Single Women Now Own More Homes Than Single Men: Here’s What to Know About Buying Alone

Plus, get professional advice for couples buying a home together and see the pros and cons of home-owning while single.

Buying a home, whether you’re doing it on your own or moving in with another person, is one of life’s major milestones. In today’s market, it’s more common for people to invest in a home by themselves—especially for women. Despite making 83 cents for every dollar a man earns, single women now own more homes than men in 48 states, according to a newly released report from LendingTree with data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

An average 2.84% more of occupied homes across the U.S. are owned by women, with men owning about 8.1 million compared to women’s 10.8 million. The study cites various factors that contribute to this gap: Women prioritize homeownership more, and they’re more willing to make sacrifices to become homeowners. There’s also less of a pay gap for the younger generations, according to the Pew Research Center.

Woman carrying boxes moving into new home

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“It’s more common, and also more socially acceptable, to buy a home on your own these days,” says Clare Trapasso, executive news editor at “Many folks want to build equity through homeownership, get out from under their landlords, and fix their housing costs, so they’re becoming homeowners. Plus, many individuals don’t want to wait to find a partner to buy as mortgage rates and home prices could be higher.”

With the current costliness of the market, it’s a challenging time to buy a home alone. A new survey from on housing costs and relationship decisions found that 70% of respondents have saved money by moving in with a romantic partner. Two-thirds say finances and logistics contributed to their decision, with Gen Z (80%) and Millennials (76%) more likely to have weighed these factors. 

While the financial benefits are clear, make sure you dedicate plenty of time to think through taking on a mortgage with someone else. 

“Think of this as a financial prenup, even if you’re not getting married,” Trapasso says. “Don’t just assume you’re on the same page. How will the mortgage be split? How much will you each be contributing to the down payment and closing costs? What will each partner contribute to utility, food, and other household expenses?”

Trapasso also advises discussing maintenance and chores before moving in: Consider how you’re going to split the cleaning, yardwork, and handiwork, and how often you think it should be done. You could also contract out those services, which means you’ll have to include those costs in your future budgeting.

While sharing expenses and a space with someone you love sounds like an easy win-win, it sadly isn’t always guaranteed. Almost half (42%) of the survey respondents who moved in with a romantic partner ended up regretting the move because they moved too fast or rushed the decision (31%), or realized they weren't compatible for co-living (27%). If the relationship ends while you’re still housemates, Trapasso recommends getting an attorney. 

“Generally, if a couple bought a home together, the home has to be sold or one partner has to buy the other out,” she says. “And you have to factor in appreciation or depreciation—if you bought a home with your partner and it rose in value, each partner would likely receive more than what they paid to purchase the home. If you’re married, you may owe or be entitled to half even if you or your partner didn’t contribute any money toward purchasing it. It depends on who’s on the deed, mortgage, and your state laws.” 

Obviously if you’re planning on living alone, you don’t have to consider these potential complications. You also have the freedom to do whatever you want: You can paint the walls pink, get a puppy, and turn your extra bedroom into a space for a new hobby every month, if you so desire. And while it’s gotten more costly, buying a home on your own has become more normalized. If you’re buying as a single woman, Trapasso encourages having the confidence to push for the best deal possible.

“Don’t be afraid to shop around for a mortgage with lower fees and rates,” she says. “And negotiate with the seller as much as you can when purchasing a home—some will buy down your mortgage rates or pay a portion of your closing costs. You can save a lot of money just by asking for it.”

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