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Starter Home or Forever Home? Make the Best Choice for You

Purchasing a home is one of the biggest decisions we face so it’s important we have all the facts first. Informing yourself at the outset can save you thousands of dollars down the road. Here’s some information from  REALTOR® Martha Valiquette to keep in mind when preparing for your next home purchase.

The Ideal Locale

The old real estate adage of “location, location, location,” is true no matter where you decide to move. It’s important that the area you choose is on an upward trend and that its value continues to grow as the community does. Work with a trusted real estate agent, like  REALTOR® Martha Valiquette, who is ready to find the ideal San Antonio-area home for you.

If you want to buy, but your finances just aren’t there yet, then consider renting a home in the area you plan to buy. This step will let you get established in the community and even get your kids into the right schools, and you can buy when the time is better for you.

Starting Off With a Starter Home

There are a lot of reasons why people opt for starter homes instead of their dream homes when they’re entering the real estate market. Some people might want to start with something small and move on from there. Others might be looking for something low-maintenance or have a fixed budget that cannot accommodate the cost of their dream home. For these reasons and many more, starter homes make for great investments, but you’ll want to research the housing market first.

You should plan to stay in your starter home for a minimum of two years, but ideally five. Since sellers are typically responsible for paying real estate agents’ commissions, CNET notes that you’ll need some time to build equity in the home, or else you might only break even or could possibly even lose money on the sale.

Starter homes may need some work if it’s an older home that has been neglected somewhat. An investment in a qualified home inspector could save you thousands of dollars in major structural repair work.

When it’s time to sell your starter home, pay attention to what will make your home stand out from all the others. One of those is curb appeal. Many buyers will drive past a home without even bothering to look inside if the outside is unappealing. If you’re handy with landscaping, you can make your home look inviting and well looked after with a minimum amount of expenditure. There are other things you can do to boost your home’s curb appeal, like camouflaging meters, cleaning windows, and removing clutter.

For the inside, a new coat of paint on all the walls in neutral colors makes the home look fresh. Putting all your personal items like toys, and especially clutter, allows people to imagine the home as theirs and not yours. Making sure you get the most from your starter home means you have a lot more to invest in your forever home.

Starting Out With a Forever Home

A forever home is not just an idealistic term; it’s a growing reality. It’s a purchase that offers financial security and personal stability in the face of uncertain economic times.

When you buy a forever home, you’re choosing it based on your idea of where you want to raise your family. Your children will be in the schools of your choosing without the disruption of having to move to another district when you’ve outgrown your starter home. You purchase your forever home because you want to put down roots in your community. Or perhaps that is where you want to locate your business and want to be near your customers and get to know them as neighbors.

It’s important you protect your forever home since it’s the biggest investment in your future that you’re likely to make. Allstate explains that homeowners insurance only covers damage to your home’s structure, theft of belongings, and injuries that happen on your property. If you want coverage in case home systems or appliances break down, you’ll need to invest in a home warranty. This is an annually renewable contract that can cover breakdowns of your heating, cooling, electrical, and plumbing systems, along with covering appliance repairs. Before choosing a company, be sure to spend some time reading home warranty reviews to find a policy that fits your needs and budget.

The same thing applies to movers. Before meeting with a moving company to get a quote and discuss your needs, evaluate the different companies by reading reviews online. Ask about discounts for flexible move dates or other promotions they’re offering to see if any of those fit your needs.

Some Financial Details About Home Buying

If buying a home on contract — whether it’s a starter home or forever home — and any changes are made to your original agreement, ensure you get a proper addendum. An addendum is essentially a signed document that alters a previously signed contract, thus changing or updating the terms outlined in the contract.

Once you’ve decided on the right kind of home for you, begin researching your mortgage loan options. Find out about the various kinds of mortgages, from conventional to VA and FHA. By shopping interest rates and mortgage types, you can develop an accurate budget for when you start your home search.

Keep Up With Paperwork

Managing the paperwork involved in buying a house can be a daunting task due to the sheer volume of documents that need to be processed. However, using technology such as a PDF scanner app can make this process considerably easier and more organized. With a PDF scanner app, you can quickly convert physical papers into digital versions, making them easier to store, share, and access anytime. To make the most out of this tool, it’s important to learn how to scan a document effectively. By doing so, you can streamline your document management, ensuring that all necessary paperwork for your home purchase is readily available and easy to navigate.

Find Your Perfect Home

Whether it’s a starter or a forever, as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz reminded us, “There’s no place like home.” Remember to first find your ideal locale by doing your research on the market, then weigh the pros and cons of choosing either a starter or forever home. Once you’re ready to purchase, manage the paperwork and be patient. You’ll be a homeowner soon! Contact Martha Valiquette, REALTOR® for more information