When women purchase a home – Zillow chats with first-time homebuyers

Before women became domestic employees we had servants, where did they get a home to buy? In a factory, or a slum … or a …

To New Yorkers, the rolling hills of Stoneham, MA, might be as intimidating as the big-sky huts we see on HGTV. Yet this piece of land has been lovingly crafted into a beautiful 6-acre sanctuary by a group of women, including a green-card-holding entrepreneur, a retired telephone operator, a retired art teacher, a nurse and a paralegal. Their dream is to build and live in their own home but need funds to start – and they’re working with Zillow to use their voice to reach a wider audience. And we’re not talking about their Zillow score.


Carolyn Kelly (moderator, home builder)

This Generation said New York is “too expensive”. Working here for the past two decades, and building in Queens, Kelly has never seen anything like this community. She hopes that over time, these women find a new home that caters to them – and they themselves, for those things.

At the moment they’re making do by renting out a studio apartment, but they’re not stopping there. They plan to get a building, build a house, and eventually find a place to call home.

Lulu Santos (work)

Santos has experienced first-hand the challenges of owning a home, having worked as a cashier for 35 years at a local supermarket. “I can’t afford a house so I have to rent,” she says.

Her co-founders at It Be Different had the bright idea of getting in touch with realtors, who hooked them up with buildings to visit. Now it’s time to make the house their own.

Nelly Enriquez (paraérer)

Enriquez makes her living as a store manager, and used to work in health. Her summertime hikes were some of the best days of her life, but now her days are at work. At 46, she is ready to move into her own place and to stop renting.

She plans to get a townhouse or apartment, and she’s really hoping they’ll be able to provide the down payment.

Kay Chawalski (armband)

Chawalski is a 23-year-old student who lives in New York. But she isn’t finding it easy to afford a home that meets her needs. As a recent graduate of the University of Michigan, she’s never worked full-time, so she hasn’t had much money to save for a down payment.

Her co-founders are happy to help, to help the next generation find their ideal home, and to provide a way for women to be more involved in the purchase process.

Anna Misikas (DIYer)

As a home maker, Misikas is used to creating and altering houses. In fact, she makes most of the furniture and bedding for her home. Still, she dreams of owning a house of her own. With it, she hopes she can stop renting apartments and focus on finding a property she likes.

Together, these women hope to start by purchasing a house. They’re currently working with Zillow and Realtors.com, reaching out to many of these groups in hope that some will be a fit for the site. Their goal is to contribute to both the female community and the homebuying process.

Renee S. Lindsey, Zillow’s VP of communications and public affairs, said: “Building our platform on the people who live in these communities and are building their own homes is a cornerstone of our mission.”

Leave a Comment