Monday, June 14, 2010

Single women: Largest category of homebuyers.

As the moderator of a recent "Realtors Summit" in Vancouver, Washington sponsored by Directors Mortgage, I learned a lot about today's housing market both regionally and nationally...what's changed from a year ago, who's buying and selling, market pricing and what mortgage loan rates might do in the coming six months. But here's an interesting highlight: Single women represent a large portion of homebuyers, the Realtors said.
There are several reasons for that. In the economic downturn of the past two years, men have been more vulnerable to a job loss than women. Women with good well-established jobs are in the driver's seat when it comes to investing in a house. Many are doing so and lenders seem willing to help make it happen. As long as the home price is right and the monthly loan payment suits the income and long-range planning, then single women can do well owning their own home. Married women also are more often buying houses separate from their husbands, said the Realtors. Maybe the husband is out of work or under-employed or has bad credit, said one Realtor.

Here's the advice Realtors gave home buyers:
- Buy a house that you want to live in. Don't go out looking for "deals."
- Consider new construction because it may be less expensive to get what you want because construction costs have come down. Owners of preowned homes may have less flexibility on price because of depreciating home values.
- Most buyers have given up on short sales through lender because the deals take too long and can fall apart at the last minute after months of delays.
- Know your financials. Get loan pre-approval.
- Interest rates on 30-year mortgage loans remain at 5 percent or less. That's still well below historic averages and means loaned money costs less. Rates should stay low through the rest of the year.
- It will be hard to find houses priced in the moderate $200,000 to $250,000 price range. If they are in good condition, they are selling quickly. Realtors are beginning to see again multiple offers in this price range.
Advice for sellers:
- If you are disappointed because you have to give up equity to sell your house, keep in mind that you will likely get a bargain on the other side of it when you buy something else. The entire market has been reset at a lower price point.
- Be competitive with your price. You can sell low but also buy low.
- Think about where you're headed, how long you plan to live in your next house. What you want in a next house.
- Make sure you're selling for the right reasons.
- Look into the tax consequences of a sale. The rules may be changing.

1 comment:

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