By Chris McElroy

Over 1.7 million single women were homebuyers in 2004. Recent studies show that one in every 5 new homeowners is a single women making it the fastest growing homeowner group. That’s more than twice as many as single men home buyers.

There are several reasons for this boom of women homeowners. With equal pay for equal work the income for women has greatly increased making it more feasible for single women to buy a home on their own.

Another thing that has made it easier for single women to become homeowners are the many programs that assist them with financing. Yes, there was a time when a single women couldn’t qualify for a store credit card much less hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy a home.

Add to that the fact that child support can now be included as income when applying for mortgages it’s no surprise that there has been an increase in the number of single women becoming homeowners.

There is also more motivation for single women to become homeowners. Just like single men and married couples there is the investment factor.

With the rising cost of real estate property anyone can tell you it’s difficult to lose when becoming a homeowner. Two other reasons for single women buying homes is women are marrying later in life and they are no longer totally dependent on men to support them.

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Most single women will tell you she’s not living to find a man to support her, she’s living her life to it’s fullest and if a man comes into her life they will be equals in the partnership, homes and otherwise.

A third reason for the rise in single women homeowners is women are no longer afraid of home repairs. With the popularity of do-it-yourself books, videos, and television programs women (both single and married) are learning they can do repairs and remodeling projects around the home that they wouldn’t have considered undertaking 20 years ago.

It’s not unusual to see women at such places as Lowes and Home Depot and other home improvement stores have found that nearly half of their customers are women.

With opportunity, commitment, and ability it is no surprise there is such an increase in women homebuyers and homeowners. Builders, bankers, and real estate companies are all taking advantage of this growing market and tailoring a good share of their business to women.

Single women homebuyers are looking for many of the same things couples look for when looking for a home, the neighborhood, price, and proximity to work, school, family, and friends. But a single woman is more inclined to look for security, energy efficiency and storage available. Builders are taking all three of these things into consideration during the construction of homes.

The following are a few things single women (or any homebuyer) should pay close attention to before becoming a homeowner.

* Before you start looking at homes get pre-qualified for a mortgage. Doing this does two things, it gives you an exact price range you can buy and home and can be a great benefit when it comes to making offers.

* Have in reserves of at least three months mortgage payment and upkeep for the home. You never know when your single income may become no income, be prepared.

* Remember as you look forward to becoming a homeowner is keep your emotions out of the equation. That huge weeping willow tree in the backyard youve always wanted will drop a million leaves in the fall are you prepared to clean them up or pay someone else to do it.

* Get inspections and ask questions. A home can be very beautiful nestled in a field of snow but come spring thaw where will the resulting water go it may end up in your basement.

* Dont make major changes in your income until after closing. Things like buying a new car or changing jobs can have a huge effect on financing a home loan.

* Work with a real estate agent you trust and take full advantage of their service. You are the homebuyer, they are getting paid to work for you let them do legwork and keep you on top of what is required of you. Make sure they schedule a final walkthrough just before closing (the day of closing is best).

About the Author: Chris McElroy manages real estate blogs at

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