By Joslyn G. Ewart
In the past, real estate investment has been a male dominated arena. However, as more and more women gain financial independence, they are moving into the real estate market at rapid speed. Below are a few reasons why women make good real estate investors.
1. Women tend to be more comfortable with longer-term investing than men, and the purchase of a home is a long-term investment, so women's increasing interest in owning this type of asset makes sense. Surprisingly, lenders still get away with charging women borrowers a higher interest rate, despite their superior mortgage re-payment record. (Gender bias lives on in many forms.)
2. Single women want to purchase a home because it is an asset they understand. It is tangible and they can enjoy the value of this (potentially appreciating) asset immediately as they live day to day. Also, it is an asset that represents security and taking care of their family–important feminine values.
3. Because a woman's home is a metaphor for security, her mortgage is likely the first bill she will pay monthly. If economics get tight, other payments might go by the wayside, but not that all important symbol for security and taking care of her family.
Single women need to:
-Carefully establish a realistic spending plan (budget) prior to purchasing a home so they can determine how much they can afford to spend, as well as how much they need for a down-payment to reduce the financial risk of owning the home.
-Consider for how long they intend to live in the home, ensuring that purchasing makes better financial sense than renting.
-Be sure they have a high credit score to ensure eligibility for the best mortgage interest rates.
-Shop around for a mortgage lender who does not charge women more than men to borrow money for a home purchase.
Perhaps the most important tip is that, no matter how perfect a home might seem, there is always another equally perfect home out there. Never, ever, overspend on the purchase of a home. This mistake is expensive and some folks never recover financially from making it. Appreciation of the value of your home is never guaranteed–even when it is in a great location.
Joslyn G. Ewart is the Founding Principal of Entrust Financial LLC and author of the new book, Balancing Act: Wealth Management Straight Talk for Women.