If you’re a first-time homebuyer, then you’ve no doubt heard the term “starter home” before. But what exactly is a starter home? And what should you look for in this kind of property? Here are some great tips on what to look for in your first home so that you can love it for many years to come.
What is a starter home?
First of all, a starter home is often defined as the first home that a buyer can afford to purchase. Starter homes tend to be smaller and have fewer luxury amenities than higher-priced homes. In suburban areas, starter homes often have three bedrooms and two bathrooms. In neighborhoods like the Heights or Montrose, starter homes may only have two bedrooms or one bathroom. They can also be condos or townhomes, depending on where the property is located and recency of construction.
Buy what you can afford
When you’re buying your first home, it can be easy to get carried away. You’ve been dreaming of this moment for a long time. But it’s very important that you buy a home you can actually afford. Don’t just look at homes that are at the maximum amount you can borrow. Remember – your financial situation could change at any time. There’s nothing worse than knowing you can’t afford your mortgage payments. For your starter home, stay well within your budget. A good place to start is by getting pre-approved and talking to an experienced, service-oriented loan officer.
Know what you want
If you begin your home search without knowing what you want, then you will be overwhelmed by the choices. Take time before you begin your search in earnest to create a list of things you need and want in a home. Don’t just consider the inside of the home. Take into consideration the neighborhood, the distance from your job, and nearby amenities. Know what would be a deal-breaker and know what you can flexible about.
Buy a well-maintained home
Unless you’re very enthusiastic about buying a fixer-upper, you should look for a starter home that has been well maintained by the previous owners. It’s easy to underestimate how much time and money it will take to repair and upgrade a home. It’s also easy to underestimate how much you’ll pay each month in regular maintenance. Don’t assume you’re getting a great deal if you buy a fixer-upper. It could end up costing you more down the line.
Look to the future
Starter homes are just that – they are the homes that first-time buyers start out with. But that doesn’t mean you won’t live there for many years. Think about your plans for the future. Are you hoping to grow your family? Then you may need more space. Are you hoping to make money on your starter home? Then you’ll want to buy in a neighborhood that is popular with young families. Are you hoping that you can live in your home indefinitely? Then make choices that will work for you as you age, such as proximity to amenities or a quieter neighborhood.
If you’re thinking of buying, let’s talk! We’d love to talk and see if Norhill Realty is the right firm to help you with your home search. Fill out the form below to get matched with an agent to learn more about the home buying process.