The Relationship Between Marital Status and Home Ownership

When it comes to properties and houses, there are several factors that affect the home buyer’s decision. The most obvious one is the financial capability. It’s impossible to buy a property if you don’t have the money or even just the ability to get a mortgage.

Another factor is the age. Acquiring homes is typically not on top of the priority list of adults in their early 20s or sometimes even 30s. Thanks to low incomes and high costs of living, it’s not only impractical but also improbable.

But one factor may seem surprising to most people. It’s not race or religion but actually civil status. The common idea is that married people are the only ones who are interested in buying their own homes. But it’s not always true.

Here’s the relationship between civil status and home ownership:

Divorced or Widowed People

Divorce doesn’t just affect the family, but it also has an impact on ownership of properties as well. A certified divorce financial analyst has said that women typically get the home in divorces while the men are the ones who have to move out. It’s one of the perks of hiring a top-notch child custody lawyer. You don’t just get to have your kids but also your house.

For widows and widowers, the subject of homeownership is a bit trickier. Thanks to complicated documents and legal requirements, inheriting a property isn’t always simple. It’s even more complicated if it involves an ongoing home loan. The L.A. Times have reported that a number of widowed people across the country are struggling to prevent foreclosures.

man holding house keys

Single People

According to data from the National Association of Home Builders, 38.4% of home buyers in 2018 are single people. It’s the highest share since they started keeping track. There are several trends that explain this phenomenon.

One factor is employment. Decades ago, it may have been more common for women to stay at home and do household chores. As time passes, women are slowly but surely closing the gap. According to figures by Pew Research Center, 47% of all jobs in the U.S. are held by women. The share is even higher if you only count skilled jobs. Thanks to this trend, more and more women are buying their own properties.

Of course, it’s not just women who are purchasing houses. Men are in on the action as well. A possible explanation for this is the change of attitudes towards marriage. For years, studies have shown that men are more likely to never tie the knot than women. But recently, a general trend has emerged where people are opting to stay single or leave things unofficial with their partner. The current marriage rate in the U.S. is the lowest in 150 years.

Married Couples

To the surprise of no one, majority of homes in the country are owned by married people. The interesting fact about this is that while marriage rates are on the decline so is the homeownership rate. If the trend continues, there may be more renters and non-traditional families than nuclear ones in the future.

One interesting factor that could explain this decline is the location. Census data show that homeownership rates are the highest in the rural areas of the country. These places are not just sources of agriculture and other natural resources. They are also home to a specific demographic who are more capable of buying houses than their counterparts in urban areas. They are typically older, married adults who own their homes. The downside is that since 2000, more people are moving out of rural areas and into urban areas. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this trend may have been disrupted. According to statistics from the USPS, 82% of urban centers had a decrease in population.

As people leave traditions behind, it’s easy to expect the numbers in the future to continue to change.

For the longest time, homeownership rates are used to examine the economy. Analysts look to house buying habits as an indicator of the health of the real estate market and bank rates. But, over the years, its role has expanded. Thanks to dozens and dozens of surveys and polls over the years, it can also reveal a continuing trend or a sudden change in social aspects. The current homeownership figures show that women are getting more professional opportunities. It has also proven that younger adults are prioritizing financial matters like buying a property over starting their own families. It’s one of the important factors as the world gets less traditional and more modern.

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