The stereotype goes that once people get married and begin having children, they move to the suburbs because (in theory) you get more bang for your buck. City life is reserved for single people who don't mind cramped apartments and living on takeout. Except what if you're a single woman who wants to own a home? Is it possible to achieve that goal without compromising living in a city you love?
Online real estate brokerage Owners.com researched and ranked the top-20 housing markets for single women buying homes. A few of the areas on this list, including Cincinnati, OH, Kansas City, MO, and Raleigh-Durham, NC, are familiar ones that often make the cut on "best cities" because of their relative affordability and healthy job markets. Others are less urban, but well-worth bookmarking.
"These cities offer diverse metropolitan areas, and also have suburban living options providing housing options that are a fit for a variety of lifestyles," says Phil Karp, the senior manager of brokerage services at Owners.com. "In addition, the top 10 markets for single women have a strong income-to-home value ratio that can help single women feel more secure in their home purchase knowing that they have prioritized affordability."
He isn't exaggerating. The first half of the list is full of smaller cities than the second half, which includes New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, and Owners.com notes that the top-10 markets are 70% more affordable than the next 10. The average home value in Cincinnati is $158,100, versus $658,600 in San Francisco.
Owners.com also considered crime rates, access to public transportation, walkability, and the cost of dinner for two when compiling the list. Being able to get around without buying or leasing a car is a priority for some people, especially if it affects their ability to find and commute to work. While crime stats are "often confusing, misleading and incomplete," Karp argues they are often "directly responsible for what happens to [a] property" and property values.