“I just got tired of waiting for Mr. Right to come along and start the American dream,” Karen Phelan, 43 told USA Today. “[Buying a home is] symbolic of success — of getting out there and doing it on my own and saying, ‘I’m just as capable of doing it as the next person and doing it on my own and making it’.”
As many financially independent single women enter their mid-thirties and early forties a question has to be answered, if not already decided: Should I buy a home for myself, and myself alone?
Unlike other milestones in life, purchasing a home does not require a partner. With money for a down payment, a job and collateral anyone can have their own four walls. It’s just a matter of being in those four walls…alone.
Society dictates a lot of things: Go to school to get to college. Go to college to get a good job. Get a good job to have money. Meet Mr. Right (who’s simultaneously followed steps 1 through 3). Marry and buy home with Mr. Right. Have babies and live happily ever after.
But for the 54 percent of single/unmarried women (above the age of 18) in the U.S. and the 29.9 million people who live alone the “normal” route of life isn’t feasible. The three factors that are causing more women to buy homes alone are women marrying later in life, they tend to live longer and divorce rates of 50 percent leave many needing their own roof. Mortgage lenders are encouraged to look for ways to help single women qualify for loans and architects are even creating more female friendly features in homes.
Although you may be leery to buy without a husband, we have some reasons why you may want to reconsider:
- If you wait, you put yourself at financial disadvantage by paying rent somewhere.
- Buying a house builds your personal portfolio.
- The amount of tax breaks you get from owning a home is ridiculous!
- You have your own financial stability, so depending upon the area you buy in, you may not want to sell once you get married. Renting is a great secondary cash flow.
- In the eagerness to be married, you may rush may and show bad judgment– i.e. you need something to fall back on.