I Am The Everygirl

I Bought A House As A Single Woman—Here’s How I Made It Happen

buying a house as a single woman"
buying a house as a single woman
Graphics by: Caitlin Schneider
Graphics by: Caitlin Schneider

Sweaty, tired, and overwhelmed: I never knew that’s how I’d feel when one of my biggest dreams finally came true. After a full day of moving, I stood alone in the house I purchased all on my own at 29 and cried tears of joy. As stressful as it was to see my belongings scattered throughout the house and know how much unpacking was ahead of me, I took a moment to take it all in.

I walked from room to room, beaming with pride and feeling beyond thankful for this new place to call home. I’d waited for this moment for so long, and I couldn’t believe it was finally a reality. I’d been dreaming of owning a home for two years, and even though I had a boyfriend, we weren’t ready to move in together yet. However, I wasn’t going to let society’s generally accepted timeline (dating to living together to marriage to buying a house) stand in the way of what I wanted.

In 2019, I decided I was officially over apartment living. Noisy neighbors, rent increases, and, dare I say, my dad’s mantra of “you’re throwing away your money” had finally gotten to me. Sure, having access to a gym and pool at my apartment complex was nice, but barking dogs and hearing my upstairs neighbors stomp around every day made me realize how much I wanted a space that was truly my own. When I visited friends who owned their homes, I was so jealous of how peaceful, quiet, and personal their homes were. They had the ability to paint or wallpaper a room without fear of what their landlord would say. I wanted that freedom.

…maybe it was seeing my mom depend on my dad financially to buy their home and then fight over it when they got divorced, but I knew I wanted to buy my home 100 percent on my own.

I didn’t know much about the home-buying process, but how hard could it be? I’d find a real estate agent, look at a couple of houses, and have my offer accepted. Instead, the bank denied my loan because of my low credit score, devastating me in the process. I was told I was going to have to make some serious improvements to my finances if I wanted to buy a house or I’d have to have a co-signer to qualify. Maybe I was influenced by the remnants of the “girl boss” era or maybe it was seeing my mom depend on my dad financially to buy their home and then fight over it when they got divorced, but I knew I wanted to buy my home 100 percent on my own. I didn’t want to worry about splitting profits with anyone if or when I sold it, and, honestly, I wanted the pride of saying, “And then it was bought by me,” à la Taylor Swift. With that in mind, I spent the next two years rehabbing my credit score and saving as much as I could for a down payment.

Once I was ready financially, it was time to try again. I had to decide what I wanted in the next place I called home. I knew this wouldn’t be my forever home, but it was important to me that it was a place I felt safe and could make my own, even if just for a couple of years. I was so lucky to have found a realtor who celebrated the fact that I was a single woman buying a home and listened intently as I described my needs to her: a cute, cozy home with lots of natural light, a porch where I could sip my morning coffee, and a dining room where I could host dinner parties (or at least dream about hosting them). She also helped me build an equally supportive community of mortgage lenders and home inspectors who ensured that I was taken care of during an otherwise daunting process.

I toured house after house and put in offer after offer—10 to be exact. It was a long and drawn-out process.

My team was all with me every step of the way as I toured house after house and put in offer after offer (10 to be exact). It was a long and drawn-out process, but when I finally found my house, I knew it was the one as soon as I pulled into the driveway. A large picture window was the first thing to catch my eye. Through it, you could see the living room and the dining room straight out to the sliding glass doors that led to the back porch. I instantly fell in love with this wide-open view. I also loved its blue shutters and landscaping and how bright and airy every room was. It was exactly what I’d dreamed of, and I felt like I belonged there.

buying a house

Fast forward two years later, and I’ve made my house the home I dreamed of that very first night. I transformed what was once a house full of boxes into a place that brings me joy every day. With a little love and a lot of paint, I’ve created a space that brings me peace and feels like a true reflection of me, just like I always wanted. I got the home of my dreams with lots of natural light and a porch where I sit and drink my morning coffee when the weather’s nice. And I’ll always be proud to say that I did it as a single woman.