You Go, Girl! – “She was ready to start climbing the property ladder and he wasn’t. She hopes women have the courage to leap confidently into homeownership. Work within the budget (she laughs).”

“I have a single friend sitting on the fence between buying and renting. She’s financially ready to make the leap into homeownership, but hesitant about doing it solo in case she meets someone soon.
Waiting for Mr. Right can derail a number of women’s homeownership plans, according to Sandra Rinomato, a realtor and owner of a full-service brokerage in Toronto.
“I can’t tell you how many times a client asks what she’ll do if Mr. Right comes along, and I always say if he does, then okay, you can keep the investment in your portfolio and rent it, he can move in, or you sell it and take the equity,” she says. She speaks from personal experience, having at one point purchased property on her own while in a serious relationship. She was ready to start climbing the property ladder and he wasn’t.

More and more single women are entering the market, making up roughly one in four new buyers, according to Ms. Rinomato, who is currently hosting the new HGTV series, Buy Herself, focused on helping singles navigate the world of real estate.

“If I could pull a rabbit out of a hat I would, but we work within the budget,” laughs Ms. Rinomato. Searching outside your financial scope can derail the process, or financially stretch you further than you should be if you fall in love with something a few rungs out of your reach on the property ladder.
Aside from down payment, monthly mortgage costs, and emergency funds for the unexpected, it’s your responsibility to have a grasp on the countless other costs associated with buying your first place, like inspection, legal, and appraisal fees.

Ms. Rinomato says it’s not unusual for solo buyers to have unrealistic requirements. … A strong team in your corner is also essential for a first-time buyer, and an understanding of the steps of buying, and how to will help you make the right investment decision. … She hopes her new TV series inspires women to at least ask if this is the right time to buy and not to hold back because they’re scared, or don’t think it’s an option, or think Mr. Right is around the corner. More importantly, she hopes women have the courage to leap confidently into homeownership if the time and the investment is right.

‘Finding the right home, with or without Mr. Right’, Angela Self, G&M, 20 Apr 2012 Angela Self is “one of the founders of the Smart Cookies money group and writes a weekly column on managing debt and saving money at the Globe and Mail”.
[hat-tip theragingranter]

Careful feminist analysis of the article would be appreciated; any takers?
“A strong team in your corner is essential for a first-time buyer”: let’s guess… a realtor and a mortgage broker, right?
– vreaa

From the comment section of the G&M article:

“Is anyone else amused by the fact that a show enticing single women to buy into the very peak of the condo bubble, and thus committing financial suicide, is being marketed as “female empowerment”? I’m thinking it’s time to short Lululemon stock. … In a few years HGTV can do a follow-up program called “Sell Herself”. That’s what many of these women will be doing in order to hang onto their negative equity condos.” – Alistair McLaughlin

39 responses to “You Go, Girl! – “She was ready to start climbing the property ladder and he wasn’t. She hopes women have the courage to leap confidently into homeownership. Work within the budget (she laughs).”

  1. theragingranter

    Heh. if the Lululemon short idea sounds familiar, that’s because Alistair McLaughlin is my Globe and Mail screen name. I think I posted a similar idea here as RagingRanter a few weeks back.

  2. Only a banker propaganda piece like this could juxtapose RE to Mr. Right. Notice the heels climbing up the stairs anybody? http://i43.tinypic.com/34euxit.png

  3. Rinomato advertises her RE agent services in bus shelter ads and on the subway here in Toronto.

  4. Agree, articles like this are about as appropriate as owners incorporating feng shui for “the Chinese”.

  5. Well, as one of the women who contributes to this blog, I’d have to say most Alistair McLaughlin’s/Raging Ranter’s point is very cogent indeed, as well as funny, as are so many of his comments (thank you, RR). (For the record, I don’t agree that whoredom is necessarily the next step for women in financial peril, as we are now allowed to hold other jobs…. Also, not all of us squander money on expensive yogawear; I myself have bought my entire wardrobe at the Salvation Army.)

    I do agree that using the language of female empowerment and independence to wheedle women into potentially making an extremely unwise financial decision should get what I would like to call (making this up as I go here) the Betty Friedan For Shame Award.

    In fact, I think Betty Friedan (who in _The Feminine Mystique_ described how many women felt trapped in domesticity) and Gloria Steinem (who grew up partly in a trailer) might suggest that pushing women into buying “a home” that might tie them down, overwhelm and impoverish them is one of the worst things you could do to a young woman.

    • You said it Vesta. This is one of the most cynical manipulations of the womens movement that has come along in awhile. Worse, it is being perpetrated by women who are enjoying the improvements their mothers worked hard for. I think this is called hijacking an ideal for small profit and a TV presence. There is nothing in this for women except debt slavery and the loss of options and yet it is so appealing on the surface you might just think everything is honky-dory. The other day I mentioned how our biological cycles conflict with reason where home buying and nesting is concerned. Now empty nesting is being pushed as enlightenment and freedom. I could puke. Honestly, I really was reluctant to even post on this thread because I was sure I would start swearing. I am just commenting on your comment.

      • These pretzels are making me thirsty

        Well said Farmer.. I share the same sentiment.
        It is really a falsehood being propagated in the name of “feel good” sentiments.

        “Buy tulips, they are good for you”

        The only reason people are continuing to buy overpriced RE is in the belief that RE will keep going up and up (greed) and also that they will be left out of an investment and miss out on the gravy train and saving rent if they do not (fear).

    • theragingranter

      I don’t seriously expect them to resort to prostitution. I was only making a sarcastic reference to the fact that more than a few young women featured on her show will likely find themselves in very desperate financial straits, and there is ZERO chance Sandra Rinomato will be doing a follow-up show about their struggles. Declaring Herself Insolvent or She’s Going Bankrupt or Flip That Creditor Off are not likely titles for the next HGTV hit.

      Also, I don’t mean to suggest that all young women are brainless shopaholics who drop large sums of money at Lululemon and go to hot yoga class before returning home to their 14th story condos to watch Sex and the City reruns. But those who do shall remain a favourite target of mine. 🙂 To some it will come across as sexism. It isn’t, but such misunderstandings cannot be helped.

      • RR, I myself didn’t take offense at your first comment, and didn’t leap to unwarranted conclusions (about “all young women”). My own comment was meant to be humourous.

      • theragingranter

        I know, I was just explaining that for others’ benefit. It’s way too easy for some people these days to cry “sexism!!” or some other ism when they don’t like what you’re saying. I’ve gotten some of that on the G & M site.

    • Epte!… or should that be, Major? Your entire wardrobe!?… Be careful where you shop – the urge to seize a SoapBox of your own may become irresistible…

      • Thanks, Nem, but I’m agnostic, never fear! Also I have to say I dress better than this lady. Bonnets verboten.

        The Salvation Army provides more shelter for homeless people than any other organization in Western Canada. I decided some years ago to do my shopping at the Sally Ann and thus do a little bit for the housing crisis that way.

  6. Not surprising to see propaganda like this in the HGTV-laced world.

    I’m quite sure that the demographic of the viewers of that channel leans heavily to the fairer sex.

  7. Relaxed & Happy Islander

    Horrors! Will this signal the end to mandatory dual sinks in the bathroom? Wait -could be marketed as “flex space”, just in case Mr. Right shows up. Phew.

    • theragingranter

      Nah, the double sinks will make it easier to attract roommates, which will she’ll need in order to keep making the mortgage payments. A roommate or two will be awfully cramped in a bachelor condo. But hey, do you want to be financially independent? Or do you want to be a renter? Remember, as an owner, you can choose the top bunk.

  8. No need to wait for Mr Right, don’t be scared, everybody is “doing it”, it’s only the tip…

    • theragingranter

      Right up there with, “Nobody gets pregnant the first time.”

      I can’t for the life of me understand why, in this era of supposed enlightenment, it is still so easy to target young women and use their insecurities about their independence as a conduit to their bank account. Isn’t that precisely the opposite of what 40 years of feminism was supposed to accomplish? It’s just so blatant.

      Sure, we’ve taught them well enough not to depend on Mr. Right showing up just when he’s needed. Because he rarely does. But in place of Mr. Right have emerged all manner of shady marketers and snake oil salesmen (sorry, salespeople), and allegedly “progressive” media outlets like the Globe and Mail are only too happy to give them yet another platform from which to peddle their misery.

  9. Do you remember those independence rings that the diamond companies were pushing a few years back? For the single woman, you’d buy yourself a diamond for your right hand, or some such. But you can’t buy empowerment.

    • Because women got sold on greed. They forgot all their power is in family….(sensitive enough Vreaa?)

    • Women are people, and some people are empowered by family, and some aren’t.

      • I know Absinthe. I just get so burned up by women like Sandra Rinomato because she is basically a sell-out and doing what it takes to line her own nest. The bloody gall of her to promote condo buying to young women at the top of the market while using a feminist slant of empowerment is just beyond belief.

        She stinks.

      • theragingranter

        Farmer, she doesn’t even know she’s doing it. The most persuasive salesmen (or women) are those who believe their own BS. She has swallowed her own bait, drank her own koolaid, believes fervently in her own sales pitch. Which is why she is so successful.

  10. Yea! Single women can buy themselves shelter with out the hassle of relying on men to assist them. They can also have children without the same hassle. Now they only have to rely on men for the occasional booty call. Thank god for the liberation.

  11. They’ve got to figure out how to unload all of those tiny bachelor suites. I guess they built too many for bachelors, and now need bachelorettes, too.

    • theragingranter

      That was never in doubt. Condos have been targeting single professional women for at least two decades.

  12. LandlordRescue.ca

    Last time I checked I was female.

    The whole idea of Mr. Right is antiquated and idiotic. Furthermore any feminist leanings they may have had were utterly destroyed when they mentioned Mr Right.

    Unfortunately for the women involved there is a valid reason to wait for Mr Right before buying and men buying before Mrs. Right too. Mr or Mrs Right will not want to live in a pad picked for just your needs. First if you’re buying a condo it will likely be too small. Sandy Rinomato has no reason to encourage churning of real estate does she?

    • theragingranter

      Yabut, Sandra says, “…you can keep the investment in your portfolio and rent it, he can move in, or you sell it and take the equity.” See? It’s easy. Keep, rent, or flip. And make gobs of money no matter what. You can’t lose in real estate. Everyone knows that.

  13. pricedoutfornow

    I read an article from Ireland a few months ago (sorry, no link) detailing the real estate experiences of various people who had bought and now were suffering from the correction. An awful lot of them were young women (or men) who had bought condos, then met someone, kept the condo as a rental (it’s an “invesment!”) and bought a new house with the partner. Then the crash happened and they couldn’t unload the condo (and the rent didn’t cover the mortgage), and were also in dire straits making the payments on the new house. It seemed to me these people were in the worst situations as they had all their financial resources in that one asset class, which had declined in value. From my experiences as a renter, I can vouch that there are many, many couples in Vancouver in this situation-I often went to check out a rental condo and found that it was occupied by a young woman who had purchased it by herself and was now part of a couple-and they had decided to buy something bigger together. That’s a lot of debt! But it was quite common that I would see this. I can only imagine the problems they will have when (if) the market crashes.

    • As a woman who has owned a variety of real estate over the years but is currently renting, this show makes me crazy! The idea that 30-some years after the birth of Women’s Lib, women are still being treat like they can’t get their pretty little heads around something as big as real estate on their own and so have to be treated ‘specially’ just frosts me. The fact that it’s being done by another woman is particularly galling but she won’t get any backlash over it because it’s part of the ‘sisterhood’. Now if it was a male host… 🙂

      That said, I can also see how this might backfire for a lot of this show’s victims. Ms. LandlordRescue is quite correct in pointing out that whatever they buy will probably be too small long-term. There is a woman I know (in Vancouver) in just that position. She recently told me she is getting married and her 450 sq ft bachelor pad is a tight squeeze for the two of them. She wants to sell but – shock of shocks – can’t get what she paid for it two years ago. She doesn’t want to take a loss so she might rent it out. I just smiled and wished her all the best.

      Also, when I was looking for a rental place, I met two different couples who had purchased small places and then found themselves pregnant. They had both bought bigger places and were renting out the small places.

  14. Moved by RR’s imagery, and comments above from Landlord Rescue and Pricedoutfornow, I have written some execrable doggerel I would like to “share”:

    To Ms. Rinomato:

    If Betty Friedan
    had a frying pan,
    she’d chase you from here
    to Newfoundland.
    What is it you don’t understand
    about speculative manias
    and how hard things land?
    For the sake of the “girls”
    you want to entice
    (RE pimps
    give bad advice),
    I hope that before
    your next photo-op
    this Canadian bubble
    will have popped.

  15. Thanks, VREAA, for highlighting this column from the G & M with all its horrors, and RR, thanks for your incisive commentary (and your unwarranted praise of my skill here but welcome appreciation of meter and rhyme…. Chubster, I agree this is gongworthy — though your own posts aren’t!).

    I’m wondering if the VREAA should start an archive entitled “Article — Or Ad?” After seeing yet another piece in the Vancouver Sun in the last few days, by a Ms. Sherlock (about real estate, what else), that I felt blurred the categories, I thought this might be a way of getting editors to see how readers don’t want to be bamboozled like this.

    • 🙂 … gong show -> contestants/judges/host/affectedparties lose much, much inhibition … who cares, just put it out there. of course, there was much, much ‘fuel’ being burned to make entertainment possible. oh and if one must ask … some advice for the younger climbers: sme + fun makes you a lethal combination anywhere, anytime, any place (anywhere?). to advance, cultivate also your inner jackass … to perhaps discover which of the two is the more worthy.

      -> handy little excerpt:
      The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered “Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

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