When you’re home shopping in a market like Austin, deciding between a starter and a forever home might be challenging. After all, the median price of houses in the city is around $620,000. With that large of an investment, it’s only natural to want to get it right.
Fortunately, deciding between a forever and a starter home can get easier if you examine the situation from the right angles. Webster & Co Moving Services shares how to do it.
Choosing Between a Starter and Forever Home
Pros and Cons of Buying a Starter Home
There are plenty of reasons to buy a starter home. The properties are referred to as “starter homes” for a reason, mainly because they’re entry-level properties that you can leverage later to get into a nicer house. That means they’re typically more affordable.
Starter homes may require less upkeep, too. They tend to be smaller and may lack certain features that require ongoing maintenance. Plus, along with the value you can get from selling a starter house, starter homes often make great rentals, allowing you to turn it into an income property later.
When it comes to drawbacks, the fact that they’re smaller and lack certain features is the biggest. In some cases, they may require some repairs after the purchase, too, as the previous owner may not have completed all the required maintenance. Finally, they can be harder to sell than nicer properties in some cases, though that isn’t always true.
Pros and Cons of Buying a Forever Home
With a forever home, you’re using a one-and-done approach. You are putting down roots with the intention of staying in place, and that can provide peace of mind.
Additionally, the houses tend to be larger and often have better features. This can make living there far more comfortable during the long term.
If the forever home will be in one of Austin’s more upscale neighborhoods, the school districts are typically better. If you have children, this could be a boon. In some cases, crime rates are also lower than in other parts of the city, making the neighborhood safer for you and your family.
As for drawbacks, the cost is generally the biggest. You’ll pay more for the property upfront and over time, as property taxes and homeowner’s insurance are usually higher. Maintenance may also cost more.
How to Go in the Best Direction for You
In most cases, buying a forever home means dealing with a higher price tag upfront. However, it can be worthwhile. You won’t have to figure out how to upgrade to your forever home, and that alone is a big deal.
If you want to prepare for buying a forever home, you need to factor in all costs. Along with those mentioned above, you’ll want to look at other potential expenses tied to specific decisions. For example, if you don’t have a down payment of at least 20 percent, you could get stuck paying PMI, depending on the type of mortgage.
Otherwise, going with a starter home might be a better choice. You can build up equity and even make improvements to increase its value. Plus, you could convert it into an income stream. Either way, you’ll potentially have more cash to get your forever home later, making it more affordable.
Regardless of whether you buy a forever or starter home, purchasing a home warranty is a wise decision. Many people choose to purchase a home warranty for the first year to help cover any major systems issues. Think HVAC, the roof, your electrical; you get the picture. A home warranty is a safety net to help keep your budget in check and your home maintained. Read online reviews for the home warranty company and coverage that best fits your needs.
Homeownership is a big step. When it comes to buying a new home in Austin, you want to make the right choice. Consider the above tips as you weigh your options. And when you’re ready to move, reach out to Webster & Co Moving Services for a professional moving experience and peace of mind.
Shout out to Andrea Needham @ Eldersday.org for coming through with another fantastic piece for our blog!