A home of one’s own: part 3
April 3, 2017
With the 2017 homebuying season already warming up, we thought it was a great time to highlight how independent women homebuyers are asserting themselves in the market. While 66 percent of US homebuyers are married couples, last year, 17 percent were single women, while only 7 percent were single men — even though men on average still make more money.
Here at Framework, we don’t have to look any farther than our own staff to see independent female homebuyers in action. In part three of this series of posts, meet Tosin.
Tosin, director of strategic partnerships, homeowner since 2007
A one-bedroom condo in Silver Spring, MD, “the perfect size for just me.”
The decision: “It was just the in thing to do”
“I bought in 2007, right before the market crashed. I’d heard so much talk about not ‘throwing away money into rent,’ and I figured buying was the smart thing to do. No one questioned my decision to buy at such a young age — I was 23. It seemed everyone was into real estate back then. It was just the in thing to do.
“Part of my decision as a single woman rested on my need to feel independent rather quickly. Unlike some of my male friends, I simply didn’t see the appeal in having roommates or continuing the college lifestyle once I entered the ‘real world.’ Buying while single also meant I could have my way and buy a home that was the perfect size for just me, one bedroom and a den, with features and amenities that were important to me.
“I can’t say I was crazy in love with my condo. I just felt that it was within my budget — the most important factor — and met my needs at the time, with just enough space and low maintenance. I felt it was a good starter home until I could upgrade to what I really wanted.
“Ten years later, I sometimes feel like it was a smart choice, and other times, not so much. I decided to move to Atlanta and couldn’t sell at the time, so I’m currently a landlord. I’m crossing my fingers that the market continues to pick up in the neighborhood. I’m actually still a bit underwater from the crash!
“I mostly feel like it was a smart choice. I still get great tax benefits, and I believe real estate is always a great long-term investment. However, knowing what I know now, I would have probably waited until I was bit older to buy. Being older, even by a few years, would have given me the time I needed to consider a lot of things I considered only after buying. Like how long I would stay at my job, how long in Silver Spring, and whether I could sell in a few years if I had to.”
“I had a great deal of confidence that I would be able to manage the responsibilities of homeownership. Honestly, like I said, everyone was doing it at the time. Talk about widespread peer pressure! But it also didn’t hurt that I’d recently gotten my degree in urban planning, with a focus on housing, so I felt pretty prepared.”