Understanding the Value of a Starter Home Versus a Forever Home

Dated: June 27 2022

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Photo Credit: Dillon Kydd via Unsplash

Understanding the Value of a Starter Home Versus a Forever Home

Norfolk home buyers face a major decision as they approach the property market for the first time. First-timers are growing older in the U.S. and global markets with 48% of buyers between 32-41 purchasing their first homes. As a result, many people who are shopping for their first property have longer job histories, greater income and savings, and more flexibility when it comes to selecting a piece of real estate that meets their personal or family needs, which makes the decision to purchase a starter home or something that can act as a forever home more pronounced than ever before.

NextHome Soundings Realty offers some tips to help you decide which type of home is right for you.

Starter Homes Offer a Great Foundation for Growth

A starter home provides a family with a wonderful launching point for immense growth. Starter homes are cheaper than other options on the market, but they often come with sizable drawbacks as well. Starter homes may not facilitate your commute as well as a property in another neighborhood (that you’re hoping to one day call home), and these properties are typically smaller or include fewer luxury upgrades than something that may be classified as a forever home.

A starter home also allows for an easier mortgage application for many first-time buyers who simply aren’t prepared for the rigors and stress of this process. A smaller loan requirement that comes along naturally with the lower price tag makes it easier to maintain a debt-to-income ratio around the healthy 40% target range that lenders hope to see in their applicants.

While the “sticker” price might be right, you're likely to see update needs and renovation projects in the early years of your time in a starter home. This can be an exciting time of customization or one that provides many headaches. You can also search for “foreclosed homes for sale near me” online. These houses can come with repairs, too, but sometimes the home is simply repossessed due to financial challenges. They are always worth looking into.

A Forever Home Gives Your Family Comfort for Many Years

If you’ve been saving for years and are prepared to go all-in on a forever home rather than a first property that serves as a base of operations for just a few short years, launching right into the world of forever homeownership might be right. It’s easier to put down roots in a community of your choosing and grow your family with ease as a result of the larger overall footprint that these properties typically offer. However, forever homes can be far more expensive, making the monthly payments many times greater than a more temporary ownership option.

No Matter Your Choice, Insurance Coverage Is Crucial

Insurance coverage is a must for any kind of homeowner. Homeowner’s insurance, however, only covers damage to your home’s structure and contents. In addition to traditional insurance products, it’s wise to utilize a home warranty policy for comprehensive coverage.

A more comprehensive home protection plan offers coverage for service, repair, and replacement of your core appliances at home. The washing machine, fridge, dryer, and HVAC system all represent essential additions to the comfort and quality of life that you enjoy at home, and if one or more of these systems breaks down, your comfort will take a dramatic nosedive.

Weigh Your Options

Consider your budget, your ability to handle home maintenance issues, and your family's long-term plans when deciding between a starter home and a forever home.

When you're ready to purchase a home in the Norfolk, MA area, get in touch with NextHome Soundings Realty for help finding the perfect home.

Guest contribution by Suzie Wilson Happier Home

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Dave Matthews

In 2011, I began my real estate career in the western suburbs of Boston after having worked for many years in public accounting in the Boston area. I believe that honesty and integrity create long....

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