The National Association of Realtors estimates that 18% of all new homes bought are by single women, representing the fastest growing segment in the real estate market. The Joint Center for Housing says the reason for this is; the desire to own a home, a need to change the home size, or to be closer to family, job or school.
Three out of four new home purchases are under $200,000, and single women are looking for two or more bedrooms. While location and quality of neighborhoods takes on a higher priority, single women are looking for proximity to stores, cultural activities and fitness centers. Amenities including security and gourmet kitchens are also sought after.
The biggest difficulty women encounter in home ownership is security and maintenance. Buying a home with a good security system is easy, but how does one find a good professional or contractor? We’ve broken our advice to women into two sections; do it yourself, and how to find a professional when you need one.
Do it Yourself
Put together a basic toolkit for yourself. Take care of all of the ongoing home maintenance issues possible. Use the professionals on larger projects. You can unclog drains and hang curtains yourself!
Tool List: finishing hammer, needle nose pliers, gas shut off key, utility knife, both flat and Phillips head screw drivers, putty knife, measuring tape, plunger and snake. You can find a decent tool kit with most of these essentials at many hardware stores.
Classes in carpentry, plumbing and electronics are available at both Community Colleges and Vocational Schools. DIY offers women’s tutorials. When you shop at a hardware stop, ask questions. You might even consider doing a search for tutorials on YouTube.
Hiring a Professional
Go online and search out reviews. Also ask for recommendations from family and neighbors. When you find the right person, make sure they’re licensed and insured. Getting multiple bids for your project can be smart. Also be sure to put everything in writing.
Make sure your contract includes a starting and ending date, material and labor costs, along with a detailed description of the project. If your project is large, make sure there is a clause stating all work will be done according to local building codes.
Here are a few suggestions for great neighborhoods for Real Estate in Big Bear;