“My main motivation is because you don’t have anyone above you, you have more of a sense of peace,” she added.
Meschyan is one of a growing number of single women buying homes. In the past year, single women made up 17 percent of all homebuyers, purchasing at twice the rate of single men, according to a new annual report from the National Association of Realtors. This, despite the fact that women have much lower average incomes than men. Like men, three-quarters of the properties the women buy are single-family, detached homes.
“Single women for years have indicated a strong desire to own a home of their own, as well as an inclination to live closer to friends and family,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the NAR. “With job growth holding steady and credit conditions becoming somewhat less stringent than in past years, the willingness and opportunity to buy is becoming more feasible for many single women.”
Barbara Jennai, 68, already lived close to her daughters — a little too close after a while. She was living with them, helping to raise her grandchildren. With the kids older now, Jennai felt it was time for her to move out on her own. She rented for a while at Leisure World of Maryland, an active adult community, but a few months ago she decided to buy.
“When I rented I wasn’t really putting away any money. A lady in my building said there is such a thing as a reverse mortgage. She connected me with a lender and it turned out that I was a perfect candidate,” said Jennai.
Jennai still works full time as a special education teacher, but she was putting far too much of her salary into rent. She had enough savings to make the down payment on the mortgage, and now her monthly payments are less than one-third of her former rent. She also likes the idea of being an owner.
“It’s the first time in my life I’ve ever owned. I walk in every day and say, ‘Hello beautiful home,’ because it’s mine. It’s really a wonderful feeling and a feeling I’ve never had before,” said Jennai.