Women have dominated men in purchasing homes. Despite the wage gap, single women comprised 18 percent of homebuyers in 2019, while single men made up nine percent. That’s according to the National Association of Realtors®.
If you’re a woman thinking of becoming part of that statistic soon, don’t dive in without taking safety measures. Living alone means you have no one nearby to rely on in case of an emergency. Minimize risks by practicing caution before you close the deal on your dream house. Put these at the forefront of your mind when choosing a home and location:
Avoid the mistake of viewing property only for its aesthetics. Make a mental checklist of structural defects you need to watch out for. Sloping walls and doors can be a sign of a weak foundation. Multiple holes in wood are an indicator of termites.
Ask the realtor about the house’s status during other seasons, especially winter. The drop in temperatures in states like Utah can cause roofing problems, which you’ll want to prepare for.
A residential structural engineer can give you a sound assessment before you sign the dotted line. This spares you from costly repairs and renovation that you could’ve avoided.
Privacy is another aspect of safety you need to consider. If the land around the house is bare, put up a fence. A vinyl fence contractor in Utah can install a sturdy divider that will complement your house’s style. Mix it up with strategic landscaping, and you can worry less about prying eyes.
Don’t settle for a quick interview with your realtor. Do some research online. You’ll find websites dedicated to this purpose that give useful information on a neighborhood’s crime rate and lifestyle.
There’s no such thing as a perfect neighborhood, but you must stay alert for red flags. Random garbage on the street and heavy-duty locks in unusual places point to problems in the community. So do abandoned houses and a high unemployment rate. Graffiti may be art, but lots of it can be a sign of illegal activity by rebellious youth or even gangs.
You’ll want to live in a place that hosts community events, has neighborhood watch groups, and has booming local businesses. These activities show that the people around you are reliable and less likely to commit petty crimes like burglary.
A home history report will tell you important details about the house that show its true desirability. Its turnover rate is usually enough to prove whether it is an ideal place. A turnover of three to four years is high. The average homeownership length in the US is eight to nine years, so anything much less than that must be viewed with a critical eye.
Past damages like fires, pests, and floods should also be included in the report. There will be building permits and records from pest companies certifying that the previous owner had taken proper action. Every detail in such permits gives you a better picture of the condition of the house. These documents also serve as references in case you experience the same problems in the future.
Be a Clever Buyer
There’s a reason they call buying property an investment. Money isn’t the only thing you’ll be spending on the hunt for a good house. You’ll need to exert time and effort and use investigative skills to find the right match for you. That’s a lot of work, but nothing compares to the feeling of being one of the young, single women taking homeownership in stride.