No partner, no problem. Women may make on average 80% of what men do, but single women (especially millennials) are the fastest-growing group of homeowners in the US. On average, single women own 22% of homes. Single men? Less than 13%.*
But the hard part starts after the “For Sale” sign comes down. We surveyedsingle millennial womenacross the US to see how they’re tackling home ownership on their own — from learning to patch drywall to knowing when and who to call for backup.
They’ve saved and scouted, but the real work starts after move-in day when the drywall cracks, the faucet leaks, and the TV needs mounting. Here’s how these homeowners handle the challenges of homeownership.
The pipes are frozen and the paint is chipped. Who do you go to when there’s no landlord or partner to call for help? How do you know you can trust them with — and in — your home?
Family and friends are still the first people our homeowners go to with questions, but Google and handy(wo)men aren’t far behind as resources.
on Speed Dial
However, respondents are almost three times more likely to rely on a third party than their friends for home help.
"If I'm not comfortable doing it myself, I look for recommendations from friends and family to ensure I have a reliable person working on our home. I also look at reviews on Google to avoid any nightmare situations."
Maggie H., age 27
What’s the first source you consult for recommendations?
What’s most important to you in choosing someone to help?
Need inspiration to tackle a project around your home? Meet the handy women of TaskRabbit.
Data was collected via an independent survey of 400 respondents from the ages of 26-38 across the United States who identified as female, single (unmarried, divorced, or widowed), and own their own home.
How I became handy: “I got the handy bug from my mother. As a single parent, she made sure to teach me a lot about tools and how to use them so that I’d always know how to do the job for myself if the need arose. I took what she taught me and just expanded on it over the years.”
Latest projects: Painting a piece of furniture I purchased from Craigslist.
Skill I wish I had in my toolbox: I’m always open to learning new skills!
Least favorite chore: Anything electrical, so changing light fixtures.
How I became handy: “My mother was an immigrant single parent and growing up we didn't have a lot of money or help to fix things. My first ‘fix’ was in 3rd grade when my mom's sewing machine broke. She told me not to touch it … 10 minutes later, it was fixed.”
Latest projects: Installed a four-piece mirror and an IKEA walk-in closet system, fixed sliding doors in my own home, and installed some motion sensors.
Skill I wish I had in my toolbox: Electrical work. I had a rogue light switch that wasn't connected to a breaker and I didn't want to turn off the power to the whole house. 110 volts doesn't hurt THAT much.
How I became handy: “I have a degree in Fashion Design, and as one of those people who needs to do things with my hands, home improvement and redecoration shows are a go-to for me. DIY-ing many of my own home projects has allowed me a space in which I could make mistakes and discover what works and what doesn’t.”
Latest projects: Cut, stained, and installed a new bedroom door; hung curtains, and mounted large shelves on some pre-war walls.
Skill I wish I had in my toolbox: I’d like to hone skills in locksmithing, electrical work, and carpentry, and get to advanced artisan-level work in woodcarving and tile work.
Least favorite chore: Cleaning. Especially the dishes. I can happily sort and organize objects all day long, but a sink piled high with dirty dishes makes me want to scream.
How I became handy: “When I was a kid my family owned an antique shop. My mother always let me be creative and do whatever I wanted with the old furniture. When I got a older, I worked in a lighting and home decor store where I picked up light installation and got the inspiration to paint architectural pieces and faux finishes in people's homes.”
Latest projects: Installed an under-the-cabinet microwave on a tile wall. That was tricky because I had to drill four ½ inch holes in the tiles without cracking them.
Skill I wish I had in my toolbox: My partner and I bought an airport shuttle bus and we are turning it into a tiny home so we can travel while we work on TaskRabbit. I did all the body work on the bus, and next I'm going to learn how to trace the electrical system and set up solar power.