While the media might lead you to believe that single ladies spend their time knitting scarves for their imaginary children, we're actually much too busy snatching (GET IT) up a huge slice of the American Dream to waste our time with all that*. According to the National Association of Realtors, since the mid-1990s, single women have purchased homes at nearly twice the rate of single men — and last year, we made up 18 percent of the household composition in the association's Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. BAM.
Despite all this, it's still not as easy for a woman to get into a home as it is for a couple — or a man. Consider the gender wage gap:
Because the average salary for a woman still lags behind men's (the American Association of University Women says women earn 82 cents for every dollar a man makes one year after graduation) and lenders favor two-income households over single earners, Lautz says women are "making the most sacrifices to get into a home, but they're still placing a high value on owning a home of their own."
That said, sisters are still making it happen. Maybe that's because, on average, women have better credit habits than men — according to Experian, men have a 7 percent higher incidence of late mortgage payments and 4.3 percent more debt than women — and credit goes a long way toward securing home loans.
According to sources cited in US News, single women are looking for a lot in their barbie dream home. Most importantly: A reasonably priced homes in a safe, walkable neighborhood that's convenient to family and friends. So, uh, pretty much what most people are looking for. Women: They're just like us.
They're also willing to put some work into their houses — maybe all that HGTV has finally sunk into our thick skulls and we're finally ready to rip down walls and put in light fixtures made from bike rims NOT THAT I'M SPEAKING FROM EXPERIENCE. (Dims bike rim chandelier by clapping.)
I've seen this trend on the rise amongst my friends — I have at three single ladies who recently purchased homes in the San Francisco Bay Area. Now, if you know anything about the housing market in SF right now, you know that shit is not for the weak of heart 0r poor of wallet**. However, when many women sit down and do the math (which can be hard for us), it often makes more sense to purchase a home than it does to give our hard-earned cashola to a property rental company each month.
All of these women getting into the real estate market is exciting — especially considering that most women couldn't even be approved for a mortgage without a husband or father's signature before the Fair Housing Act of 1968. We've come a long way to land lady town, baby.***
**The reason two of them bought fixer uppers of the first degree, and are renovating them by themselves — and with a little help from their friends in exchange for pizza parties and pet sitting.
***Now, let's not stop until all the houses in the entire world belong to women and all men have to live in sad shacks on some shitty island in the middle of the Arctic ocean BWA HA HA.