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5 Features to Look for in a Great Starter Home

by | Nov 15, 2019

Whether you’re well into the search for your first home or have just decided to take that next step, congratulations are in order. This is an exciting, life-changing step and investment in your future. The search for a great starter home is an amazing opportunity to think seriously about your needs and priorities. Your lifestyle is entirely unique, and no two homes are alike, either; finding the one that’s most compatible with your needs means understanding what you want – and knowing the signs that a home is able to give it to you. As you begin your journey to home ownership, keep the tips below in mind in order to determine whether you’ve found the perfect first home.

1. Location, location, location

You’ve probably heard this one time and time again. When it comes to finding a great starter home, the question isn’t about whether location is important; it’s about how it’s important. Would you be willing to negotiate a lower listing price in exchange for a longer commute to work? How important are things like school districts, urban life, and being at the center of activity to you? Usually, homes that are described as “well-located” are usually in central areas, but what does well-located mean to you? By determining that early on, you’ll know when a home hits – or misses – the mark.

2. Think Long-Term

It may sound at odds with the term “starter home,” but it’s impossible to ask yourself some of the following questions about your long-term goals:
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Do you see yourself starting a family in this house?

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Is this the home where you want to live for the majority of your life, or is it a more transitional house?

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In an ideal world, would you re-sell this house, or would you keep it as a rental property?

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Do you see this house being a place where many social events (birthdays, holidays, etc.) are hosted?

Sure, a big yard and several bedrooms are great for someone with a family- but are you willing to spend the extra money on the extra space? Similarly, a fixer-upper might be a great long-term investment, but are you willing to put in the time and resources to repairs if you’re not planning on keeping the home for more than a few years? By getting a picture of your short- and long-term plans for your starter home, you’ll be better positioned to decide which homes are great for you.

3. Sound Structures

Whether this starter home is your one and only or just a single step in your home
ownership journey, it’s crucial that you pay attention to its structures. Structural issues like leaky roofs, damaged pipes, and completely out-of-date appliances may give you a discount up-front, but they’ll warrant thousands of dollars’ worth of repairs in the not-too-distant future. If you’ve found a seemingly great starter home, pay close attention to its inspection results; if a home turns out to have significant structural issues, it’s advisable to move on.

4. Monthly Payments that Aren’t a Stretch

A great starter home is one that is well-suited to the idea that you’re just starting out. No matter what the plan is for your future with this home, do not stretch your budget to its last few strings. Though several assistance programs exist for first-time buyers, especially when it comes to down payments, it’s crucial to think about your monthly mortgage payments, as well. Set a strict budget that you can adhere to comfortably – and stick to it. No matter how beautiful a home may be, it’s not worth draining all of your financial resources on its monthly payments.

5. Settling Down Doesn’t Mean Settling

A common misconception we’ve run into with first-time homebuyers is that purchasing a home means conforming to a particular kind of lifestyle. Of course, home ownership can mean settling down in the suburbs with a white picket fence – but only if you want it to. In reality, investing in a property should be about investing in a home that’s well-suited to your lifestyle. If you enjoy suburban tranquility, that’s great; if you’d like to be in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the city, that’s completely possible, too. A great starter home will be one that’s built to suit your lifestyle; it’ll never force you to restructure your life around its location or features.
Home ownership is a lot of things: hard work, determination, and even a bit of stress – but, more than anything else, it’s wonderfully exciting. Finding a great starter home doesn’t have to be a long epic quest; all it takes to be successful is understanding your priorities and knowing your plans for the future. If you have any questions about finding your first home, we’ve got your back – you can reach out to us anytime.

Agile Group with Casa Fina Realty provides expert market knowledge to help you throughout all of your real estate needs. Our goal is to provide value to our clients as quickly as possible. Our team is equipped to adapt to each client’s needs. We are responsive, personal, and flexible. We strive to build strong relationships with our clients based on transparency and confidentiality.

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Agile Group with Casa Fina Realty provides expert market knowledge to help you throughout all of your real estate needs. Our goal is to provide value to our clients as quickly as possible. Our team is equipped to adapt to each client’s needs. We are responsive, personal, and flexible. We strive to build strong relationships with our clients based on transparency and confidentiality.

Contact Us