Celebrating Women and Homeownership: How Homeownership Can Provide Financial Security, A Sense Of Empowerment and Increased Community Involvement
3.3.2023 | Category: Article
Owning a home is a universal symbol of financial independence. Not only does owning a home provide stability and security, but it also offers numerous benefits that help to empower women and improve their quality of life.
However, it wasn't until the passing of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act in 1974 that women in the United States were granted equal access to credit and the ability to secure loans to buy homes. The act prohibited lenders from denying loans to women based on their gender or marital status. This opened up new opportunities for women to own homes and gain financial independence.
Today women, especially single women, are a force in homebuying, overcoming some of the most notable homebuying challenges including property affordability, adequate savings, and good credit.
In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, single women made up 19% of all homebuyers in 2021, a growing share of the population. In contrast, single men make up just 9% of buyers, while couples, both married and unmarried, make up nearly 70% of deals.
During Women's History Month, it's important to acknowledge the significance of homeownership for women and how it can positively impact their lives and communities.
Homeownership helps build financial security
Homeownership can provide a sense of financial security and stability for anyone, but for women, it can be especially formative. Rather than being bound to the fluctuation of rent, a stable mortgage payment can provide predictability in their budget, while building equity and wealth over time. This can help budget for other important costs like emergency savings, retirement, and living expenses.
In addition, homeownership can improve your credit and lendability. On-time payments are included as positive activity on your credit report, giving you a boost in your score. Over time, the equity in your home can be borrowed against using a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) or second mortgage, ideal for large expenses like home improvements or high-interest debt consolidation.
Homeownership fosters a feeling of empowerment
Homeownership allows women to have a sense of control over their living situation and the ability to make decisions about their homes and community. This sense of control can lead to a feeling of empowerment and increased self-esteem and confidence.
Owning a home also comes with responsibilities, including maintenance, improvements, and financial discipline. This inspires women to often play a more significant role in home renovation and design projects than their male counterparts.
It also leads to women more often overseeing the financial aspects of managing a home, from routine maintenance like landscaping and housekeeping to more major improvement projects like kitchen and bathroom upgrades.
Homeownership inspires a desire for community involvement
Women who own homes are often more involved in their communities and have a greater stake in their neighborhood's well-being. They are more likely to get involved in local organizations and initiatives and to work with their neighbors to improve the area.
For example, women are far more likely than men to volunteer for their local school boards, and community nonprofits. This sense of belonging can provide a strong support system, which can be especially important for women who are raising children on their own.
In addition, women are more likely to seek local professional help when buying a home, such as working with a real estate agent, financial advisor, general contractor, or estate planner. This can lead to more informed and confident homebuying decisions for women while boosting the local economy.
Homeownership provides a financial legacy for their loved ones
Homeownership can also serve as a legacy for women, providing a tangible representation of their accomplishments and real investment power for their future.
This can lead to a healthier investment portfolio when it’s time to retire. Investment properties can be passed down to loved ones and equity can be used in retirement as a reverse mortgage loan, a home equity tool used to allow homeowners aged 62 or older to tap the wealth in their home.
Homeownership has played a significant role in the history and empowerment of women. It provides financial security, a sense of empowerment, increased community involvement, and a legacy to pass down to future generations.
Women who own their own homes are better equipped to handle the challenges of daily life, and are more likely to experience a sense of security, pride, and accomplishment. Whether you're a young woman just starting out, or an experienced professional looking to secure your future, home ownership is a goal that is well worth striving for.
As we celebrate Women's History Month, it's important to acknowledge the significance of homeownership for women and how it has impacted their lives and communities.