Hello it is 2010 - why do half of unmarried women still rent vs. owning a home?

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams CA.BRE# 01395219

Just read an excellent report from Women Voices, Women Vote on the changing shift in American demographics, hello Singles are you listening.  Though this is probably no surprise to you, but the impact is dramatic and all areas not just politics.  Here is a quick review, but make sure to read the entire report from WVWV.

Key Points: 

  • Nearly half of adult citizens are unmarried (45.1%) Most of them have never been married. Over a quarter are separated or divorced.  One in seven is widowed.
  • Unmarried women are less likely to have a college degree than married America.
  • Nearly one in five unmarried women are single mothers. They are three times more likely than their unmarried male counterparts to have their own child under 18 living with them.
  • Unemployment affects Americans across the marital board, but it disproportionately affects unmarried Americans, especially unmarried men. Even before the recession, unmarried Americans made up more than two-thirds of all those unemployed.  63% of unemployed americans are single!
  • Unmarried women are five times as likely to live in poverty compared to married men
  • Poverty rates among unmarried women are drastically higher than married women, even across race and ethnicity. White unmarried women are 4 times as likely to be in poverty as their married counterparts, and unmarried African American women and Latinas are 3 and 2.5 times more likely, respectively
  • Half of all children living in poverty live with a single mother; and half of all children living with a single mother exist in poverty
  • Unmarried women make only 56 cents on the dollar, compared to married men
  • Every group of unmarried women has lower earnings than married women - 63% of never married women earn 54 cents on the dollar compared to married women
  • Compared to married Americans, unmarried Americans are twice as likely to rent their homes instead of owning them.

So are you asking where is the good news in this report?  Personally it ticks me off.  Hello world it is 2010 and to see figures like "unmarried women make only 56 cents on the dollar" or "half of all children living in poverty live with a single mother" is just plain disgusting.  But it is also motivating.  First as a single professional, who was raised by a single mother, I grew up understanding the struggle but wanting something better, thus why I strive to help singles prosper.

But it is important for singles to realize if they don't get involved in improving there own situations and speaking up for the issues that affect them then it could be another 50 years before we see real change. 

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Kelly's positive spirit, sound business and marketing skills, and experience negotiating multimillion dollar contracts all combine to make her one of the premier real estate professional in the communities of Portola Hills, Foothill Ranch, Lake Forest, Trabuco Canyon and throughout the Saddleback Valley.


 She takes a big-picture approach to make sure all of your goals, both short and long-term, are part of a larger plan that's guiding you towards success. Call Kelly to schedule a free consultation on how she can help you achieve your objectives. Whatever your Real Estate Dream is, with Kelly Turbeville at your side, It's Possible!


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The above information is provied for informational purposes only and is deemed reliable but not guarenteed. Based on information from California Regional Multiple Listing Service, Inc. as of [date the AOR/MLS data was obtained] and /or other sources. All property data, including all measurements and calculations of area, is obtained from various sources and has not been, and will not be, verified by broker or MLS. All information should be independently reviewed and verified for accuracy. Properties may or may not be listed by the office/agent presenting the information


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Susan Goulding
Mountain House Real Estate - Mountain House, CA
Short Sales, Mountain House Homes for Sale

This is a great question.  What are women waiting for.  Now is the time -- what can we do to encourage them?

Apr 22, 2010 05:48 PM #1
Karen Watkins
LRA Real Estate Group LLC - Mesa, AZ

Kelly, right on. Good question. thanks for the post.

Apr 22, 2010 05:50 PM #2
Tim Lorenz
TIM LORENZ - Elite Home Sales Team - Mission Viejo, CA
949 874-2247

I think we should help women understand the importance of home ownership and the investment value of the purchase.

Apr 22, 2010 06:02 PM #3
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

Not surprising * unmarried women want to be more mobile for work and family reasons so owning is not an option they want to deal with.....easier to call the landlord when there is a leak!

Apr 22, 2010 08:21 PM #4
Dan Edward Phillips
Dan Edward Phillips - Eureka, CA
Realtor and Broker/Owner

Excellent question.  Thank you for sharing the post.  Tim has a good point.  Dan

Apr 22, 2010 08:47 PM #5
Kelly Turbeville
Keller Williams - Lake Forest, CA
Turning Real Estate Dreams into Reality

Tim - I agree, the real burning questions is why in 2010 are single's in general much more disadvantaged overall financially and homeownership is a step towards that.

Wallace - Agreed for many singles renting is easier but from the singles I work with the desire to own a home is still a huge goal, A high percentage of singles that rent are either divorced or widowed in their later years who have lost their home but still have the desire to own.

Thanks for all your responses, it's apprecaited!

Apr 23, 2010 02:10 AM #6
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

This is tragic as I would guess that unmarried women have set very little aside for retirement !That's where at least real estate would provide equity buildup !

Apr 24, 2010 01:04 AM #7
Kelly Turbeville
Keller Williams - Lake Forest, CA
Turning Real Estate Dreams into Reality

Michael - the report notes the retirement earnings at age 60 for unmarried women is just under $14k and just under $19k for unmarried men.

That is horribly sad!

Thanks for your comment!


Apr 25, 2010 10:20 AM #8
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Turning Real Estate Dreams into Reality
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