Freezing rain was falling as a leasing agent rushed me under an umbrella and into a brand new one-bedroom apartment. Instead of buying a home, I was visiting a luxury apartment complex that had just been built near me. After driving past it too many times to count, I decided it was finally time to see what it looked like inside. This complex was around the corner from Target, and so many other amenities that would just make life easy. But my gut was screaming “No”. Deep down, I knew that it was far more important to save that money and put it towards buying my first home. Everyone should follow their intuition.
Don’t Ignore Your Intuition When Buying a Home
For years, I have been searching Realtor.com and Zillow for properties to buy in New Jersey. After putting in multiple offers, my plans to buy a house kept falling through. This has been going on for years, and I became sick of living with my parents in a never-ending state of housing limbo. Long story short, my gut screamed at me that this was a huge mistake. I listened to my gut, and walked away from what seemed like a perfect apartment. No one had any idea that the Covid-19 pandemic would take place. In retrospect, I absolutely made the right call. If I had taken that apartment, I would have felt isolated, and it would have taken a huge toll on my mental health, as well as my finances. But how did I know? I just followed my intuition.
Choosing a Place to Live Based on Fear, or What Society Expects Isn’t A Great Reason for Buying a Home
Before you think about buying a home, ask yourself why you are doing it. Do you feel that it’s a milestone everyone expects of you past a certain age? Is it for your kids to have a yard to play in? Or do you feel like you must buy a home, because it’s what everyone else is doing?
Another similar reason why people buy a house is out of fear. This was very common during the Covid-19 pandemic. Plenty of people over-paid for the real state, which means that they are going to end up with little-to-no equity. According to the Wallstreet Journal, countless numbers of people quickly bought a house during the pandemic, and ended up regretting their purchase.
As a Woman, Your Fear of Living Alone Is Completely Justified
When I was looking for a place to live on my own, I felt so much fear and anxiety building up in me. I was scared to live alone. Logic was trying to tell me that I’d be fine, but my gut told me otherwise. Don’t be stupid, I thought to myself. There’s literally no reason to hate this. My intuition was screaming, “no no no no no”, but I was trying my best to ignore it. Logic told me that the odds of something bad happening to me were slim-to-none.
At the time, I never looked up the statistics that out of every 1,000 women living alone, at least 21 of them become victims of a burglary. According to Burglary.com, single women in their 30’s and 40’s who are recently divorced or separated have a higher chance of being robbed than younger women in their 20’s, possibly because it’s assumed that they are going to be more financially comfortable. And according to Reolink.com, New Jersey (where I live) has more incidents than any other state.
If you begin to feel something in your gut that seems like an irrational fear, question it. Do the research. If you’re wrong, the data will help you feel better. But if you’re right, you’ll see how your intuition lead you to a tangible reason to be worried.
Women Pay Higher Interest Rates For Mortgages
Believe it or not, women pay higher for their mortgage interest than men. According to Bankrate, women pay more for mortgages in every single state except Alaska. Even if the interest rates seem to have a very small difference, this adds up equating to women paying thousands of dollars more for the same mortgage, compared to men. Unfortunately, sexism is hard to prove in a case like this, when you don’t have access to a man’s mortgage. However, this might be something to take into consideration before you buy a home.
Maybe your intuition is telling you that you need to wait until you get married to buy a house. According to this data, you would end up with lower interest rates. However, don’t let this stop you from buying a house as a single lady. Remember- knowledge is power. Now that you realize that there is an unfair system at play, you can try to negotiate with your lender for lower rates.
Most people choose a place to live based on logic, rather than intuition.
I can’t tell you how many friends of mine hate their apartments, and yet they keep living there anyway. They would complain about the neighbors, the landlord, the location.
I’d say, “Why don’t you just move?”
They would always come up with some kind of excuse. Usually, they would say that it’s close to work, so it’s convenient. Then, a couple years later, they finally find a new home that feels right, and they say, “I can’t believe I didn’t move sooner.”
There is no need to unnecessarily put yourself through living in a place that makes you unhappy. Yes, moving is a real pain. But it’s worth it in the end.
Why does society condition us to ignore our gut feelings?
Finding a place to live is a big deal. It’s where we spend most of our time outside of work. Or, if you work from home like me, it’s where you spend almost all of your time. Now that so many more people are working from home, they finally realize just how important it is to feel completely happy in their surroundings.
Next time you choose where to live, make sure it feels right, even if it means taking time to live with your parents. Yes, it’s embarrassing, but remember- it’s a temporary annoyance in exchange for living in a place that actually makes you feel happy and safe.