Anna Mascall pictured in front of the house in Easton, Pa., She recently purchased. “To be able to say I own a home, I did like the American dream,” she said.
Courtesy: Anna Lee Mascall
After several years of renting, Anna Mascall, 30, decided she wanted to buy her own home.
Then the Covid-19 pandemic hit, and city dwellers began flocking to the rural Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania, where she lives.
With low inventory and high prices, Mascall thought her homeowner dreams would be out of reach – but that changed when the owner of the house she rented decided to sell and gave Mascall first dibs.
She struck out and her dream of owning a house came true. Mascall closed his new house this week.
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“It has always been a huge dream for me to own my own home and to be able to say I have made it,” she said.
Mascall, who is single, admitted that she had some hesitation in approaching this big life milestone without a partner. “But there came a point where it’s the way my life is now, and why wait for it?” she said. “I’m more than capable of owning a home.”
Society tends to dictate a particular chronology of life events – first comes marriage, then comes home buying.
But single women like Mascall are redefining these rules, according to a recent study by Bank of America.
Nearly two-thirds of single female potential homeowners said they would rather not wait until marriage to buy a home, according to the survey. In addition, 30% of current female homeowners bought their homes while single.
“With the delay in getting married and starting families, I think it’s logical that 65% of single potential homeowners would choose to be homeowners without having to get married first,” said Kathy Cummings, senior vice president of homeownership solutions and strategic relationships at Bank. of America, of the survey result.
It is quite certain that buying a new home can be a challenge in the current market due to limited supply, high prices and rising mortgage rates. The average existing house price in the United States was $ 358,000 in December, an increase of 15.8% from $ 309,200 in December 2020, according to the National Association of Realtors.
But a purchase like Mascalls is increasingly proving to be a source of pride for women. The BofA survey showed that 80% of women are excited about the idea of buying a home on their own, while 92% said it would be a great achievement.
What’s more, 60% of potential female home buyers said they would feel they have done it when buying their own home, versus 52% of single men. Nearly half of the current single female homeowners – 46% – said they were proud to tell other people about their homeowner status compared to just 35% of their single men.
Single women are also learning the important lesson that owning a home can be a way to help increase your wealth.
In some ways, it can also come with fewer strings than renting. A few days after buying her home, Mascall has already made arrangements to get offers on some renovations she would like to do that she could not do before as a tenant.
While some women may feel that it is not themselves buying a home, it is just a myth, Cummings added. “I do not think women need to be limited anymore by the old thinking that one should be married,” she said.
Overcome common misconceptions and obstacles
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Other common misconceptions – that you should have a 20% payout, perfect credit and no student loan debt – can also hold some women back.
Bank of America and other financial institutions offer financial products that enable potential home buyers to obtain financing by as little as 3% down, Cummings said. Grants may also be available depending on your income and other circumstances.
Having a solid credit rating will help you get a better deal. However, there are opportunities for borrowers with lower scores, even though they tend to come with higher costs.
The key is to do your research and find out what’s out there, Cummings said.
The journey from deciding to buy a home to actually completing that transaction varies from person to person, she said. It can take two months or two years.
By meeting with a finance professional and assessing your options, you can figure out what priorities you need to make to get ready, such as debt repayment.
“Educate yourself,” Cummings said. “Learn what’s possible and do not reject it just because you are a single woman. Home ownership can be a very critical tool in building your financial future.”