Going Solo In Real Estate - The Rise Of The "Pink Mortgage"

Sonia Varkey - she's a single, working woman with her own home, a rental property to boot and a plan to keep on fattening up her real estate portfolio. She's one of many women these days tackling home ownership on their own - without the man.

It's a trend that has spawned the term "pink mortgage" in the real estate world and it's showing no signs of slowing down. According to some estimates, more than 1 in 4 Canadian home buyers are now women - and those who aren't already in the market are planning to take the leap within a few years.

What's moving women to shoulder mortgages on a single income? Any number of possible reasons: Many are earning better incomes. Some need a new home after divorce. Others are simply fed up with makeshift rentals. Bargain-basement mortgage rates certainly don't harm.

But, perhaps the one commonality powering the "pink" movement is the long-term investment opportunity that many women see in real estate. Rather than waiting on apocalyptic predictions for a burst in the housing bubble, single females are forging ahead to safeguard their future interests. Realtors, financiers and other industry professionals often note the more cautious and analytical approach that single women tend to take to real estate - more so than their single, male counterparts.

Tips for women looking to go solo on real estate? Here are a few:

  • Get pre-approved - In a tight housing market where bidding wars are commonplace, readiness to act fast is a definite advantage
  • Think long-term - While present variables may be powering the decision to buy, thinking ahead five or 10 years and buying accordingly is often a wiser alternative to selling too soon in search of more space.
  • Get legal help before, not after, signing - Real estate savvy means being prepared, both financially and legally. A lawyer can spot red flags in the purchase agreement and see to it that the deal works in your best interests.

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