Thinking of pursuing homeownership without a partner? You’re in good company. Singles are redefining what it means to be a homeowner while also becoming a growing segment in the home purchase market.
To delve deeper into the journey of buying a home on one's own, Pennymac reached out to 500 single male and 500 single female homeowners across the United States. We wanted to uncover the driving forces and potential roadblocks of purchasing a home solo. Among our interesting findings? The majority of today’s single females believe that waiting for a partner to buy a home is an outdated notion.
Take a closer look at our survey results to find out how participants financed their homes, the role societal pressures played in their decisions and the biggest challenges they faced.
Single Homeownership Survey Results Highlights
- Over half of respondents believe the idea of waiting for a significant other to buy a home is outdated.
- 55% of female homebuyers said their biggest challenge was finding a home in their price range, while 51% of male homebuyers said it was saving for the down payment.
- 67% of single homebuyers did not have financial assistance from family or friends with a down payment for their home.
- 70% of respondents did not feel societal pressure to buy a home.
- 65% of single homebuyers purchased their first home in the range of $0-$250k.
Single Homeowners Are Self-Reliant When it Comes to Down Payments
One of the biggest roadblocks for many first-time homebuyers is the down payment. A down payment is a portion of the total cost of a home that is paid upfront when the home is purchased. It typically ranges from 3% to 20% of the purchase price, depending on the lender and the type of mortgage.
While homebuyers sometimes use gifts from family for the down payment, most of our surveyed single homebuyers (67%) saved for it on their own and didn’t have any financial assistance from family and friends. How much did they save? The most popular down payment range reported by both male and female respondents was 6%-10%, with most individuals (65%) purchasing a home in the $0-$250,000 range.
Societal Pressure Is Not a Factor in Most Home-Buying Decisions
There are many reasons why people choose to buy a home, from the opportunity to build their own equity to reaping potential tax benefits. Our survey explored what specific factors drove the decision to buy a home as a single person — and our findings were insightful.
According to our survey, it’s not cultural norms, as 70% of respondents did not feel societal pressure to buy a home.
Half of these single homebuyers (50%), like many homebuyers, were simply ready to have a place of their own. Since 43% of respondents stated that they rented on their own prior to purchasing their home, they decided to make the leap to build their own equity. And with 36% securing a mortgage interest rate between 3.1% and 4%, they may have felt the timing was right to make the move.
No Partner, No Problem
Another interesting fact: Homeowners didn’t feel the need to have a partner to take this exciting step. The idea of waiting for a significant other to buy a home was deemed outdated by over half of respondents, with slightly more females (54%) than males (48%) agreeing it’s an old-fashioned notion.
They also want to put down roots. Nearly half of single homebuyers purchased their first home between the ages of 25 and 34, and 58% anticipate living in their home for nine or more years.
Different Genders, Different Challenges
Buying a home is a milestone, but it’s not without its obstacles. However, females and males identified different challenges as their most significant. More than half (55%) of females reported their biggest challenge when buying a home solo was finding a home in their price range, while 51% of males cited saving for the down payment as their number one hurdle.
Single homeowners are an important segment of the housing market. They’re saving for down payments, securing financing and bucking societal trends by not waiting for a partner to buy a home. They’re gaining the freedom, sense of security and peace of mind that comes from the exciting homeownership experience.
Homeownership is for everyone, not just couples. No matter your partnership status, Pennymac is here to help support you on your home-buying journey. Contact a Pennymac Loan Expert today to start your path to homeownership with confidence.