Thursday, March 23, 2006

Are Houses and Husbands Mutually Exclusive?

Steve rarely travels. And when he does, I always have a friend come stay with me -- both to help with the kids and to keep me company. I've just never wanted to live alone.

It seems I'm in the minority. Sales of homes are up among single women. In fact, they've displaced single men as more likely to buy homes alone.

The last time Steve traveled, I got a call from a Fox News show to be interviewed about the phenomenon. At the time I figured it made financial sense and for women, it represented their desire to nest and have a place from which to give life. I really wanted to do the interview and spent hours thinking about what I'd say. I didn't want to be the stereotypical "right-winger." I wanted to say something provocative, something fresh and something biblical. What I came up with was that single women buy homes because it's financially savvy. But they don't do it out of a sense of feminist pride. On the contrary, most women have an inborn desire to nest. They want a secure place where their friends can come and receive life. For the majority of women it's not about girl power, it's about relationships.

In the end, I was bumped. I think they went for someone more controversial. At the time I wasn't willing to say, "buying homes without husbands isn't a good thing for our culture." But now that I've finished reading Getting Serious about Getting Married, I'm just not so sure anymore. I'm starting to wonder if for many single women, equity precludes matrimony. You can read the full story at I'd love to hear your thoughts.


At 8:10 AM, Blogger Ashleigh said...

I lived at home while I was in undergrad. To me, the thought of moving out of my parents house was not desirable. However, then came grad school. I felt God calling me to a specific school, a school far away from my family. So I went. I moved out for the first time in my life. It was scary. All along I planned to move back in with my parents after I graduated. But, I ended up getting married while in grad school.

I'm one of those women, who if I'd remained single long enough, probably wouldn't have bought a house on my own. I've never wanted to be that independent. Although, I do have single friends who have bought their own homes and it seemed to make sense to me. They were paying rent, which only paid other people's mortages. Yet, now I wonder how their future husbands will feel about possibly moving into "their" houses, if the guy isn't a homeowner himself. I think my husband felt a sense of taking care of me, of being a good provider by being the one in our relationship to own a home (which we lived in for the first 2 1/2 years of our marriage).

I thought you made an excellent arguements in your article, one I could certainly agree with. However, Carolyn McCulley also makes some good points to consider in her blog entry today. So much to think about on this issue!

At 2:05 AM, Blogger dabears27 said...

I own a real estate company and I can tell you that (as a matter of simple economics) single women have made the pool of buyers even bigger and are just one more reason for the skyrocketing RE prices. As a man, I can't blame the women either cause most men I know are lazy goofballs. Most single women buyers that I come across in my business have better jobs, better credit, and have saved up more money for a downpayment. Most single men are behind the curve on that one. One major thing that I noticed is that a lot of single women buying houses are in their early to mid 30's and are tired of waiting. My wife owned a home when we married, which she sold and we bought a house together. All her furniture stayed though (but that's another story)

At 3:01 PM, Blogger Tidy Bowl said...

As a single woman, I've lived in dorms, in apartments, and now, I'm living in my parents' house once again. I can't deny that I'd love to move out and buy a house, car, and about a million other things - but that's not in God's plan for me.

For me, buying a house would be because it's the financially savvy thing to do - just like you said. But again, for me, not a move would be made without the total confidence that what I am doing is in God's will for my life. Every penny that I possess is God's money, entrusted to me during this time I am on earth to further God's word.

At 10:57 PM, Blogger Tidy Bowl said...

I lived in an apartment on my own while I was in college, and I LOVED it. Though I definitely think my college experience was far from a "typical" college experience, living alone proved to be a blessing for me. Currently, I am living with my parents and making plans to serve overseas as a missionary for a time. The possibility of buying a house and "settling down" is many years into the future for me. However, it is financially savvy, and I would consider it to be a possibility for me, with an emphasis on possibility.

That being said, I would never, never, NEVER make a big leap like that unless I was fully confident that my actions were in God's will. Every penny that I have is not my own. God has entrusted my money to me during the time I am on earth to further His word. I can only buy a house (buy a car, donate to a charity, invest in the stock market, etc.) if I know that doing so will further God's word here on earth.

At 5:58 PM, Blogger Sonya C. Triggs said...

I found your article to be very interesting and insightful. I had never quite considered the prospect of living alone (as a single woman) to help myself to avoid temptation and to help my man see himself as my husband as opposed to simply my boyfriend. While I agree that it is a good idea to avoid temptation where possible (and make a man work hard to keep you), I don't see a lot of young women staying home any longer than they have to. For most of us (myself included), that first real job meant that first real apartment, followed by that first real car payment, more than likely followed by our first real home (alone). I don't think women believe men and houses are mutually exclusive - it's just that we seem to arrive at the decision to purchase a house much sooner than many men. Whether it be finances or maturity, women seem much more prone to 'settle down' than the typical man.

I did enjoy reading this article and you've definitely given me food for thought.


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