As an engineer, 27-year-old Theresa Gatto admits sometimes she feels like a woman in a man's world.
But as owner of her own home, she's a defined leader of the pack.
The latest records show that when it comes to buying a home -- more power to the ladies. Single women, as a demographic, are the fastest-growing group of home buyers in the U.S. They totaled 22% of all buyers in 2006, according to the National Association of Realtors.
That's up from 14% in 1995. What's more is single women are the second biggest category of buyers behind married couples. Single men represent 9% of all homebuyers.
Manhattan real estate agent Jacky Teplitzky says she's been increasingly working with young, professional women. "I love working with female buyers because they do a lot of homework ahead of time. They know what they want, which areas they want to live," she says.
Particularly with young, professional women these days, who are starting families later on in life, Teplitzky adds that this demographic is generally looking for more stability at an earlier age, relative to its male counterpart."[Women] have more special needs," says Teplitzky. "We want to know where our make-up is, where our clothes are, our creams. ... Men, they can crash everywhere. They can sleep on their friends' floor sometimes."
Gatto bought her first house in 2004 for $134,000 in Winston-Salem, N.C., three bedrooms, two baths, a game room and small deck. After relocating for work, she's now living in a bigger house in Loveland, Colo., a 2,400 square-foot home, which cost her $206,000 in 2005.
To finance her latest purchase, she placed 20% down and borrowed $166,000 from the bank with a five-year adjustable-rate mortgage. Her loan payment comes to be about $900 a month.