Buying a Love Nest

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I thought it would be interesting to review data on homebuying trends for singles and married couples. According to the Wall Street Journal, single men and women bought homes at approximately the same rate in the 1980’s. Today, that has changed: approximately 20% of homebuyers are single women, while 10% are single men (stats from Todd Manning at Regions Mortgage). These higher percentages may relate to the fact that people are getting married later in life…I bought my own home as a single woman because I figured, why wait?  I’d venture to say that thinking is prevalent among young, single professionals who have the credit and income to buy a home, but are just “missing” the spouse…the husband or wife is nice to have (of course!), but not a requirement, and home ownership has so many benefits that many are deciding to go ahead and go it alone.

Another interesting trend in homebuying is that more couples who are not married are buying homes together (see the article here). While this can complicate the loan and title processes, couples say that it brings them closer together.  Picture1This may seem like an unconventional thing to do, but it’s becoming more common, and I see one big advantage – it’s a great way to ensure that you and your significant other are on the same page in terms of finances.  A lender is going to go over credit history, debt-to-income ratios, etc. in depth, so it’s a great way to determine whether you are both a good financial match prior to being connected financially (and otherwise) for life.

So, what about LOVE and MARRIAGE? Do they still go together like a horse and carriage?  Well, the short answer is yes.  One interesting fact is that cities with a high percentage of married people typically have higher homeownership rates. For example, in cities where more than 30% of the population is married, on average, 50% of homes are owned (stats from Todd Manning at Regions Mortgage).  Also,married homeowners are also less likely to have homes with negative equity than their single counterparts (see the article here).  I think the long-term commitment that couples enter into for marriage is mirrored in the commitment to a 15- or 30-year financial commitment, and that for most couples, the childhood dream of getting married and having a family goes hand-in-hand with having a dream home…even though the trend of white-picket fences has long-since passed!

I may not be able to help you with your love life or finding that Valentine, but I sure can help you in your home search, whether you’re single, almost-married, or married forever!  Get in touch and let me know what I can do for you.

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