No, you are not stupid if you don't own real estate www.SmartGirlsOwn.com

By
Real Estate Agent with McCarthy Real Estate PA# RS294585

I recently applied for a job as Real Estate Editor for an online women's magazine. The editor did not think a Realtor would be a good hire for the job and is looking elsewhere.

The editor asked me a couple very thought provoking questions and I thought it would be great to blog the question and answer here.

Q:   I am wondering if you'd mind giving me your opinion on something though - just out of curiosity. I know you created a group on Maven called Smart Women Own Real Estate.  Can you tell me if you believe that is really the case for all smart women?  I'm asking because I'm not sure I agree obviously, but also because of everything that has gone on in the past few years.  For example - a young professional woman who is single and is not intending to live in a particular home or condo for more than 5 years MAX because of life changes she will go through.  Someone who may get married and want to buy a bigger house and need to sell or rent out her current home.  Someone who may want to move to a new city for work.  Would these women be smart to buy real estate considering how long it takes to sell a home these days and how horrible the rental market is to attempt to keep a property as an investment? 

A:   First let me be clear: I don't think anyone can make a sweeping generalization about any subject or any demographic without agreeing that not everyone or everything fits neatly into any generalization. Not everyone (or every women in this case) should or can own real estate. That said, it is a fact that the homebuying public is made up of 20% single women. You can double check this statistic from the National Association of Realtors website. In fact, in their studies they found that more women than men lived alone. Among these, women were more likely than men to own their homes (56% vs. 47%).  

I will try to respond directly to your comments:  

Everything that has gone on in the past few years.We are in the midst of a market correction from extraordinary circumstances. Based on the past few years I wouldn't discount real estate as still being one of the best investments you can make. You can still touch real estate. You can still live in a house. It works for you like no other investment. Your car doesn't appreciate - it depreciates 100% of the time. And stocks can't keep rain off your head unless you're smart enough to buy low, sell high, and then go buy a house (or rent, whichever). At the end of the day, if you own real estate, it's still worth something.  

A young professional woman who is single and is not intending to live in a particular home or condo for more than 5 years MAX because of life changes she will go through? The real cost of renting at $800 a month, with an average 6% increase per year is $126,536 over 10 years without ownership. Owners have the advantage of property tax deductions and mortgage interest write-offs. Owners have the benefit of appreciation potential- it's possible to build equity in 5 years. In Philadelphia, the average five-year annualized appreciation is 6% compared with 3.4% nationally. I would add, you don't ALWAYS control when life changes will take place. When I was 18, I knew what I wanted to be when I "grew up" and I intended to be married by 23. I didn't get married until I was 33 and I've changed careers twice since then.  

Someone who may get married and want to buy a bigger house and need to sell or rent out her current home.  I don't see any reason why this person shouldn't buy if she wanted to. I know women who have had the down payment for their marital home because they bought single.  I am currently selling a duplex for a woman who just had a baby and moved in with her fiance. She lived in that duplex virtually rent-free for seven years and will be getting a check for $12,000 when it closes. You can't compare that to renting in the same 7 years. In that time she took out a home equity loan - you can't get a home equity loan from your rental. This is the reason I love to help single women - there's a payoff for owning. I am currently living with my husband and raising my son in the home I bought single. It has appreciated 17% since 2002 even with the market corrections.  

Someone who may want to move to a new city for work. It would depend on how long she was planning on staying or how stable her job would be. I don't think I would advise someone to buy if their company was planning on relocating them unless they intend to be a landlord. In fact, I have advised to rent first to see if they even like an area in certain cases.  

Would these women be smart to buy real estate considering how long it takes to sell a home these days and how horrible the rental market is to attempt to keep a property as an investment? Philadelphia sale and occupancy rates are much higher than the rest of the country. In fact, Forbes Magazine ranked Philadelphia 4th in best long term housing bets. See: http://www.forbes.com/2008/12/16/cities-ten-homes-forbeslife-cx_mw_1216realestate.html.    

Not all women are smart. Not all smart women can own or should own real estate. Not all of the women who own real estate are smart. Men are smart too. Agree, or disagree on the statement "Smart Girls Own Real Estate," it doesn't change the fact that single women do own real estate. Smart girls own real estate just sounds cooler than single women own real estate : )  

 

Join my Smart Girls Own Real Estate Group on MavenMagPhiladelphia.com

www.SmartGirlsOwn.com - The Smart Girl's Guide to Real Estate

www.SmartGirlsOwn.net  - Smart Girls Network 

Comments (10)

Stacey McCarthy
McCarthy Real Estate - Philadelphia, PA
@SmartGirlsOwn

Join my Smart Girls Own Real Estate group on http://www.MavenMagPhiladelphia.com

Jan 21, 2009 07:10 AM
Edward & Celia Maddox
The Celtic Connection Realty - Queen Creek, AZ
EXPERIENCE & INTEGRITY - WE TAKE THE HIGH ROAD

Good response.  Sounds like the editor missed out in now hiring you.  Best of luck in future tries.  Maybe you were too good for that job anyway.

Best of Luck,

Your Queen Creek Real Estate Specialist

http://www.QueenCreekRealEstateSolution.comm

 

 

Jan 21, 2009 07:15 AM
Terrie Leighton
Ferrari-Lund Real Estate - Reno, NV
Reno Real Estate Agent ~ Selling Homes in Reno

I agree with you answer when you said "Everything that has gone on in the past few years.We are in the midst of a market correction from extraordinary circumstances. Based on the past few years I wouldn't discount real estate as still being one of the best investments you can make....."

I believe we cannot use the past few years as examples of what is the norm, period. It was a crazy time and so far from what is normal that to make any kind of assessment as to what the future holds would be a huge mistake.

Clearly the person who you spoke with is missing out by not hiring you to write for them.

Jan 21, 2009 07:22 AM
Stacey McCarthy
McCarthy Real Estate - Philadelphia, PA
@SmartGirlsOwn

Thanks Queen Creek (not sure if it's Edward or Celia) for the props!

Terrie, I know, there are some people can't see past the past few years and look at the big picture. Right? Thanks!  

Jan 21, 2009 07:28 AM
Rebecca Gaujot, RealtorĀ®
Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Well, I wasn't too smart in the 80s. A realtor friend tried to get me to buy a house versus renting.  This post made me think ...how smart I could have been! 

Jan 21, 2009 07:38 AM
Kathy Toth
Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams - Ann Arbor, MI
Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team

"Not all smart women own real estate. Not all women who own real estate are smart."  Love it!

Kathy

Jan 21, 2009 08:21 AM
Stacey McCarthy
McCarthy Real Estate - Philadelphia, PA
@SmartGirlsOwn

Rebecca! That's why I want to make it easy for women - because if I knew then what I know now...Right! 

Kathy, Thanks!

Jan 21, 2009 09:12 AM
Renae Bolton
Marketing 4 Realtors - Garfield Heights, OH
I'm your Professional Real Estate Marketing VA!

I don't own real estate.  Our house is in my husband's name.  But my name is on the will.  So, if he dies, I get to take over paying the mortgage!  Oh joy.

Seriously, I think it would make a lot of sense to own real estate if you are ever in a position to be able to do so.  And I also think those people were not very smart for not hiring you.  Is that what you meant by not all women are smart?

~Renae

Jan 21, 2009 10:11 AM
Stacey McCarthy
McCarthy Real Estate - Philadelphia, PA
@SmartGirlsOwn

Renae, LOL, no but that's funny! You are certainly a smart girl!

Jan 21, 2009 10:25 AM
Elizabeth Bolton
RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA - Cambridge, MA
Cambridge MA Realtor

I absolutely love the names of your sites - and they look great!  The story about your interview is really something - it struck me as I read that they were probably more interested in having a nay-sayer for the position.  Did you ever find out if the editor owned real estate?  Me thinks not.

Liz 

Jan 21, 2009 01:07 PM