Turf: For Women

From first mortgages to DIY remodels, Seattle home buyers are increasingly going it alone.

All the good men are either married or gay. I just buried my husband. Divorce was the greatest thing that ever happened to me. The kids are off to college, so it's time to build an empty nest—for one. It's my money, and I'll spend it how I want. It's time to embrace my inner crone.

Whatever the reason (and we've heard many more than that), the old picket-fence paradigm of a husband, kids, golden retriever, and single-family house in the suburbs doesn't always fit today's woman. Divorce rates are up, more people live alone (particularly in cities), and folks are getting married later and later. You can't always wait to settle down, so why not go solo when it comes to your home?

Statistics show that more and more women are buying real estate on their own. That trend also means more women working with architects and contractors. And they're picking up their own hammers, doing their own Sheetrocking, and perusing the aisles at Home Depot and Dunn Lumber.

We look at how two Seattle sisters bought and fixed up their places with the aid of a prominent female architect. We examine the figures that indicate an ever-increasing number of women are going it alone—and how that trend might impact the city. We meet truck girls and tool-belt divas who offer hands-on home repair and renovation. Finally, there's the backlash: How does a boyfriend respond when you're buying a place without him?

But lest you think that last story might be too depressing, remember that the best remedy for heartache isn't a quart of Häagen-Dazs—it's that new belt sander you've always wanted. Eds.


More and more women are buying real estate on their own. That means more women working with architects and contractors. And picking up their own hammers. INTRODUCTION

• Single women are suddenly the hottest thing in the housing market. MORE

• How a top-shelf architect helped two sisters remodel their pads. MORE

• Dos and don'ts: Lose the jewelry, ladies, when you reach for the power saw. MORE

• The rise of Truck Girl. MORE

• Buying a house can be the fastest way to lose a man. MORE

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