Most Americans would rather pay a mortgage than pay rent—that’s one of the findings in the latest Homebuyer Insights Report from Bank of America. Owning a home makes people happy; in fact, 93% of people say they’re happier because they purchased a home, while most (83%) of the homeowners attribute their joy to an improved lifestyle and the variety of hobbies that come with owning a home.
And that’s where the opportunity for small businesses comes in—75% of homeowners started pursuing new hobbies, including:
- Interior design/remodeling—33%
Buying a home is like having a baby—it starts a constant cycle of buying “stuff.” So, whether you sell home décor, kitchen or gardening supplies, or homes themselves, or are in the home services business (plumbers, roofers, contractors, etc.), you need to know who today’s homeowners are and what they want.
According to House Beautiful, one of the fastest-growing groups of homeowners today are single women. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) says single women comprised 17% of home buyers last year, while single men bought 9% of homes—and that’s despite the fact women, on average, earn less money than men do.
Bank of America’s 2018 Homebuyer Insight Report showing that 73% of women value home ownership more than getting married (41%) and having children (31%) was one of the inspirations for House Beautiful and Marie Claire magazines to study the trend.
Who needs Prince Charming?
When trying to define the market, age matters—but not as much as you might think. While NAR stats show the median age of single women home buyers is 54, the House Beautiful survey showed 34% of the women purchased their first home when they were between the ages 18 to 29 and 40% were between 30 to 39.
Part of the reality of U.S. demographic behavior today is millennials are getting married later in life. And they’re not waiting for Prince Charming to come along before they make major life decisions concerning love, marriage, and children.
Being a single mother also factors into the home buying decision. Jessica Lautz, Vice President of Demographics and Behavioral Insights for the National Association of Realtors, told House Beautiful that “the act of caregiving [is] a significant factor for single women buying homes, whether they’re caring for children or aging parents.”
According to the NAR, the average price of a woman’s first home is $166,370 (compared to men who pay an average $180,570).
The women House Beautiful talked to purchased their homes for varied reasons, including:
- “I’m making enough to afford a mortgage on my own”—31%
- The market was favorable—29%
- “Real estate is always a good investment”—26%
- Buying after a breakup or divorce—15%
The women aren’t tackling home ownership worry free. According to House Beautiful, they’re concerned about being able to afford the mortgage alone (30%) and taking on the responsibilities of repairs/renovations alone (24%).
One of the women the magazine talked to advised other women home buyers, “You have to do your research, have your finances together” and be aware of hidden costs. These needs show there are also ample opportunities for accountants, realtors, and financial advisors to target and serve this market.
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