So, you are a first-time home buyer looking to purchase a starter home? There can be a lot of pressure surrounding first-time buyers to buy the perfect starter home. Ultimately, that pressure to find the starter home that fits what they dreamed of may lead first-time home buyers to purchase a home that doesn’t suit them and their needs.
So, what should first-time home buyers look for and think about when buying a starter home? Listed below are some items to consider during the house hunting process.
Affordability and Overbuying
When house hunting for your starter home, it is important that first-time buyers figure out how much they can afford. The preapproval process may give you an idea of what mortgage repayments you may be able to afford, but you should also do your own budgeting and calculations. Factor in what different mortgage repayments would look like in a monthly budget with your other expenses, and decide what repayments make the most sense.
Choosing the most expensive home simply because the lender was willing to offer you that amount may not work out. The financial stress that making those mortgage repayments each month for years may not be worth it to you down the road, and you could regret making the decision to buy that home. Therefore, it is important that first-time buyers avoid choosing a home that is beyond their means financially.
Your Lifestyle and the Home
Before you begin searching for your starter home, it is helpful to have an idea of the specific house dimensions you want. Think about square footage, number of bedrooms, and number of bathrooms. Smaller homes can be easier to maintain, less expensive, and cheaper to furnish while larger homes offer you more space and room to grow. The size of the home will depend on your needs and lifestyle.
Location is another significant factor to consider when looking for your starter home. Do you want to remain close to friends and family? How far would you have to commute to work? These two questions will be helpful to consider, as many first-time home buyers focus too much on the home itself. If you are thinking about having kids, you may want to research what schools are around and talk to neighbors about the safety of the area.
As you move through the house hunting process, remember that starter homes aren’t meant to be your forever homes. Instead, they are meant to help you build equity so that you can afford your forever home in the future. Therefore, looking for homes that you will be able to easily rent and/or sell later on is important.
Being a first-time home buyer is an exciting time. However, the home buying process can be challenging to navigate, so it is important to consider these items when searching for the best starter home for you.