All the Single Ladies Are Settling Down… With Houses

Women have emerged as a major force in the home-buying market.

Women have emerged as a major force in the real estate market. (flickr, MoHatta18)

It used to be that first came love, then came marriage, then came a three-bedroom house and a baby carriage. But women these days! They’re skipping the whole love, marriage, baby carriage business and just going straight to home ownership.

In news that is somewhat noteworthy but not at all surprising, WYNC reports that single women have emerged as homebuyers, second only to married couples. Although they still earn less than men, their share of the home-buying market is twice that of single men. Working women may not be so interested in keeping house anymore, but they’re very much interested in keeping houses.

And why not? Buying real estate makes sense for anyone who can swing a mortgage on just one income or is lucky enough to have family money to spend. The average age at which both men and women are getting married is later and later and the whole point of having a 30-year mortgage is that you’ll be able to pay it off before retirement. Then, if need be, you can tap the equity in the place and move into something a little more manageable for the golden years.

Many single Americans are buying expensive furniture and investing in fine tableware and bed linen, whether they own a home or not. Why not feather your own nest, rather than a rental, if you have the inclination and the means? Even if it means that some idiots think you’re selfish?

Indeed, wedding registries for couples who have already crossed into their thirties can seem almost laughable these days. The registries that aren’t clearly a bid to upgrade to high-end housewares seem utterly perplexing. What 32-year-old doesn’t own spatulas, wooden spoons and dish towels?

And, as a 37-lawyer interviewed by WNYC put it, while she may not have envisioned buying her dream home—a 100-year-old rowhouse in Washington D.C.—alone, once she realized that she was waiting for a marriage to make the leap, staying in her 800-square-foot condo seemed incredibly sad.

“I guess like a year and a half ago, I realized I was sitting around waiting to get married and move out of my condo,” she told WNYC. “And then it started to get really depressing to be there for that reason. I was like, ‘This was an awesome place to live in when I’m 30, but if I’m still here when I’m 45, it’s done.'”

After all, what woman wants to wake up when she’s 50, alone in a rental, thinking that if she liked it then she should have put a down payment on it?