It sounds almost historical when a woman had to wait until marriage to move out of her parents’ home and rely on her husband’s income and consider his home as hers – “by default”. Today, being a woman isn’t a limiting factor anymore to your homeownership ability or rights.
According to a report on women homebuyers in the American realty sector, married couples dominate the homeowners market with a share of around 54%, followed by single women who rank amongst the second largest group of homeowners at 18%. Even in developing countries like India, the scenario is changing:
- Around 24% of women hold the post of senior executives in urban India and 30% of these women are the sole bread earners of the family. Such women with higher incomes constitute the fifth position among the home buyers in India. (Source – Catalyst.org)
- According to a report on Track2Realty, around 74% women act as a contributor or an influencer when it comes to home buying, with a share of around 32% as single women home buyers.
Thus any woman with a good credit score, secure job, organized budget and enough savings, can join the growing market of women homeowners. Here are a few tips to help you buy your first home:
Tip 1 to women home buyers: Maintain a good credit report
If you are planning to buy a home, the first step is to check your credit report. The report includes your financial information from the past few years, be it an education loan, car loans, credit card accounts or any other loans you may have. Make sure you have been paying EMIs in a timely manner (before due date) which will reflect positively on your credit report as well. However, if you have any adverse accounts in the report such as late payment records, etc., it should be legitimate as banks will likely ask questions about them.
Tip 2 to women home buyers: Plan your budget
Instead of getting into a plenty of house listings available on the internet, give it a thought to your budget. Figuring it out would not only help you manage your expectations but it will also streamline the house search within your affordable limits. Once you analyze the price point for your home purchase, it’s time to start saving for the down payment. Study the market, there are multiple down payment options you may choose depending upon your budget. The next step includes sharing your financial details with the bank and check if you are eligible for a home loan.
Tip 3 to women home buyers: Consider insurance Coverage
When it comes to purchasing a home, insurance coverage always helps. And if you are an independent woman, it becomes more of a priority to shield yourselves from the unfortunate happenings, be it the medical expenses or sudden unemployment issues. Hence, you should definitely consider getting a life insurance, disability insurance (if any), health benefits and other possible insurance options. As with anything in life, hope for the best but prepare for the rest, even in the case of buying a home.
Tip 4 to women home buyers: Buying or Renting?
Analyze your position, so you can decide between renting or buying. For instance, renting is highly preferred if you don’t have a secure job or are unsure about where you will be in the next few years. And if you are looking for a place to call your own and put down roots, it might be time to invest in a home.
Tip 5 to women home buyers: Get an expert opinion
As a woman, you may face gender discrimination and biases from real estate agents. So, don’t hesitate to get an expert opinion before you start the house hunt. Start an independent research, read reviews, ask for referrals to find the right professionals to work with, who help you understand everything you need to know about home buying. However, many realtors and developers are recognizing the single woman homebuyer as a valuable potential customer.
Tip 6 to women home buyers: Plan for future, not just present!
See if the house you are planning to buy will fulfill all your requirements not just in the present but in the future as well. For example, it might not always be a good idea to purchase a large house if you are a single mom with young teenagers, as your kids will eventually move out after growing up and you may not require that much space. In that case, you need to consider the resale options as well.
Advantages women home buyers have in India
The government and banks have introduced women-centric initiatives to encourage the women homebuyers in India; under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (PMAY), the ownership of the house should mandatorily be in the name of female members of the family. Few more advantages of being a woman homebuyer in India include:
- Benefits of PMAY-CLSS* scheme: All home buyers availing the Credit-Linked Subsidy Scheme [CLSS] scheme under PMAY for purchasing homes, will get the benefit of the reduced Goods and Services Tax (GST), i.e. 8% instead of 12%. The reduction in GST along with the interest subvention scheme will result in a significant amount of savings for buyers when purchasing homes under PMAY-CLSS. Learn more about the advantages of this scheme in this article: https://propstory.com/pmay-update-in-2018-gst-reduced-on-houses-under-pmay/
- Lower interest rates on home loans: Many leading banks offer lower interest rates on home loans to women home buyers.
- Tax deduction: Women are also eligible for a tax deduction of Rs. 2 Lakhs* on the interest paid on home loans.
- Concession on stamp duty: Women homebuyers are also required to pay lower stamp duty in many Indian States. (For e.g. in Delhi and Haryana, stamp duty for women is 2% lower)
To sum up
Home buying is not an easy process and it can be a bit long and tiring and sometimes frustrating. To own a home is an experience of a lifetime, and if you are a woman, it’s almost like an accomplishment in “today’s scenario”. So, if you have overcome the odds to rise in your career, save up and buy a home for yourself, enjoy! You’ve earned this.
Refer to our home buying guide for more details.