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I Am Woman Hear Me Roar: The Female Homebuyer And Seller - Part 1

I Am Woman Hear Me Roar: The Female Homebuyer And Seller - Part 1

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By Elaine VonCannon, ABR, SRES, Associate Broker, Notary, Team Leader, Property Manager, Award Winning Agent

Imagine this scenario: June Cleaver realizes she is unhappy with her life as a housewife and now that the kids are grown decides to get a job at a restaurant. Once she has saved some money of her own she gives Ward the old "heave ho" and makes plans to buy her own home. Fifty years ago this type of situation was unheard of. In fact, fifty years ago if June had decided to leave Ward she would have ended up with a bad reputation and probably been turned away by a majority of real estate professionals. Even though women were legally allowed to own property, American culture has taken many years to accept the idea of women buying, owning and selling their own homes. In 2005 single, retired, widowed, married and divorced women are all a part of changing the face of the real estate market.

First Considerations: Safety, Community and Convenience
A practical woman looks for a home that suits all of her needs. Safety and convenience are two of the most important considerations. Make a list of the most important attributes your new home and neighborhood must have. Be sure to prioritize carefully and honestly. You may want to consider the proximity of schools and daycare. You may choose a location close to your job or a university where you plan to further your education. Even the location of the local grocery stores or drug stores can affect your decision.

Many women also choose their neighborhood in search of community and security. As a single woman you may not want to live in a suburban neighborhood where the population consists of mostly married couples and their children. It may be more beneficial to purchase in an area that has a demographic more suited to your lifestyle. Condominiums and townhouses are great options for female retirees looking for less maintenance responsibilities or a single woman looking for added safety. Buying a home located above street level with neighbors in close proximity creates stronger security. Currently, single women account for at least a third of all condominium and townhouse sales according to the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). When making this type of purchase be sure to research the fees and amenities included in your purchase. Know what your responsibilities are and be sure you can fulfill them.

First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage….NOT!
In 2004 single women made up eighteen percent of America's home-buying population. The increase of home sales to unmarried women in the last ten years has caused even the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to take notice. During the 1990's the FHA began to allow women to report child support as income in order to qualify for a mortgage. Another factor in this trend, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, is that women no longer think of marriage as a first step and buying a home as the second, women are generally marrying later in life. In 1970 the US Census reported the median marrying age as 20.8 years and in 2000 reported the median marrying age as 25.1 years. An increase in the number of women in executive jobs, as well as an increase in the number of dual-earner married households, has also changed homebuyer trends. These changes have inspired the mortgage and real estate industry to create various programs for nontraditional buyers like unmarried women.

It Ain't Over Till The Female Homebuyer Sings
In 2005 a new version of the role of women continues to emerge. Not only are women buying homes across America, but they are also renovating, upgrading, selling and investing. Learn more about these subjects in my next article "I Am Woman Hear Me Roar Part 2". Always remember to explore all of your options when finding a mortgage. Be certain you express yourself clearly to your real estate agent or mortgage broker, let them know exactly what you want and don't settle for less. To read more educational articles on topics such as "I Want To Hold Your Hand: First Time Homebuyers", "Buy Now Retire Later: An Investment In Your Dreams", and "More Bang For Your Buck With Mortgages" please visit my web site, www.voncannonrealestate.com.

I Am Woman Hear Me Roar: The Female Homebuyer And Seller - Part 2