Data shows a rising trend in the home buying world: single, female home buyers. The percentage of single women homebuyers has risen from 15 to 18 percent in the last three years and is up from 11 percent in 1981. Meanwhile, only 7 percent were single men.
Colleen McCormick is one of the women contributing to these numbers. McCormick has moved around quite a bit in her career in the medical field: Michigan, Tennessee, Texas, Seattle.
When she accepted a job as clinic manager of nursing resources with the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, McCormick knew her criteria for an ideal living arrangement: she wanted to live outside of the city but close enough to make her commute tolerable. She also wanted to find a place with enough room for her sister to live comfortably with her, and a good school system for her 5-year-old son. And she wanted to buy.
“I’ve rented before,” said McCormick. “It’s fine, but you don’t have anything to show for it.”
McCormick wanted a place to call her own. “It’s about the ownership, the ability to decorate or paint and not have to worry about anyone else,” said McCormick.
McCormick settled upon a 2,200-square-foot ranch-style home in Creekside at Twin Creeks in St. Augustine.
Single female buyers have become a considerable force in the real estate market, increasingly opting to go the route of homeownership, like McCormick. According to the latest annual report by the National Association of Realtors, in 2018 single female buyers accounted for 18 percent of all buyers, coming in behind married couples (63 percent).
Homeownership can provide single women with stability, according to Matt Figlesthaler, director of sales and marketing for Lennar Homes.
“Rent doesn’t give you a clear picture of where you’re going to be a year or three years from now, it gives you equity and you know where your kids are going to go to school because there won’t be a landlord telling you he’s selling the property,” Figlesthaler said.
Kristina Dods is another single female jumping on the trend of homeownership. Being a closing manager at Lennar, Dods has been in the real estate industry since 2005. She knows the best time to buy.
“I’ve lived in apartments my whole life,” said Dods. “I didn’t want to share walls anymore. Buying a home has always been a goal of mine.”
Dods made it a personal goal to have her own home by the time she was 40 —and she did, closing two days before that milestone birthday. Dods lives happily and comfortably in her new home located in St. Augustine’s Windward Ranch, complete with a spacious backyard for her dog.
“My biggest tip to any single female home buyer is to have patience,” said Dods. “Have patience and flexibility with finding that one in a million gem. Most of us have champagne taste with a beer budget…so be realistic. Don’t rush.”
Aside from the investment value and a sense of empowerment, women also say they like the practical aspect of owning their own property, such as decorating, expanding or landscaping their home to their own liking.
“Because, at the end of the day,” McCormick said, “it’s mine.”
Feature story written for Jacksonville Magazine.