I LOVE STATISTICS. Knowledge is power to make more informed decisions.
Even though women still make on average 83 cents to every dollar a male makes, it continues to increase, especially with the growing rate of college educations being earned by females.
And women are waiting longer to marry (if at all) & have kids. The Census Bureau reports that on average, women enter marriage at age 27 (2014), compared to 21.5 years in 1940.
These numbers are also slowly changing social and cultural norms of what is 'okay' behavior for a female too. Not as noticed at the change from dresses to pants, but the ownership of property is a bit more subtle. Up until 1850's, once a woman married, all property she had became her husbands....for some that meant choosing to not marry.
BUT this one is the kicker....it was not until 1974 that a women could apply for credit (AKA a mortgage) due to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974. As you can imagine, between 1850 and 1974, property was rarely purchased by a female.
The single female homebuyer is a NEW TARGET MARKET in the real estate business--both YOUNG & OLDER women. Only 7% of single males are choosing to buy a home (compared to 18% of women). The only noticeable difference in 'must haves' for women is a want for
Thanks to the student that shared one of these articles with me.
Sounds simple right? When why is the news still filled of stories defaulting on their mortgage payments?
My belief is that much of it is due to the short term mindset of American society; a home purchase is a long-term value proposition--I mean most mortgages are for 30 years! Or 40 years if you are in California, crazy!
Here are some tips to avoid these pitfalls:
1. Keep your monthly mortgage payment under one paycheck
This one is a no brainer. Don't let wonderlust get the better of you when shopping for your home. This is especially important if your are self employed and your monthly income varies. Remember you have to eat....and pay for other things like insurance and your phone. Here is a mortgage calculator for your planning. LOVE THIS TOOL.
2. Shop around for the best interest rate
AKA, ask more than one bank or credit union, even it means more paperwork.
Credit report 'pulls' for mortgage purposes within a set period of time only counted as one hard credit inquiry. Do them all within a short period of time.
3. Multiple quotes can help with more than just interest rates
Sends the message to your real estate agent you are SERIOUS about buying.
4. Lock in your interest rate for as long as possible
Shit happens, even during escrow. We would love for it always to be smooth sailing, but in reality its not. If you can lock in for the longest time possible, usually 90 days.
5. An ARM is a risk—even if you only plan to live there less than 5 years
ARM means Adjustable Rate Mortgage...which the rate is not fixed and adjusts by what is happening in the FED rates or the markets overall. There is usually 5 years at the beginning of the loan with a low fixed rate and then for the remaining of the loan, the rate is 'adjustable' based on what is happening in the market, its harder to plan your monthly budget when you don't know exactly what your loan payment will be. (SIDENOTE: think mortgage crash 2008....learn from this bad experience)
6. Make extra mortgage payments whenever possible (little extra now makes a big difference over the life of the loan)
7. Get a mortgage where you can still save for retirement
If you can afford the 15 year mortgage, you might want to go for the 30 year.
LOWER MONTHLY PAYMENTS = FLEXIBILITY
You can choose if you put more $$ towards your mortgage or say for retirement. Be thinking your head, 'Is the rate of return for my retirement investments higher than my mortgage interest rate?" If so, you can get more bang for your buck by upping your retirement savings to get the most out of the time value of money.
The tiny-house movement is an architectural & social movement that advocates living simply in small homes. Tiny homes is a residential structure under 500 square feet .
The average American house is 2600 sq. ft. This picture is of a 256 sq. ft. tiny house. It boosts of two king size beds which are accessible by stairs rather than ladder. Other highlights:
-full size refrigerator
-washer and dryer
-walk in shower with Schluter shower system
All for $69,500.
That fits almost any budget.
The market for tiny homes is growing, and the TinyHomeMarketplace helps to educate about the social movement that is tiny homes, and also lists homes for sale (for both the buyer and seller). The interactive map is great if you are looking in a specific area. But what if you cannot find a tiny home in your area? Have no fear! There are TINY HOME KITS available, so you are able to customize your space to represent you.
The concept is AMAZING to me, I mean, that would be a breeze to clean! Yet, I find myself saying, not now, but when we retire, this would be wonderful (just think how low utilities would be, especially if you had solar panels). Now for having a place to store our canning.....
Most of us want to buy, but that not always mean we can. I was in my thirties when we finally moved into our 'big person house'. We decided to be frugal & save for a bigger down payment when we finally bought. Which for us, meant time in apartments...Minneapolis, San Francisco (so spendy!), Dixon (IL), Mt. Carroll (IL), Dubuque, Strawberry Point. We had ROCKSTAR landlords and chap ones (the Renters Rights Association of CA was invaluable to me).
So if you are like me, renting is a fact of life at some point in your life......so some things to remember:
1) Rule of thumb--BUDGET
4) Landlord provide 24-48 hours notice before entering property.
5) Get renters insurance.
Happy apartment hunting!
To read more:
Hi, I am Summer, real estate agent in NE Iowa. This blog is about life, of which Real Estate is a part of. Happy reading!