“I felt like I was owning myself, like it was a form of self-love to go back and redeem my dream, my path,” Ms Ealy said. “I went from being heartbroken, lost, confused, and in just one year I was able to turn that into a property worth about half a million.”
During this process, she became active in the Lady Landlords and Real Estate InvestHER Facebook communities, excited to meet people like her. “So many people have given up on marriages and relationships and ended up losing everything but taking what little money they had and putting it into real estate,” she said.
Their stories allayed her fears that she was taking too many risks.
But there are pitfalls, often related to gender bias. one 2020 Yale School of Management paper found that single women make significantly less profit from buying and selling real estate than single men.
The Lady Landlords and Real Estate InvestHER message boards are full of questions and complaints about how to solve the problem of unequal treatment. “I’ll get one post saying, ‘Hey, what type of flooring should I buy,'” Ms. Nova said. “And one post is, ‘Hey, the contractors showed up and asked where my husband is, or I have a male tenant and he’s not paying rent, what’s the best way to ask for it safely?’
Ms. DeVoe said she experienced severe imposter syndrome during the renovation. “Working with contractors was a nightmare for a woman,” she said. At the precinct, when her father was around, the men always turned to him. “And my dad, being such a wonderful person, would tell me, ‘I’m not the boss, you have to talk to her.’ And they would look confused.”
According to her, even the documents reeked of sexism. On the deed to Ms. DeVoe’s property, next to her signature, are three words written in capital letters: SINGLE WOMAN. “I thought you guys were rubbing it in my face,” she said. (The state of Montana does not require deeds to indicate marital status.)