Choosing your first starter home can be a wonderful experience in addition to being a bit scary and exhilarating! Choosing a house is a step many of us have the chance to take, and choosing the right home is essential. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a starter home.
1. Get pre-approved for home loans especially if you have no previous home buying experience. This will make securing a loan for the house you ultimately buy easier. Always keep a realistic budget in mind and remember, this is just your starter home. You won’t be here forever, so choosing something a bit cheaper or smaller in order to have a bit more money saved up for emergencies.
2. Understand the average market values both for the price you should expect to pay for your house as well as the average resale value for that same home. Having a realtor that is knowledgeable about the real estate options in your area and who can work with you to choose the right house is very important.
3. Make sure to choose a home that allows for the space you currently need as well as having a little room for growth in case you have children already or are planning to have kids soon. Not only can more space leave room for growth, but can allow you to have space for your current activities, hobbies or pets. If a home feels cramped before you’ve moved in you will likely continue to feel that way when all your things are in the home, too.
4. Make sure the house has enough room for your furniture but don’t overcrowd the place. This is a starter home and you can always fill it with things you need that you may not have yet.
5. Consider your future plans when you are choosing a house – is this a 3 year house, a 5 year house, or longer? Giving yourself a deadline and goals can clarify many important details about your starter home and what you can live with and without while you are there.
6. Be realistic about your expectations for a house. Basically, don’t aim above what you can afford or what you actually need. This will likely not be your dream home, and it doesn’t have to be! Consider how this starter home could prepare you for homes further down the road and use this as a learning experience to figure out what you like about the home, what you’ll change the next time around, etc.
7. Pick a home that is in a location that is convenient for work, school, and your individual or family needs. Picking a location that is affordable and convenient can be difficult, but these homes do exist!
When choosing a starter home it is important to consider all these things and more. Even if this home doesn’t end up being the one you live in forever it can be a great experience.