The Wall Street Journal recently had an article about how the percentage of single women over 55 buying homes has doubled over what it was 20 years ago. They also buy homes at double the rate of men in that age group.
One reason for this: there are more older single women than men. After a divorce, men tend to get remarried because they can’t stand to be alone whereas divorced women often relish their newfound freedom and opt to stay single. Men also don’t live as long as women. I attribute that to all the red meat they eat while they’re making fun of our salads.
But there’s something more than numbers behind the home-buying rates. Many women who are in this phase of their life want to own a home of their own. If they have offspring, they’re grown and out of the nest, hopefully. The home buyers are presumably at peak earning potential in their careers and have money to spend. And best of all, they can choose an abode that reflects their tastes, rather than the needs of a family and the preferences of a spouse.
Naturally – it is the Wall Street Journal – the three women home buyers profiled in the piece are wealthy (by my standards, anyway). The writer notes that one decided to downsize to a house that was easier to care for – from a 5,000 square foot house to a 3,200 square foot one. Another bought a 7,000-square-foot house with six bedrooms and seven bathrooms. Granted, she wants to have room for her kids, mother and eventual grandkids to stay when they visit. (Her kitchen is pictured at left.)
Still, it would have been nice for the WSJ to show us an example of a single woman home buyer in somewhat more modest financial circumstances.
We’re out here, you know.