Starter Home vs. Forever Home
So you’re ready to buy your first house. This is exciting! Now the question is, will you go big or small? New construction or resale? City or suburb? There are pros and cons to every potential home-buying decision, and the first one is, do you want a starter home or your ultimate dream home? A bit of consideration is necessary for an informed decision. Luckily, Q Realty can help you make the best choice.
What’s a Starter?
Many first home purchases are referred to as “starter homes” because the people most likely to buy them are young adults who are just starting their careers and families. The idea behind a starter is that it fits your needs for the moment, if not long-term, and allows you to get your feet wet in the real estate market without maxing you out financially. Theoretically, your starter home will increase in value, and when you’re ready for a larger, more expensive “move-up” home, the equity you get from the sale of your starter will give you a nice downpayment.
Pros and Cons of a Starter Home
There are positives and negatives when it comes to purchasing a starter home. The primary benefit of a starter home is that it’s typically less expensive to buy than something bigger. You’ll also have the chance to get accustomed to the average cost of utilities, maintenance, and upkeep, and you’ll learn what types of home features work and don’t work, and what would be practical for a growing family.
According to SmartAsset, it can also be viewed as an investment if you decide to rent it out when you move to something bigger. You can also consider a home warranty but make sure you ask yourself first, Is a home warranty worth it? Every situation is unique so carefully consider your options.
As for the cons, they include finding yourself in a space that’s too small for your needs or having trouble selling the property because of its size. Also, if you use a first-time homebuyer loan program for your starter, you won’t be able to access it again for a larger purchase.
What’s a Forever Home?
A forever home is one where you envision putting down long-term roots. You can see the rooms filled with future kids and a big yard filled with future dogs. You pick a location that’s family-friendly, in a good school district with easy access to amenities like parks and shopping, and quality childcare. A forever home has all of your “must-have” features and checks every box. It also means you won’t have to move again for the foreseeable future, so you’ll see fix-ups and home improvement expenditures as investments in your long-term home, rather than feel like you’re throwing away money on a short-term property.
Pros and Cons of a Forever Home
The primary con of buying a forever home as your first house is the cost of not just the mortgage, but utilities and upkeep. If you’re at an early earning stage of your career, this can be a financial strain. You may also change your priorities in the short term. What if you decide to put off starting a family and travel, or find job opportunities that draw you away? The upside of going big to start is that you may be able to use special first-time lending programs to get in, and you’re likely to pay off your mortgage faster than if you start and restart with increasingly larger homes over a period of time.
Making Your Move
When you’ve made the big decision and have a new house ready to occupy, you’ll need to think about moving in. If you don’t have a lot of stuff, you may be able to handle a DIY move. If you have a significant amount of household items – especially heavy ones – or are moving into a two-story, professional moving help is essential. Evaluate prospective moving companies by reading online reviews then ask for an in-person estimate in writing. Don’t take over-the-phone quotes – legitimate companies will need to do an on-site assessment to give you an accurate figure.
Whether you’re starting small or going big, taking the leap into homeownership is an exciting life event! Do your due diligence, crunch all your own numbers, and make sure you’re making a decision that’s right for you.
Q Realty is an Albuquerque based company and is locally owned and operated. We were founded on the principles of outstanding customer service and we have earned the reputation of being the most “customer-centric,” honest, ethical and professional real estate company in Albuquerque. We treat our customers how we like to be treated. Call 505-750-0059.
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