With the ability she's shown
And the determination she's known,
The single black female
Is no longer waiting to exhale
Their even buying their own home.
Since 2003, single women were nearly twice as likely to buy homes as single men. Single women now make up the second-largest group of home buyers, according to a nationwide survey by the National Association of Realtors. This trend continues as we approach the year 2011.
From 1997 to 2002, single black women in many urban centers across America obtained more mortgage loans than single black men or even black couples. That's right!
Because of increased earning power, better financial management and determination single women continue to widen the gap. Single African American women also continue to outpace single African American men in home purchasing and ownership.
Evidence of This Growing Trend
Evidence of this trend comes from home improvement retailers such as Home Depot and others who target female homeowners with "Do-It-Herself" workshops. Over 200,000 women have taken the classes, ranging from decorating to how to use power tools and more.
Notice how more and more home improvement commercials from OSH, Loews and Home Depot include women as the main character. This is no accident.
According to a 2004 State of the Nation Housing report, home ownership is on the rise and single African American women play a large role. The report further states from 1994 to 2002, unmarried women accounted for 30 percent of homeowner growth.
The number of unmarried women owning homes climbed from 14 million to 17.5 million. This trend continues as more women see the importance of home ownership and feel no need to wait until they find a man to make the plunge into homeownership.
As a service to the many African American women who subscribe to the Black Homeowner Newsletter, I receive many questions from African American women. I took the time to pick out the top 5 most frequently asked questions from my women homeowner subscribers.
It is my hope these questions will help other women (and men) to be better homeowners. We've edited the questions for brevity and clarity.
Questions and Answers:
1. What's the best way to find a dependable contractor?
Solution: The best way to find a dependable contractor is through the recommendations of trusted friends or family. The next best way is through research. Get at least 3 estimates from contractors and check references. Successful contractors always leave clues. If the contractor you hire doesn't have a paper trail of successful and happy customers beware. To check if the contractor you hire has a license in good standing Click Here!
2. The contractor I hired didn't do a good job, what should I do?
This is often the result of ignoring or neglecting the previous suggestions (See #1). But still many homeowners experience this problem.
3. As a single woman how can I avoid Contractors taking advantage of me?
Solution: As more single women buy and own homes (almost twice as much as single men now), this question comes up more and more in my emails.
The best way to make sure Contractors don't see your womanhood as a weakness and try to take advantage of you is to be an informed consumer. In this case knowledge is power.
You have to do your homework, research and do your comparison-shopping. Know what you want, know the going price for what you want and know the terminology.
You can allow contractors to educate you on some technical aspect of the job, but they shouldn't have to educate you on everything. When they sense you haven't done your homework, the dishonest or unethical ones will take advantage of you. So your best defense is knowledge.
4. I am falling behind on my house payment, what should I do?
The first step to take is to contact your lender. Contrary to a popular belief of many African American homeowners, your Bank or lender doesn't want your home. Especially the way the home loan climate is now.
Because the more foreclosed homes a lender takes back the worse it looks on their books, to their stockholders and to the Federal Deposit Insurance Commission. What your lender wants is the interest and principle paid back. Taking your house back is the last thing they want to do, but they'll do it if they have to, but only as a last resort.
So your goal should be to show them reasons to still have faith in you. The first way is to contact them immediately if you think you'll have a problem making a payment. Don't let them contact you first. Tell them your problem and let them offer possible solutions first. For more detailed information Click Here!
5. How can I update my home without spending a lot of money?
If you have a lot of ambitions for your home but don't have a lot of money; the best way to approach this is by doing strategic improvements.
Improving key areas of your home where you'll get the most bang for the buck. These key areas are your kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. To read effective tips to sprucing up the look of your home go to Home Improvements for Under $99.
I hope these questions and answers serve to clarify and provide solutions you may face now or in the future. I will continue to share questions I receive from readers in the hope this will help you even if you didn't have the time or inclination to write and ask the questions.
From the feedback I've been getting, the questions are relevant to not only many single African American women homeowners but to homeowners in general. I invite you to continue sending your questions and feedback to: firstname.lastname@example.org