Despite his clean balance sheet and careful money management, several credit card companies turned him down. Yet he recently qualified for a 30-year mortgage at 3.99 percent through the
"I believe I have the world record for not establishing any credit and still being able to get a home loan," said
Married couples with children continue to be the leading demographic for the single-family, home-buying market here and across the nation. But some singles -- especially young singles -- recognize that a mortgage payment on a house can often be the same or less than what they would spend on rent.
The barriers to homeownership that many in their 20s and 30s face -- higher unemployment, lower wages and student debt -- have made it less likely for people in that age group to be owners than in previous generations. Tighter lending standards also have been a factor in a slight decline in single men and single women homebuyers, according to the
For as long as the Realtors group has been tracking data on married couples and single buyers -- since 1981 -- the percentage of single homebuyers has historically hovered around 20 percent to 25 percent. It fell nationally from 28 percent in 2011 to 25 percent in 2013, according to NAR.
"One of the things we have seen is that single men homebuyers are about half the share of single female homebuyers," said
Many singles enter the real estate market following major family changes, such as death and divorce.
"Lenders look more favorably toward dual incomes, and perhaps they have more buying power as well,"
Single homebuyers come to the market from all walks of life, and for different reasons that often extend beyond the financial ones. Some want an investment that will pay off down the road, while others are looking for a place to live that suits their lifestyle.
After renting for years,
"I didn't want to keep throwing money down the drain renting," said
"I was nervous that I'd get denied for a home loan being a single parent with money coming out of my salary for day care and child expenses. I could not be more proud of myself being a single parent and a homeowner. Being able to do that is extremely gratifying."
For younger buyers like
He said although he had no debt and thousands of dollars in a savings account, Discover and
Though he had accumulated
"That had a lot to do with me applying for my mortgage at
"In the long run, owning is so much better than renting," he said. "I can build equity and do projects that transform the place before my eyes. When I see something I've done, it's kind of rewarding."
Howard "Hoddy" Hanna III, chairman and CEO of O'Hara-based
"A lot of those singles buying houses are not first-time buyers,"
"Years ago, when people got divorced, they rented apartments and didn't go right back into buying. Now when two people get divorced, after they sell a house for
"Single buyers want to live, work and play in areas that are close together,"
"You are less likely to find single buyers in the suburbs. Suburbs still attract couples and families."
"It's a little more nerve-racking without having someone else to rely on," she said of the home-buying experience. "It was a little scary to go it alone. But I managed to survive it."
"A lot of my friends are married or engaged,"
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