Buying your first home is an exciting milestone, one marked with a fear of the unknown and a level of excitement at what’s to come. And for many first-time buyers, a starter home is a great investment.
A starter home is perfect for those who want the independence of living in their own home, but don’t quite have the money to buy their dream house. Starter homes are also great for establishing credit, getting a feel for homeownership and trying out a neighborhood or city to see if it’s a good fit. Plus, you probably don’t need too much space at the moment, so starter homes offer a great place to settle in with a young family.
As families grow and careers take off, real estate professionals note that homeowners typically stay starter homes anywhere between five to seven years.
If you’re ready to get your feet wet and purchase a home, here are some tips to keep in mind as you search for the perfect starter home.
1. Be Practical. There’s a reason they refer to your first home as a starter home, so make sure you don’t spend more than you can afford. And, remember that many starter homes need some work, so you’re more than likely going to need money to cover any renovations you’d like to tackle. Before you begin looking at homes, put together a sound budget so that you know exactly what you can afford. Also, keep in mind that things change over time, including jobs and children, so be sure to factor in future expenses as best possible.
2. Understand Problems. Many starter homes need work, and unless you’re a fan of tackling projects on your own, you might not be equipped to handle all the work that may come with the home. If you’re not interested in putting in a lot work, look for a smaller house that doesn’t need as much TLC.
3. Consider Location. If you happen to stumble upon a good deal, make sure the location will work for you and your family before making an offer. While a lower price tag can be enticing, be sure to consider the amount of time it will take to get to your job, and how far the property is from your family and friends. The last thing you want to do is get trapped in a home you’ll grow to resent.
Remember, with every mortgage payment you make, you’re building equity, and that’ll help when it comes to future home purchases. Keep in mind that some people fall so in love with their starter home that they decide to make it their forever home.
By Keith Loria