Milwaukee ranks as a top market for single women to buy homes

Milwaukee ladies don’t need a partner to buy a home. 

Of course not. It’s 2017. 

Milwaukee ranked sixth on a new list of the 20 best places around the country for single and unmarried women to purchase a home, according to an analysis by, an online real estate brokerage.

For the ranking, analyzed approximately 50 metropolitan areas around the nation, taking into account the average home value, median female income, annual crime rate, walkability and public transportation, and the price of dinner for two people.

The average home price in the Milwaukee market was $190,000.

“It’s a huge component of the market now,” said Mike Ruzicka, president of the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors. “It started in the early ’90s becoming a significant segment and grew tremendously.” 

Just in the past year, single female buyers increased 2%.

For decades, single women have eclipsed single men in homeownership. While 19% of Milwaukee homebuyers are single females, just 7% are single males, according to the 2016 profile of homebuyers and sellers in Milwaukee from the National Association of Realtors. The majority — 60% — are married couples.

Beth Jaworski, a real estate agent in Milwaukee for 25 years, sells dozens of homes a year, often to single women. Jaworski also bought a house when she was 30 and single. 

“No waiting for Mr. Right or a family,” she said. “It was scary, but it was the best thing I ever did.”

Jaworski bought a duplex in Wauwatosa, earning extra money from a renter to steady her commission-based income. 

RELATED: These are the best cities for women to buy a home

Single and unmarried women have been outpacing single and unmarried men in homeownership across the country since 1981, with no end to the trend in sight, according to the National Association of Realtors. In 2016, 17% of single and unmarried women were homeowners, compared with 7% of single and unmarried men.

In Milwaukee, single women said the primary reason for purchasing a home was the desire to own property, while single men cited a change in their family situation most often. 

Nationally, the desire to have a property of their own ranked highest among both men and women, according to surveys conducted by the National Association of Realtors on first-time homeowners. But unmarried and single women also showed a strong desire to own a home close to family and friends.

In March, Jawarski helped Michelle Mullen-Burkart buy her first home in Milwaukee’s Kops Park neighborhood. Mullen-Burkart was done renting, especially after comparing what her mortgage payments would be. 

Mullen-Burkart, 28, wanted a home in a safe neighborhood with a fenced-in yard for her two American Staffordshire terriers. She was also thinking about moving into a new apartment that would cost nearly $1,500 a month with pet fees. 

“I’m not in a relationship at this point in my life, but I’m just really happy at this stage in my life,” Mullen-Burkart said. “(Buying a house is) something that I wanted to do. I’m not the type to wait around until I had a man to buy a house with. Women are waiting longer to get married, have children. And that’s just the lifestyle that I lead.”

She found a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house with a yard for her dogs and a garage for $133,000. The home had recently been flipped and had the cherry cabinets, granite counter tops and wood floors she wanted. She pays about $850 a month toward her mortgage. For her, it just didn’t make sense to wait. 

Sarah Hauer can be reached at, or Ell of USA Today contributed to this report. 

Here are the 20 best places for single women to purchase a home according to 

1. Cincinnati-Wilmington-Maysville, Ohio

2. Kansas City-Overland Park-Kansas City, (Kansas and Missouri) 

3.  Dallas-Fort Worth 

4. Albany-Schenectady, N.Y. 

5. Atlanta-Athens-Clarke County-Sandy Springs, Ga. 

6. Milwaukee-Racine-Waukesha, Wis. 

7. Hartford-West Hartford, Conn.

8. Minneapolis-St. Paul

9. Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C. 

10. Chicago-Naperville, Ill. 

11. Philadelphia-Reading-Camden (Pennsylvania, New Jersey) 

12. Boston-Worcester-Providence, (Massachusetts, Rhode Island) 

13. Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, (District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia) 

14. Portland-Vancouver-Salem, (Oregon, Washington) 

15. Seattle-Tacoma, Wash. 

16. Denver-Aurora, Colo. 

17. Sacramento-Roseville, Calif.

18. New York-Newark

19. Los Angeles-Long Beach 

20. San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland

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More Realtors Carry Guns for Safety

More Realtors Carry Guns for Safety, Self-Defense

By Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten
Dean Weingarten

Arizona -( 25 percent of men and 12 percent of women members of The National Association of Realtors (NAR) carry self defense firearms, according to the 2017 safety report. The number of members who carried a firearm totaled 19 percent.

The organization has published safety reports that show how many member carry weapons since 2015.

In 2014 real estate agent Beverly Carter was kidnapped and murdered. The crime made national news.  The president elect of the National Association of Realtors vowed to make safety a priority.


Carter was killed in September, “Realtor Safety Month,” for the National Association of Realtors.

The group’s president elect, Chris Polychron, has promised to make safety a priority when he takes office.

“We’re not going to let it die, I can tell you that,” he said. “It’s sad that it took a tragic death of one of our own to run the red flag up.”

An article from 2014 reported this step as being recommended by the National Association of Realtors:

10. Don’t assume that everyone has left the premises at the end of an open house. Check all of the rooms and the backyard prior to locking the doors. Be prepared to defend yourself, if necessary.

The man who murdered Beverly Carter was convicted in January of 2015.

Chris Polychron took office as president of NAR in 2015. The NAR conducted the first survey showing how many of its members carried weapons. In 2015, 12 percent of members reported they carried a gun.


Interestingly, according to the National Association of REALTORS 2015 Member Safety Report, 12 percent of agents who responded said that they already carry a gun in the field.

In 2016, 16 percent of members reported they carried a gun. Now, in 2017, 19% of members say they carry a gun. The increase in carrying guns for self defense is a national trend. The number of states that respect the Second Amendment has been growing steadily. The number of people with concealed carry permits has surged in the last few years. There is a growing movement for Constitutional Carry, where no permits for carry are required.

According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, there were 12.83 million concealed carry permits in the United States in 2015, 14.53 million concealed carry permits in 2016, and 16.36 concealed carry permits in 2017.  The number of concealed carry permits has grown 27 percent since 2015. The number of NAR members carrying guns has followed that trend, but has grown twice as fast, increasing 58 percent since 2015.

About three times as many NAR members carry guns as do people in the general population. The estimate of the general population that carry guns most or all of the time is about 5.4 percent, with 6.5 percent of the population having concealed carry permits.

It is likely that some of the NAR members do not need permits to carry concealed firearms. Fourteen states do not require a permit to carry concealed guns in 2017.  That system is commonly called Constitutional Carry.  There were seven states that did not require a permit to carry in 2015.

Realtors reflect a population that has similarities to people with concealed carry permits. The tend to be better educated than average, have above average income, and are very responsible people. It is not surprising that they carry defensive guns at a rate greater than the rest of the population.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Link to Gun Watch


About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

US housing starts fall 0.8 pct., a 2nd straight monthly drop

Homebuilders slowed their pace of construction by 0.8 percent in August, the second straight monthly decline. A steep drop in multifamily construction more than offset a slight gain in single-family-home building.

The overall drop occurred even though would-be homebuyers face both a shortage of properties for sale and escalating prices. Those two forces would normally help spur faster home construction. But builders are struggling with a shortage of skilled workers and rising land costs for development.

The tepid sales numbers suggest that it has become more profitable for companies to build a smaller number of homes for the affluent than to ramp up construction for a broader swath of buyers and renters.

Housing starts slipped last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.18 million, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Starts fell in the Northeast and South but rose in the Midwest and West.

Damage from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma didn’t appear to have hurt August housing construction. But the floods, rain and wind struck an area that represents fully 13 percent of U.S. home construction, so building activity could fall in the coming months.

Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist at the consultant MFR, said the job market, with its low 4.4 percent unemployment rate, should help cause the construction of single-family houses to keep increasing, but the growth “is likely to be quite modest.”

Behind the August drop was a 5.8 percent plunge in groundbreakings for multi-family buildings, such as apartments. This appears to reflect an expectation among builders that more people will shift out of apartments and into single-family homes as more of the millennial generation begins to have children.

Gary Magnuson, head of commercial real estate finance at Citizens Bank, said apartment construction has naturally been slowing after a sharp increase in prior years. Too much additional building of apartments would pose the risk of greater vacancies and lower rents.

“It’s sort of a self-regulation,” Magnuson said. “You don’t want that segment of the market to be overheated.”

Still, starts for single-family houses crept up just 1.6 percent. That’s not enough to overcome a steady decrease in sales listings for existing homes tracked by the National Association of Realtors.

The multi-year decline in listings has helped cause home prices to climb at more than double the pace of wage growth.

Over the past 12 months, the number of existing homes for sale has plummeted 9 percent to 1.92 million.

So far this year, total home construction has risen only 2.7 percent year-to-date, down from a 5.6 percent gain for all of 2016.

Building permits, an indicator of future construction, rose 5.7 percent to 1.30 million in August.

Commercial Real Estate Outlook Remains Strong

Commercial real estate price growth in large markets is expected to flatten over the next year, but strong leasing demand and investor appetite in smaller markets should keep the sector on solid ground, according to the latest National Association of Realtors quarterly commercial real estate forecast,

Backed by the ongoing stretch of outstanding job creation in recent years, national office vacancy rates are forecast by Realtors to retreat 1.1 percent to 11.9 percent over the coming year. The vacancy rate for industrial space is expected to decline 1.1 percent to 7.8 percent, and retail availability is to decrease 0.4 percent to 11.4 percent. Even as new apartment completions bring more supply to many markets, the multifamily sector will still likely see a vacancy rate decline from 6.6 percent to 6.1 percent. 

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the U.S. economy is on stable footing and is chugging along at a decent but unspectacular pace. “A very healthy labor market and stronger confidence and spending from both consumers and businesses boosted economic expansion to a solid 3.0 percent last quarter,” he said. “There’s legs for more of the same growth to close out the year, which bodes well for sustained interest in all types of commercial space.”

According to Yun, the appetite for commercial property is high, but investment activity does appear to be entering the maturation phase of the current cycle. The investor shift away from large markets to smaller ones is creating a divergence in sales activity. In the second quarter, large markets saw a 5 percent annual decline in sales, while Realtors® reported a sales boost of 4 percent in small markets.

“While inventory shortages are still driving prices higher in most markets, shrinking cap rates and the higher interest rate environment are expected to lead to a plateau in price growth over the next year, especially for Class A assets in large markets,” said Yun. “As a result, investors will continue to look to small and tertiary markets for properties that have the best opportunity to provide stability and generate solid returns.” 

Led by the industrial and multifamily sectors, Realtors® continue to report that leasing fundamentals for the four major commercial sectors are strong. Last quarter, the considerable appetite for industrial space — primarily from ecommerce and trade — resulted in distribution warehouses and logistic centers driving close to 70 percent of new construction leasing. Although 225.4 million square feet of additional space is currently in the pipeline, vacancy rates are still expected to trend downward as supply slowly catches up with demand.  

In the apartment sector, the pace of new construction is finally slowing in many markets after considerable building in recent years. However, rising household formation and the supply and affordability barriers to homeownership will continue to keep vacancies low and cause rents to maintain their trajectory of outpacing incomes.

“The economy is healthy for the most part, but headwinds abound in the short term,” said Yun. “A temporary slowdown in areas severely impacted by hurricanes Harvey and Irma, geopolitical tensions abroad and any minor correction in the financial markets could temporarily knock the economy slightly off course in coming months.”

NAR’s latest Business Creation Index (BCI), which launched in August 2016, showed ongoing positive developments for smaller commercial businesses in local communities. Over half of Realtors® have reported an increase in business openings and fewer closings every month since December, with food and beverage and retail making up the bulk of new businesses.

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NAR reveals how long student debt delays homeownership

An overwhelming majority of Millennials with student debt do not own a home, and believe this debt is the cause for the delay, a new study from the National Association of Realtors and nonprofit American Student Assistance showed.

The study revealed the typical delay is about seven years.

But home buying isn’t the only factor affected by student debt. The study showed student debt is holding Millennials back from financial decisions and personal milestones such as saving for retirement, changing careers, continuing their education, marrying and having children.

“The tens of thousands of dollars many millennials needed to borrow to earn a college degree have come at a financial and emotional cost that’s influencing Millennials’ housing choices and other major life decisions,” NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said.

“Sales to first-time buyers have been underwhelming for several years now, and this survey indicates student debt is a big part of the blame,” Yun said. “Even a large majority of older Millennials and those with higher incomes say they’re being forced to delay homeownership because they can’t save for a down payment and don’t feel financially secure enough to buy.”

In today’s market, only 20% of Millennial respondents own a home and the majority of them carry a student debt load that surpasses their income level at $41,200 versus an average annual income of $38,800.

Most of the survey’s respondents, 79%, indicated they borrowed money to pay for the education at a four-year college and about 51% said they are repaying a balance of more than $40,000.

Among those Millennials who do not own a home, 83% indicated their student loan debt has affected their ability to buy. The median amount of time Millennials expect to be delayed at buying a home is seven years, and 84% expect to postpone buying a home for a least three years.

And even among older Millennials who already own a home, student debt still continues to influence their decisions and prevent them from buying a trade-up home.

“Millennial homeowners who can’t afford to trade up because of their student debt end up staying put, which slows the turnover in the housing market and exacerbates the low supply levels and affordability pressures for those trying to buy their first home,” Yun said.

NAR explained that in order to keep the housing market moving, more options are needed to help reduce student debt levels for future students and help Millennials better manage their current debt levels.

“Student debt is a reality for the majority of students attending colleges and universities across our country,” ASA President and CEO Jean Eddy said. “We cannot allow educational debt to hold back whole generations from the financial milestones that underpin the American Dream, like home ownership.”

“The results of this study reinforce the need for solutions that both reduce education debt levels for future students, and enable current borrowers to make that debt manageable, so they don’t have to put the rest of their financial goals on hold,” Eddy said.

Currently, some lenders offer programs which allow those with student debt more options when it comes to home buying, including lenders who use Fannie Mae’s recently adopted policies which allow for student loan cash-out refinances and other options.

“Realtors are actively working with consumers and policy leaders to address the growing burden student debt is having on homeownership,” NAR President William Brown said. “We support efforts that promote education and simplify the student borrowing process, as well as underwriting measures that make it easier for homebuyers carrying student loan debt to qualify for a mortgage.”

However, this is just one study of many. In 2015, TransUnion announced the results of its study which seemed to show student loans have absolutely no impact on housing.

Another study from Fannie Mae showed that student debt does, in fact, delay homeownership, however college grads are much more likely to become homeowners at some point than those who don’t attend college.

ZipLogix makeover could clean up transaction management

Have suggestions for products that you’d like to see reviewed by our real estate technology expert? Email Craig Rowe.

ZipForms is about much more than forms.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) member benefit has long been an everyday partner to countless agents across the country.

Understandably though, as CRMs document automation tools and transaction management suites have rapidly proliferated throughout the industry, “free” tools provided by your largest professional association are easy to feel indifferent about, especially when a savvy sales team for another product is in your ear about a cool new app.

But members take note: The new version of zipLogix, zipForms parent, is demonstrating much of the same document and transaction management might as any platform in the industry.

The new zipLogix dashboard, now the gateway into a user’s workflow, is sharply designed, balancing subtle color-coding with a clear division of information-access points throughout…

Coldwell Banker Resort Realty names August top producers

Coldwell Banker Resort Realty has announced the firm’s top producers for the month of August. For the Rehoboth branch, the top listing agent was Dennis Barnes. The top selling agent was Frank Hornstein. The top overall agent was Skip Faust. For the Lewes branch, the top listing agent was Joanie Hannigan. The top selling agent was Ruth Sivils. The top overall agent was Dolores Desmond.  

Barnes has been a career Realtor for 15-plus years specializing in all aspects of the business, including residential, investment properties, land development, second homes, farms and commercial. He enjoys spending time with his family, riding motorcycles and volunteering to help veterans and youth in the community.   

Hornstein recently joined Coldwell Banker Resort Realty. He has a bachelor of science degree in management from Penn State University. Prior to real estate, he owned and operated his own business, Plantworks Design Group in Washington, D.C. Before moving to the area full time, he enjoyed weekend visits for over 15 years. 

Faust, a licensed Realtor since 1986, is a Lewes native. He has been recognized as Delaware’s No. 1 agent for the Coldwell Banker Brand for 20 years and is a member of the President’s International Elite Circle, ranking him within the top 2 percent of all Coldwell Banker sales associates internationally. He is actively involved as a coach, board member and mentor with Lewes Little League.

Hannigan, a licensed Realtor since 2007, first moved to Delaware in 2002 when she helped her family open Serendipity Restaurant. She is a founding charter member of the Sussex County Chapter of the Women’s Council of Realtors and served as its president in 2012 and in 2014 as state governor. She remains an active member of the chapter. 

Sivils, a licensed Realtor since 2003 and associate broker since 2010, is past president and an active member of the Sussex County Chapter of the Women’s Council of Realtors. She volunteers her free time with Habitat for Humanity building homes. She has also served on the board of directors for the Sussex County Association of Realtors.  

Desmond, vice president and broker of record of the Lewes office, has been licensed since 1997. She has been recognized as a top producer for the last nine consecutive years, and is a member of the President’s Multi-Million Dollar Circle. Desmond has earned her Certified Distressed Property Expert designation, specializing in short sales and helping homeowners find alternatives to foreclosures. She is a charter member and past board member of the Sussex County Chapter of the Women’s Council of Realtors. 

Barnes, Hornstein, Faust, Hannigan, Sivils and Desmond are all members of the Sussex County Association of Realtors, the Delaware Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors. Barnes, Hornstein and Faust may be reached at 20184 Coastal Highway, Rehoboth or by calling 302-227-5000.  Hannigan, Sivils and Desmond may be reached at 800 Kings Highway, Lewes or by calling 302-645-2881.

REALTORS® Relief Foundation Accepting Donations for Hurricane Victims

The REALTORS® Relief Foundation, a 501(c)(3) administered by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), is collecting monetary donations at to provide housing-related assistance to victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the organization recently announced. NAR’s Leadership Team has already approved a $600,000 donation by the organization to the Foundation, and REALTORS® collectively have donated $1.2 million so far.

Every dollar donated goes directly to victims of disasters, NAR covers 100 percent of administrative expenses.

“The devastation caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma is enormous, and our thoughts and support go out to all those affected,” says NAR President Bill Brown. “The National Association of REALTORS® wants our members and the consumers they serve to know that the REALTOR® family is here for them; we encourage one and all to join NAR in donating to the REALTORS® Relief Foundation at”

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The REALTORS® Relief Foundation was established 16 years ago after the 9/11 attacks. The foundation is dedicated to providing housing-related assistance to those whose lives have been impacted by disasters. Donations are tax-deductible

For more information, please visit

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark

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Coldwell Banker brings on associates; newcomer earns title

A host of agents recently joined one of the larger real estate companies in the Charleston area and will be based in the Goose Creek branch.

The sales pros affiliating with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage include Joe Swisher, Lisa Carter, Jennifer Dalling, Bethany Hooper and Heather O’Neill. Hooper also earned a Pricing Strategy Advisor certification.

A lifelong Connecticut resident, Dalling brings two years experience in real estate sales and more than 15 years in the home construction and remodeling industries to the Goose Creek office.

“My knowledge, networking tools, resources and recent experience relocating myself allows me to understand the stresses of such a drastic move and I will help make this transition a smoother, more stress free experience,” she says.

Reach Dalling at 203-913-0076 or

O’Neill says, “I am excited to provide the highest level of customer service to my customers and clients. I pride myself in putting their needs as top priority and making their experience smooth and enjoyable as possible, while giving them the best representation in every transaction,” she says.

Reach O’Neill at 757-406-0843, or

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage is a leading residential real estate brokerage company with 28 offices and more than 1,100 sales associates serving the communities of North and South Carolina. For more information or to view local properties, visit Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage is a subsidiary of NRT LLC, the nation’s largest residential real estate brokerage company.

Swisher, Carter and Hooper each ” look forward to providing the best customer service and helping buyers and sellers achieve their needs” thanks to their area knowledge.

Contact Swisher at 843-819-7823 or, Carter at 843-557-7287 or and Hooper at 843-597-8427 or

Trina Woods, branch manager of the Goose Creek Office, says the company is “very happy” to welcome the five brokers the Coldwell Banker network and that their “knowledge of the area and commitment to excellent customer service leads to making customers for life.”

Meanwhile, Hooper gained a certification for her expertise in determining property values.

The National Association of Realtors recognizes the countrywide Pricing Strategy Advisor designation. It offers the PSA certification to Realtors to uphold skill and competence, make the best use of technology and commit to approach the assignment of pricing properties “from various prospectives,” the NAR says.

“The market demands accurate property value assessments, so NAR is excited to provide Realtors with enhanced tools, education and expertise to determine the most accurate value for a home and give their clients a leg up when buying or selling,” says NAR President Tom Salomone, broker-owner of Real Estate II Inc. in Coral Springs, Florida.

Hooper passed a required one-day course on “Pricing Strategies: Mastering the CMA” (comparative market analysis). The workshop provides Realtors with the experience to select appropriate “comparables” — recently sold nearby properties with similar characteristics to a particular residence or site — make “accurate adjustments, guide sellers and buyers through the details of comparative market analyses and the underlying pricing principles that inform them and interact effectively with appraisers,” according to the Realtors association.

In addition to completing the course, participants are required to view two online seminars. The certification equips Realtors “to guide clients through the anxieties and misperceptions they often have about home values,” the association says. Visit

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage describes itself as a “leading residential real estate brokerage company” with 28 offices and more than 1,100 sales associates serving  communities in South Carolina and North Carolina. It’ss a subsidiary of NRT LLC, the nation’s largest residential real estate brokerage company. For more, visit

Northrup teams up with major Charleston area real estate company


A magazine backer and mother recently joined Carolina One Real Estate as an agent in its Mount Pleasant U.S. Highway 17 North office.

After raising three children in Pittsburgh, Lisabeth Northrop and her husband Bill relocated to Charleston in 2015 to start Mt. Pleasant Lifestyle, a luxury community publication. This year, “fulfilling a 30 year desire,” she obtained her real estate license and chose Carolina One Real Estate to begin her new career.

Carolina One Real Estate says it’s “happy to welcome” her to the East Cooper office’s team.

Northrup was born in Kinnelon, New Jersey, and grew up there. After high school graduation, she moved to St. Petersburg, Florida where she would graduate from the University of South Florida in Tampa with a social work degree.

In her leisure time, she enjoys home decorating, reading, bible study and competitive swimming, according to the Charleston-area agency.

Carolina One Real Estate Services showcase a full service mortgage division, around a dozen sales offices and departments specializing in commercial real estate, insurance, new homes, property management, relocation, title services and vacation rentals. Visit