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5 Qualities to Look for in a Starter Home

couple in their new home

If you’re a first-time homebuyer, your first purchase is unlikely going to be your last. Most novice homeowners start out with a budget that won’t cover every item on their dream home checklist.

However, that’s not such a bad thing. A starter home allows you to build a nest egg that will go into buying a home you truly want for yourself and your family. When you sell your starter home a few years down the road, you can put the proceeds and your savings toward the purchase of your forever home.

In the meantime, you can look for a starter that can also be beautiful, comfortable, and convenient. As you shop for budget-friendly Charlotte houses for sale, here are five features to look for to get the most out of your purchase.

1. Affordability

Your most important criteria when shopping for a starter home is that you can actually afford it. Keep your monthly mortgage expenses within 33% of your salary so you can still live comfortably off your remaining income. Use a mortgage calculator to see the breakdown of how much you have to pay for mortgage, insurance, taxes, and more. Stay ahead of hidden and extra fees that could eat away at your budget.

2. Low maintenance costs

Look for a place that’s move-in ready. While such homes may be higher priced, it saves you the cost of renovating the house to suit your needs. Even if you’re handy with a hammer, a fixer-upper would eat up a lot of your time– and be an inconvenience to the family until renovations are complete. the duration of the renovations. be a sensible starter home for you.

If you have your heart set on a fixer-upper, have a budget in mind for renovation costs. Order a home inspection before you make your offer to get an overview of the areas you’ll need to work on and the extent to which they’ll impact your budget. Read more useful tips here.

3. Proximity to work

You don’t want to live in a home with a long commute to work. Look at how the starter home’s location fits into your lifestyle before moving ahead with your purchase.

4. Flexibility

Depending on how much you earn, your dream home may still be five, seven, or 10 years down the road. So consider the possibility of having to stay put in your starter home for a good length of time. Consider, too, your longer-term plans. Do you see marriage and having kids in your immediate future? If so, make sure your starter home can meet the needs of a growing family. Are you thinking of working from home or starting a home-based business in the foreseeable future? Check if you can turn a room into a home office. Knowing what your personal goals are in the short and long term can help guide your choices.

5. Sellable

You’ll have to dispose of your starter home eventually, so look for a piece of property that will likely increase in value when it comes time to sell. Avoid homes in less-than-desirable neighborhoods even if home prices are a steal. The same can be said for areas with low-performing school districts. On your part, keep the home well-maintained and in excellent condition,and undertake renovations that will add value to your home. According to the National Association of Realtors, the likely value of projects to a home for resale, ranked from highest to lowest, are:

1. Complete kitchen renovation
2. Kitchen upgrade
3. HVAC replacement
4. New wood flooring
5. Bathroom renovation
6. Hardwood flooring refinish
7. New master suite
8. Add new bathroom
9. Convert basement to living area
10. Convert attic to living area
11. Insulation upgrade
12. Closet renovation

Are you unsure about what to look for in a starter home? Our agents at Valarie Brooks Real Estate have had the experience helping first-time buyers get their foot in the door of the real estate market. Get in touch with us at 704.488.5458 or to discuss your starter home adventure today.