Investing in real estate: the right strategies for women

While women have traditionally waited to be married to own real estate, customs are changing, and many young women today are buying alone to build wealth. “The share of women who buy alone was almost 46% of the cases we considered last year; in 2017, women accounted for only 30% of individual investors, with a peak of 35% among women aged 50 and over, ”explains Cecil Roquelor, Empruntis’ Director of Communications.

Significant differences are found when looking at the family profiles of borrowers: men who buy alone are more likely to be single than women: 86% vs. 79%. Conversely, the share of divorced (20% vs. 14%) and widows (1.40% vs. 0.56%) among women is higher than among men.

But although women have lower incomes than men, they tend to have a higher average contribution from savings than men (67,700 euros compared to 63,060 euros). Consequence: borrow later than men, an average of 39 years against 37 years in the first. Due to lower borrowing capacity, the average loan amount they take is lower than that of men. “However, last year the gap averaged just under 10,000 euros. In 2020, it was 16,000 euros, ”said Cecil Roquelor.

Acquisition of the main residence is the flagship project of women who buy independently (89% of files, against 9% for rent and 2% for secondary housing). For most of them, the goal is a roof over their children’s heads.

Features of the financial file

“There is no discrimination in access to credit. But there are peculiarities in the study of their financial affairs, when they live alone with dependent children, “the specialist continues. When it comes to men, banks pay attention to the level of their debt and the level of their income and expenses to determine their debt capacity, they tend to focus on “the rest to live on after the children.” The practice depends on the bank, but most of them require that after repaying the monthly payment for a dependent child, a minimum of 200 euros / 300 euros is charged.

To calculate the debt ratio or set the loan rate, lenders usually take into account only professional income and fixed income during the loan repayment period. CAF benefits and child support are not taken into account. In other words, if the applicant’s debt is about 37% excluding assistance and alimony, the bank will not give its consent.

On the other hand, if its debt ratio is about 34%, with a small subsistence level, it can take this benefit into account to calculate the monthly payment. “In other words, this type of income cannot turn a loan waiver into a deal, but they can give freedom to the monthly payment if it is a little tight…” – says Cecil Rockelar.

Divorce or divorce: redeem the balance

Another option for women who want to become the owner of their main place of residence after divorce is to keep the house together by buying out the share of her husband or partner and taking out a loan in the process of repayment. This is an ideal solution for those who have custody of their children: they will be able to preserve their living environment, continue to attend the same school … It is also more economical, as it avoids the cost of moving, finding new housing (agency, etc.).

For example, if you bought your main home as a joint property or in joint ownership at 50/50, it is estimated at 400,000 euros with a loan in the process of repayment, the remaining capital of which is 100,000 euros, the amount of cash payment to be paid to your the former to redeem his share is 150,000 euros (half the value of the property – half the share of the loan repayable). But you will also have to keep repaying the loan. This assumes that if you do not have the liquidity needed to pay the “cash” balance to review your loan, and borrow 250,000 euros to redeem your share.