These days, more and more women enter the housing market and are out to buy their first homes. They feel empowered knowing they are capable of making big decisions like buying a house on their own. More people these days recognise the buying power of single ladies. Still, many women are having a hard time enjoying homeownership and are even struggling to buy a house in the first place. That is despite the effort of both the government and non-profit organisations in providing affordable mortgage and abolishing female discrimination when it comes to lending and home buying.
Many femal0e home buyers and homeowners these days are lucky enough not to experience being ridiculed for merely thinking about buying a house on their own. But still, the ladies face numerous challenges that cut their home-buying short. Some of these are as follows.
The Female-Male Risk Gap
Most of the time, women have lower risk tolerance. They tend to be more conservative with their investments and want to be aware of all the possible risks and advantages before making an investment decision. That enables the ladies to make informed and sensible investment decisions.
But even if women can enjoy better investment returns compared to their male counterparts, many eludes home-buying. If they apply for a mortgage to finally buy a house, some feel like they still can’t handle homeownership on their own. They may be sick and tired of renting, but the responsibilities that come with homeownership can be draining.
Women know that homeownership costs and responsibilities are no joke and that the hidden fees need to be considered. Many don’t know anything about DIY-ing home improvements, where to buy pressure independent control valves for their HVAC, or even how much Home Owners Association fees can cost them. If one is focused on building their career, they may not be ready yet to take the risk that comes with homeownership.
The Gender Pay Gap
No matter the industry, men still tend to get paid higher than women. Many organisations still consider men as high-value assets of the company. Even in female-dominated workplaces, men get paid higher than their women counterparts.
Usually, it is only when the ladies were in non-managerial roles were they able to surpass the wage of their male colleagues. Thanks to this pay gap, women have less money to save for a down payment. Remember that the lower the amount you put down for a mortgage and the higher your debt-income ratio, the higher your monthly payment and interest fees will be.
Add the fact that some single women are also single parents. That means they are also caring for and providing for their kids. When one handles most of the childcare, this can impact their career and affect their earning potential.
The Home Value Gap
Did you know that a home value gap also exists? This gender-biased gap makes single women pay more for their homes compared to single males. According to reports, a single male’s home appreciates faster compared to that of a woman.
One reason for the home value gap is that women usually take lower mortgage amounts than men. Men are buying riskier properties in exchange for a higher return on investment. Women, on the other hand, are buying more affordable houses but are paying more because mortgage lenders are demanding higher mortgage payments.
Most men get paid more than women. They use this to their advantage in secure home purchases at locations likely to appreciate after a couple of years. It is also because of the gap in wages that women are more likely to buy affordable homes in poor neighbourhoods where value appreciates slower.
The Negotiation Gap
Many real estate professionals believe most women secure worse property prices. Men are not afraid to haggle and negotiate big discounts when buying real estate. Women, on the other hand, are scared to offend sellers with low-ball offers.
Another reason behind men leading the negotiation game is since they thrive in an overtly competitive situation. Males are also likely to be more accepting of the result, be it in their favour or not.
The Gender Mortgage Discrimination
Another barrier why single ladies are having difficulties obtaining a mortgage is because there is still discrimination against single female mortgage borrowers. You may have a good-paying job, can afford a mortgage, and have a good history when it comes to paying debts. But since women still have lower wages combined with a higher Debt-to-Income ratio, many lenders are scared to take the risk.
The persistent gaps and discrimination against women should stop if we genuinely want them to feel confident when buying houses. Single ladies can advance in their careers and get paid as much as their male colleagues. Mortgage lenders should stop treating women as a threat when, in reality, they tend to be better at paying down mortgages. Women, on the other hand, should not be afraid to find loans that suit their needs and situation. Don’t be scared to negotiate and work with a reliable real estate agent if you want a professional to negotiate on your behalf.