Buying a Home: For Now or Forever?
Buying a Home: For Now or Forever?
You’re ready to buy your first home. Congratulations! Before you do too much searching, consider whether to buy a starter home or a home you can see yourself staying in forever. Both have their pros and cons, and no one decision is right for every family.
Buying a Starter Home
A starter home is a place where you can make concessions and think about your needs right now. There are many pros to making a starter home your first purchase:
- Affordability. A starter home is generally smaller and therefore less costly. Most younger families don’t have a lot of money to invest. A starter home may be the only choice in your price range.
- Less upkeep. If you’ve never owned a home before, a starter home can help you learn the ropes regarding maintenance.
- Future income. Today’s starter home is tomorrow’s rental. When you’re ready to move on, you can rent your home on a long- or short-term basis instead of selling. Many homes in Torrance, CA, and other beach cities began as starter homes and are now used as rentals.
Investing in a starter home has some downsides, too:
- Smaller space. A starter home is bought on a budget and isn’t usually the largest space. It’s only intended for the short-term.
- Fixer-uppers. Many starter homes are less expensive because they require repairs to make the home livable or to suit your preferences.
- Resale. If you’re buying a starter home, the implication is that you plan to move out at some point. If you’re not planning to keep it as a rental property, your home may be difficult to sell in the future.
Buying a Forever Home
When you buy a forever home, you’re considering your needs not just for today, but for years to come. Consider these pros to starting in your forever home:
- Settling into a neighborhood. Your kids grow up here and neighbors can become lifelong friends.
- No more relocation. Moving is a hassle. If you move into your forever home, you only have to do it once.
- Space. If you buy a larger forever home from the start, you’ll have the space you need as your family grows. Plus you have room for fun things, such as a craft room or man cave.
On the flip side, there are a few cons:
- Higher costs. A forever home is more expensive. Both your mortgage and insurance costs are higher. In addition to homeowners insurance, which covers damage to the home and its contents, theft of items, and personal injuries that occur on the premises, consider a home warranty. Are appliance warranties worth it? It depends on your needs. Know that this annual contract covers appliance repairs as well as heating, cooling, electrical, and plumbing systems.
- More upkeep. Since you’re in this home for the long haul, you must do plenty of maintenance to keep everything in top condition.
There’s No Wrong Choice
No matter what you choose, buying a new home is an exciting time. Try to enjoy the process and remember that nothing is certain; you may stay in your starter home forever or move sooner than you thought. Just make sure you’re happy with your choice.
If you’re looking for a home in the Torrance, CA / South Bay area, contact Carol Gilles of The RealEstate Group covering Southern California for friendly and professional assistance.
Thank you to Monica Smith – recoveringworks.
Carol Gilles, Realtor, has been assisting buyers & sellers in Southern California since 1980. Before you start your home search or prepare your home for sale, contact Carol at 310-864-9738 and see how she can help you!