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5 Things You Need to Know Before Buying a Starter Home


Preparing to buy your first home can be one of the most exciting times in your life, but it’s important to get it right. With an effective amount of research and preparation, your starter home can be a happy place to start the next stage of your life and a savvy financial investment. Of course, there is a lot to think about of when it comes to buying property. When you’re buying a starter home, in particular, you’ll need to assess your options carefully.

Buying a Starter Home? Here is How to Get it Right!

To ensure you make the right decisions when you purchase your first property, take a look at our top 5 things you need to know before buying a starter home…

1. Set a budget

Before you even start looking at properties, set a strict budget based on what you can afford. Make sure you assess your financial information in detail so that you have a good idea of what’s realistic. It’s easy to get carried away when you’re viewing properties, so setting a budget first will help to ensure you don’t commit yourself to too much.

If you’re unsure how much you can afford to spend on a starter home, seek professional advice. Experienced realtors, banks and mortgage lenders will be able to give you an insight into what your budget is, based on your income, and what it will stretch to in your chosen location.

Pro Tip: It is ideal to spend no more than 28% of your monthly income on a mortgage payment.

2. Select your location (carefully)

couple-on-laptopLocation is one of the most important things about your home, so do your research. Even if you don’t have a young family, checking local schools in the area can give you a good idea of how a certain neighborhood is valued. Similarly, there are numerous online resources that provide important information, such as number house sales, property prices, crime rates and rates of occupancy.

When choosing a location, make sure that you are okay with your commute to work. You may find the perfect home but being in the car for 2 hours every day might not be in your best interest.

3. Get your mortgage pre-approved

You won’t be able to get a mortgage until you’ve found the property you want to buy, but this doesn’t mean you can’t get your finances in order. With a pre-approved letter, you can show that you’re ready to buy and speed up the process when you do find the starter home of your dreams.

(Recommended Read: Tips for First Time Home Buyers: Credit, Mortgage Options and More)

4. Be flexible

There are going to be some ‘must-have’ features which you won’t bend on but it’s important to retain some flexibility when you’re viewing properties. It’s unlikely that one house or apartment will have everything you desire, but buying a home gives you the opportunity to make changes once you’ve moved in. By being flexible and realistic, you’ll find it much easier to secure a starter home in your desired area.

Don’t focus too much on things that can be easily fixed such as paint color or a backyard that is a bit unkempt. By fixing these things yourself, you can actually raise the value of your home if you ever decide to move.

5. Don’t panic

Buying a property can be stressful and purchasing your first home can be even more overwhelming. If someone outbids you or a house sale falls through, it’s important not to lose your head. Whilst it can be frustrating and upsetting when your perfect home is snapped up by someone else, there will something else coming to the market in no time. Be patient and get ready to view properties as soon as they hit the market.

At Dream Homes by Jen, we’re committed to helping you navigate the home-buying provess and find your dream home in Kansas City. Contact us at 816-405-2439 to set up a consultation and get the process started!

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