent of single men, according to data.

By 2007, Michelle Jackson, a 30-something writer in Denver, held a master’s degree, had travelled the world, and was enjoying her social life as a single woman. She also felt the pull to purchase her own home, a rite of passage she thought was reserved for the coupled.

“I wanted to have my own place,” Jackson said. “A lot of people in my circle of friends were women purchasing their homes when they got married, but I still felt like I wanted to build my own wealth and buy. If and when I met someone, it’s something that just added to what I bring to the relationship. It didn’t make sense to wait.”

A few open houses later, Jackson was preapproved for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage and had put an offer in on a small, one-bedroom home in a triplex in Denver for $94,300 Canadian. She still lives in the home, which was appraised last year at more than double the price she paid, and said she plans to renovate it and perhaps buy an additional property nearby.

“I’m so happy,” Jackson said. “It’s completely changed how I feel connected to the place where I’m living. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.”

The news and research about women and money can be dreary. Women earn less than their male counterparts, pay harsher workplace penalties for pursuing parenthood, struggle more with debt, and save less for retirement.

But there’s one area of personal finance where single women are outpacing men in the U.S., and it’s a significant one: home ownership.

Nearly a century since the publication of “A Room of One’s Own” — Virginia Woolf’s essay on women’s urgent need for a private physical space in which to flourish — and a legacy of laws that restricted women in owning property or considered them to be property, single women account for 17 per cent of home buyers in the U.S., compared with 7 per cent of single men. The data, from last year, are from the National Association of Realtors.

“I’m not married, I don’t have kids. I can live alone, and fabulously. I feel empowered”

Although women have been ahead of men in NAR’s data since 1981, the gap has widened even further in recent years, said Jessica Lautz, NAR’s managing director of survey research and communications. Property values and mortgage lending imploded after the 2008 financial crisis, and low interest rates have made lending more appealing to new, more frugal buyers.

Single women are also likelier than single men to be parenting on their own, Lautz noted, and therefore likelier to seek stable housing for raising children. There were 8.6 million single-mother households in 2011, more than three times the 2.6 million single-father households, according to the Pew Research Center. 

“If you have children, it’s definitely going to play a role in where you’re thinking of living and how,” Lautz said. “And a mortgage can provide financial security. I think women, even with lower incomes, want a place where they can have roots and really own a place. The psychological desire to do that is great.”

With that comes an increase in financial sacrifices women are willing to make to own a home, Lautz said, such as taking a second job or working their budgets to save for a down payment. “They really value home ownership, and they’re willing to give up a lot to have a home of their own.”

Then there are single women’s sheer numbers. As millennials postpone or shrug off marriage, more women are unmarried than ever before. Today, one in every five Americans 25 years and older has never been married, a sharp contrast to just 9 per cent in 1960, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. More of them are men (23 per cent) than women (17 per cent), according to the Pew Research Center, but it’s the women who dominate as homebuyers, for the reasons above, and more.

For one, unmarried women may be likelier than men to seize singledom as a lifestyle, said Bella DePaulo, a professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara and the author of Singled Out.

“Despite the stereotypes that insist that women care more about marriage than men do, it may actually be single life that women embrace more than men,” DePaulo said. “Some research suggests that single women are especially unlikely to be lonely — again, contrary to our stereotypes. … I think that buying a home is a way of living your single life fully, rather than seeing your single years as just marking time until you find The One.”

When single women do buy their first homes, they do so at an older age than men, 34 compared with 31, according to NAR research from last year. And women are buying at a lower average price: $224,500 compared with $247,300

Single women also have long had a slightly higher foreclosure rate than men: 73 per 10,000 vs. 70 per 10,000, Daren Blomquist, a senior vice president with ATTOM Data Solutions, said. One reason may be that men’s properties involved larger initial sales and appreciated faster than women’s.

“There’s a domino effect,” Blomquist said. “Because of the wage gap, you see women having to purchase lower-value homes, and they’re more open to risk when they do. Typically what causes a foreclosure is some kind of shock, like a job loss. If you have a lower-value home that’s appreciating less quickly, you have less of a cushion than someone who has seen their value appreciate more.”

For Rachel Weiss, a fashion executive in New York, the thought of owning a home in Manhattan “always seemed so unattainable.” Having spent her 30s and some of her 40s in a rent-stabilized studio in the West Village, she accumulated a pile of cash that was sitting dormant in a savings account and was hungry to invest. On a whim last spring, she began to look at properties, and she said she was surprised when, running the numbers and being preapproved for a mortgage, she saw that a one-bedroom in a co-op in the area could be within reach.

“I outgrew my apartment 10 years ago, and buying a home was always in the back of my mind,” Weiss said. “But I didn’t know what to do and never knew if I could afford an apartment. I started looking online at Trulia and Streeteasy, and the next day (real estate agents) started calling. It wasn’t premeditated or anything. It was almost like I was on Tinder for an apartment.”

After a few open houses, Weiss had narrowed her search to apartments in smaller buildings with lower maintenance fees. She was OK in a walk-up, but location was still a priority. She put an offer on a one-bedroom co-op in Chelsea for $830,400. It was accepted. She moved in last August.

“There was a psychological aspect to it, too,” Weiss said. “I’m in my 40s, and I looked at what my life was like. I’m not married, I don’t have kids. I can live alone, and fabulously. I feel empowered.”

Because ATTOM looked at more than 5 million homes with mortgages for this data point, the small difference translates to a lot of foreclosures.

 

Source: By Tues., Jan. 31, 2017

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