The number one advantage to owning a home -the “American Dream” – is the opportunity to put money each month towards an asset that is building equity. Begin with a “starter home” that is a worthwhile buy and you will be financially ready when the time comes to move to the “forever home”.
Realtors and lenders often recommend waiting at least five years before selling a starter home. The good news is there is always a constant demand for these homes and prices tend to rise as first time home buyers make up the biggest market.
Starter Home Advice
- Don’t get emotional and fall in love with any one home. The heart always seems to rule the head when shopping for a home and too many times buyers end up living beyond their means.
- Be content to compromise on location. If you work in a larger city, realize that the homes closer to town will be more expensive than a few miles farther out. If you want a shorter commute, you might have to give up space for a home you can afford.
- Realize that you will be selling the home you buy at some point and keep certain aspects in mind: the school district, the neighborhood, the condition of the homes on the street, zoning, development and anything else that would affect your home for resale.
- If you are going to renovate and upgrade at all, know that you don’t want to put more money into the home then you will be able to get out of it. A skilled Realtor will be able to go over the pros and cons and help you keep your emotions in check.
The Bottom Line: Make sure you have the best Realtor in the area that you want to live that will be truthful with you. This is possibly the biggest purchase of your life. You will want to be sure this is the right time to buy a home – rushing and buying before you are ready can end up costing you more money. Have realistic expectations and focus on 5 years forward.