HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) – It’s Women’s History Month and one area where women are making strides is home ownership.

In Virginia, single women own about 13% of all homes, while single men only own 9%.

“It’s one of the most solid investments you can make,” said Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Broker Susan Jenkins.

New statistics analyzed by Lending Tree, show nationally single women own 2.64 million more homes then men.

Jenkins said it’s a smart move for women and their futures.

“It’s not only the generational wealth, its building equity for yourself and your own family versus building wealth for somebody else,” Jenkins said, “because that’s what you’re doing when you’re paying a landlord. You’re building their equity instead of your own equity.”

Jenkins said home ownership for women symbolizes security and breaks the stigma of needing a man to help maintain and update the property. She said her agency recently helped a 19-Year-Old woman buy a home.

“I think a lot of people are intimidated by home ownership,” Jenkins said. “They think the repair costs are going to be too much, they don’t want to take care of the maintenance, they like the landlord doing that.”

But instead, some women are even buying homes and renting rooms to their friends, or even renting them out as a whole.

“If you’re smart and savvy, by the time you look back in 15 years you may have four to five houses now in your portfolio that is funding your income and funding your retirement,” Jenkins said.

Female real estate agents are also making a name for themselves, accounting for about 56% of agents.

She said it’s not only empowering to help women buy homes, but it’s a gift to empower women through home ownership.

“We love to buy things,” Jenkins said. “We love to buy clothing, and those things go out of style, that Antonio Melani or that thousand dollar purse you bought, yeah it feels great at the time, but 10 years from now, what if you put that money into real estate.”

Jenkins said it’s helpful for anyone looking to buy a home to have an industry expert on your side to help advocate for you along the way.