Just Getting Started: What Buyers Should Know About Starter Homes
Starter homes have a reputation for being inexpensive and small and having only the barest of essentials inside. Fortunately, it doesn't always have to be that way. Depending on the real estate market in your area and how much you can afford, you might just need to look for a home that needs a few fix-ups. Read on to and find out what you need to know if you are looking to buy your first home.
Set Your Searches to Deliver
Finding listings for sale has never been easier. Anyone with an internet connection can access and view real estate websites by the dozens. One thing these sites don't do, though, is to whittle things down for you like a real estate agent would. While making an agent a partner in your search is smart, there's nothing wrong with getting an idea of what's available in your area. Unfortunately, you might be looking at sorting through thousands of available homes if you don't set some efficient search terms. When looking at starter homes, you might not actually see that as a search term, but you can set the search for the price range you need. How do you know what price you can afford?
Get a Preapproval
This is not the same thing as a mortgage approval, but it does carry weight and provide buyers and their agents with a lot of helpful information. A preapproval gives buyers a target range to plug into those search pages while providing sellers with confidence in your ability to complete the deal. Once you know your price range, you will automatically be presented with your starter home choices.
What About Size?
When it comes to size, some starter homes are small, and the hotter the real estate market is, the smaller the homes can be. Fortunately, buyers in some areas can still score bargains, no matter the size. If you are willing to live a bit outside your favorite neighborhood, you could find homes of almost any size in your price range.
Beds and Baths
One important aspect of a home that many buyers are not willing to compromise on is the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. In many cases, the layout of the home is fixed. If you plan to expand the home, be sure you check into the cost of adding extra bedrooms or bathrooms. Otherwise, make this search parameter one of your most important ones.
Location is very important to those needing a particular school district, but being flexible will widen your choices. Ask your real estate agent about emerging hot neighborhoods that may turn out to be not only everything you wanted but also a great resale value when it's time to move up.
For more on starter homes, speak with a real estate agent like Vivienne Yamamoto: REMAX GOLD.