Singles In The Suburbs
With low home prices, interest rates and government tax incentives for first-time home buyers, Coldwell Banker Real Estate brokers and agents are seeing an influx of singles walking through the door.
For greater insight into this demographic, Coldwell BankerReal Estate conducted a national online survey of more than 1,000 single homeowners in April 2010 on what factors played into their decision to purchase a home. While conventional wisdom may be that most singles are buying bachelor or bachelorette pads downtown, surprisingly, Coldwell Banker found that the majority of single homeowners (52 percent) it surveyed chose suburbia over urban or rural areas.
“We are finding the current housing environment to be the ideal marketplace for many people who may have never considered buying a home before, such as singles and other first-time buyers,” said Diann Patton, the Coldwell Banker Real Estate consumer specialist. “They can afford much more house for their money than they may have been able to in previous years. Many are recognizing that a mortgage payment on a house can actually be the same or less than what they would spend on rent.”
According to the Coldwell Banker Real Estate survey, over half (53 percent) of single homeowners reported that they purchased a home because it was more cost effective than renting in their area. However, more than just financial analysis contributed to their decision. The desire for independence played a role for more than one-third of single homeowners (35 percent) according to the same survey.
“Owning a home is such a monumental way to achieve independence,” said Patton. “It’s inspiring to see so many individuals accomplish this life goal.”
Below are additional key findings from the April 2010 Coldwell Banker Real Estate single homeowner survey:
Finding good deals is important, but so are modern amenities and outside space.
- 68 percent of single homeowners purchased a home that was below their price range, rather than the most expensive home they could afford.
- Meanwhile, modernized home updates and appliances and having a yard and outside space were rated as the most desirable features in a home over lesser considerations like space for entertaining.
Some may have flown the coop, but others get help from their parents.
- Of the 13 percent of single homeowners who own their home jointly with another person, almost half (49 percent) made the purchase with their parents.
Singles hunt for homes that are close to work and their family.
- Fifty-five percent have less than a 30-minute commute to their office or work from home, and 40 percent live less than 30 minutes or even in the same neighborhood as their parents or extended family. In fact, an additional 12 percent live with at least one family member.
Single women may be more likely to think of growing their family than single men.
- More single women (27 percent) said that the number of bedrooms was the most desirable feature in a home, than did men (18 percent).
Single and ready to … bargain hunt.
- Singles don’t shy away from foreclosures – especially single men. Thirty-eight percent would currently consider purchasing a foreclosed / short sale home, compared to 29 percent of single women.
About Coldwell Banker®
Since 1906, the Coldwell Banker® organization has been a premier provider of full-service residential and commercial real estate. Coldwell Banker is the oldest national real estate brand in the United States and today has a network of nearly 97,000 agents working in more than 3,300 offices in 49 countries and territories.
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