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What is Considered a ‘Starter Home’?

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Ah yes, buying your first home. Can you imagine walking into a house that is fully yours? No more renting, no more sharing of bathrooms or kitchen? All of your own. Can you imagine the colors you have in mind and how it would look like in your own home? How about the furniture and appliance that you want? Sounds lovely when you paint a picture of a home that’s owned by you, right? If you are thinking of buying a house in the future then you might have to think of it very well. We are here to guide you on what is considered to be a “starter home” for those of you who are first-time home buyers so you don’t get overwhelmed in the future!

What is a Starter Home?

By definition, a starter home is usually the first house which a person or a starting family can afford. It is a combination of mortgage and savings financing in real estates but over the past centuries and decades, many new homeowners are now seeking ways to own different kinds of housing which they call starter homes. It is usually a condominium, townhouse or even an older existing home which can be flipped and turn into something new. 

Avoid the First Time Buyer Fiasco

Buying a house could be an exciting deal especially if it is your very first purchase. It’s always exciting to see how you can rearrange a house and add the colors you want. Picking up the right furniture and lighting fixtures are both something to look forward to but before you get carried away, relax and take a deep breath.

Many buyers, first-timers to be exact, tend to do bad choices when it comes to purchasing a starter house. Why? This is because many prefer the layout of a house rather than it’s affordability and practicality. Or worse, they based on what they see in magazines. I mean, just because the house looks really nice, you have to buy it right away. So before you end up making the wrong decisions, always consider your budget and how much are you willing to pay for a house that you can actually afford. In order to avoid that, here are five good tips that you should consider before buying any property.

Tip #1. Always consider the affordability of a house 

A home sitting on a hill across acres of land sounds like a dream but that doesn’t mean you should actually buy it right away. When you are shopping for a “starter home”, always consider your budget. Check out houses that are within your price range and something that will be pre-approved by the bank or lender for the mortgage. It the company or bank allows you to mortgage a property then that’s the best time to find a good house of your choice based on what is allowed for you to borrow. Going on top of the budget is something that you can do but then this will affect your credit score in the future or worse, put you in a really bad financial situation. So if you have no plans of struggling to pay the monthly mortgage, always consider the price of the house you want to purchase.

Tip #2. Consider the Source of Commute

Sure, it’s so easy to be enticed and buy a property that is move-in ready, furnished and has special features to offer (like a pool in the backyard for example) but for those who are new to buying houses, have you considered the commute? Or you haven’t fully thought of it? The last thing you want to do is to drive miles or hours away from work! While the floor plan is exceptionally important, it is also important to consider how far this house is from your job or immediate families or neighbors even. Sure, it sounds ideal to live far from noisy neighbors but you might end up spending more because you have to spend more for gas or bus rides. Always consider how these things work if you don’t want to end up stressed about traveling far from home all the time. 

Tip #3. Pick a house that is well-kept or maintained by the previous owners

When you think of DIY projects or home improvement around your house, it does seem practical, isn’t it? However, this is not always the case. Always look for a house that is well-maintained by the sellers. Just because you are buying an affordable house as a starter home doesn’t mean you have to fix all of it on your own. A house that is properly maintained doesn’t need many repairs, right? Keep in mind that buying a house is already expensive so if you keep fixing broken things around the house, you might just end up spending more. Check if there are broken fixtures around the house, if you see a broken window or detached doors, broken toilets or sinks, LEAVE it. It’s not worth buying and you will only end up wasting your money.

Tip # 4. Think of the future

Buying a house is a great idea and you are investing your money in something. Whatever decision you make today can also affect your future. So, is the house you are looking at suitable for your future needs as well? Do you want to live in this house for a long period of time or can you at least see yourself living in this area for a long time? What about if you have a family of your own, you and your new family can live in it? – questions like this should be taken into consideration too. Keep in mind that you cannot predict what will happen in the next few years, this is true BUT you can also have a plan for the future so you can be ready about it today. While it is a bit hard to include plans for the future but considering a good future must always be a part of your decision as this can help you a lot in a few year’s time. 

Tip #5. Always have an exit plan

We know that this “starter home” will not be your last so the moment you decided on purchasing a house, you must always have an exit plan. What is an exit plan? This is a plan that you have for the house in case you choose to move out and buy a newer one. Do you want it sold or rented? Either way, this exit plan of yours should be a solid one. The last thing you wish to have is a house that you cannot easily get rid of or sold. 

A Good Starter Home

A good starter home must be according to your budget. It should be in good condition and should be within a community where you feel safe. A starter home doesn’t have to be expensive but it should be something practical. It should be something you can use not only for your present residence but can be also used in the future for other purposes – these are the things you need to consider before buying one. If you take note of these then you will surely find a good house to call your first home, good luck!


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