2704 N. California Ave., Chicago, IL. 60647
2963 S. Archer Ave. Chicago, IL. 60608

Main Content

Home » Searching for a starter home: Factors to consider

Searching for a starter home: Factors to consider

Starter homes are the best choices for first-timers who are transitioning from renting or living with family to buying a home of their own. These homes cost less, appreciate faster, and are always in demand. Plus, these make for great investments because they allow you to ease your way into the housing market.

In choosing the perfect starter home for you, here are some factors to consider:

  1. Affordability

It’s easy to be enamored with some homes that carry a wide array of features but are way beyond your budget. If you are not mindful enough, you may end up with a home you can barely maintain financially.

Before making an offer on a home, make sure you’re aware of all underlying costs like the down payment, monthly mortgage, closing costs, and taxes, among many others. That way, you will know if the home is the right fit for your budget.

Online home affordability calculators can also help you determine how much house you can afford based on your income, debts, and down payment. 

  1. Location 

One of the most important factors when searching for a starter home is the location. Consider accessibility and its proximity to destinations vital to you such as the workplace, schools, retail hubs, and the like. As a first-time homebuyer, you need to find a home that will fit your current lifestyle so you can save both time and money in the future.

Single-family homes that are closer to the city are more expensive than those located in the suburbs. Condominiums and townhomes, on the other hand, offer the convenience of living near or in the city at a lower price. One major drawback, however, is that these don’t offer the wide spaces of a single-family home.

  1. Current needs

Know how to distinguish between your needs and wants when looking for a starter home. It should have features that will fit your most basic requirements, such as ample space and convenient transportation options. Additional features may be nice but could put a strain on home maintenance costs.

You must also consider the neighborhood and see if it fits your needs or not. If you’re a city dweller who prefers all urban conveniences to be just a short walk or drive away, then a condominium or townhouse may be the perfect choice for you. But if you long for a more relaxed and laid-back environment away from the dizzying demands of urban life, then a single-family home in the suburbs is more likely for you. 

  1. Future plans

Many first-time homebuyers would purchase a starter home without factoring in plans they have for the future. If you decide to start a family, will your starter home be able to accommodate the growing number of family members? Moreover, what do you intend to do with this home the moment you’ve outgrown it? Will you sell it or keep it as a rental property? 

Starter homes should last you at least five years before becoming ripe enough to be resold. With this in mind, it’s important to consider your options and see whether the property fits into your future plans or not. 

Starter home buying tips

  • Consider your current situation – Are you financially, mentally, and emotionally ready to buy a home? Examine your finances, lifestyle, and goals to figure out if now is the right time to make this huge investment decision. Otherwise, you’re better off renting for the meantime instead of buying. 

  • Get pre-approved – Pre-approval is a necessary step to the home buying process because it shows you how much house you can afford. Apply for one before shopping for your starter home by talking to a reputable lender.

  • Be flexible – Be willing to let go of one or two priorities to make way for the ones that you really need. If a potential home doesn’t have a certain feature that you want, you can always add it later on. 

  • Prepare for home maintenance – Once you have your starter home, you’ll be solely responsible for its upkeep and maintenance. But since these homes tend to be smaller, you don’t have to worry about being bogged down by too much work.

  • Don’t skip the home inspection – Crucial to the home buying process, a home inspection will show you the issues that may pop up once you own the home. From there, you can determine if you are up for absorbing the repairs and renovations or if you have to find another suitable home to purchase.

Buy your starter home with the help of 606 Brokers, the best real estate team for homebuyers in Chicagoland. Our extensive knowledge of the Chicago real estate market makes us the go-to team for all your home buying needs. Get in touch with us today by calling 773.870.5101.