Women are doing it for themselves!
Did you know that single women are now responsible for more home purchases than couples in some provinces of South Africa and for more home purchases than single men in all areas?
That's according to the recent findings of property data company Lightstone, and I find it very reassuring with Women's Month still fresh in our minds, when we were talking about the real empowerment of women through financial independence.
And I'm not talking here about being superwealthy, but simply about having the means to decide for yourself, as an adult, where and how to live your life - because I don't believe there is any freedom in being dependent on someone else to provide your shelter, food and warmth - or worse, being too poor to access those basic needs at all.
So what can women do to ensure that they don't find themselves trapped in that kind of situation? I believe they should be encouraged, from a very early age, to save and plan to buy a home of their own - an asset that will not only provide shelter but grow in value and be the foundation on which to build their personal wealth. In this regard, there are two important things to know, the first being that paying off a home loan is usually better than putting money into a savings account at the bank, and the second that once you have paid off a certain portion of that loan, you can usually access those funds again to pay for more education or to buy another property to provide a rental income.
What is more, in South Africa one does not have to be especially wealthy or earn a huge salary to acquire your first home. There are Flisp subsidies available to households earning between R3 500 and R15 000 a month, while the banks are currently granting an increasing number of 100% loans to those earning between
R11 500 and about R23 000 a month. Meanwhile, women who do have their eye on building up a financial empire might be interested to know that among the richest self-made women in the world (i.e. those who did not inherit their wealth), a large percentage made their fortunes in residential or commercial real estate, or in construction or products related to real estate. There's definitely food for thought there…
Berry Everitt, Chas Everitt Group CEO