How to Decide Between Buying Your Starter Home or Your Forever Home

If you’re ready to buy your first house, it may be difficult to choose between a starter home or your forever home. Here are some ideas to think about when you’re reviewing your options.

Buying and Insuring a Property

When you buy a home, you also need insurance. Homeowners insurance only covers the structure of the property, injuries, or belongings in a burglary. A home warranty is another option that covers your home systems and appliances. Home warranties are renewable annual plans that help cover the costs of appliance repairs and major systems breakdowns, such as HVAC, plumbing, and electrical. To choose the best one for your needs, home warranty reviews are a good place to start.

Starter Home Pros and Cons

Buying a starter home is one way you can be a homeowner. A starter home is a property you plan on selling at some point in the future when you’re ready to upgrade. Here are factors to consider with a starter home. 


Housing prices continue to rise, with the median U.S. home price at $375,000, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Starter homes are usually lower than the national average.

Less Upkeep

Your starter home may also not require as much upkeep, especially if you plan to move within five years. A smaller home also costs less for repairs and other maintenance items.

Potential for Producing Income

Starter homes can also be used as rentals when you decide to move. Consider keeping a starter home and renting it out to get a second income.

Smaller Space

The cost savings may also come with a smaller living space. In most states, home sizes are getting bigger, so a starter home may feel cramped.

More Outdated

Starter homes are usually older and less modern. If you purchase a cheaper starter home, you may have outdated appliances and older decor that hasn’t been updated.

Neighborhood Issues

The first home you buy may also not be in the best neighborhood. If your home is in a bad neighborhood, there could be more property crime and safety issues.

Forever Home Pros and Cons

First-time buyers also can decide to immediately buy their forever home. This approach also has some financial and lifestyle pros and cons.

Setting up Roots

The biggest pro to moving right into your forever home is to set up your roots. This can help you avoid moving again and keep you in a great neighborhood.

Potential to Grow Your Family

Buying your forever home as your first property also gives you the flexibility to start growing your family whenever you want. Couples that plan to have children can have enough space and bedrooms to expand.

Able To Invest in Unique Decor

Another pro is that you can buy big-ticket items, heirloom furniture pieces, and unique decor without having to worry about moving them later. You can also add a pool, hot tub, fence, garden, and custom landscaping.

More Expensive

The top con of buying your forever home first is the cost. A larger home may give you some sticker shock. There is also the higher cost of utilities and property taxes to consider.

Lots of Upkeep

Finally, you also may need to invest more time and money into maintaining your forever home. Maintenance and repairs may be pricier than a typical starter home and may require some sweat equity.

Investing in a starter home or purchasing your dream forever home is a big step in life. Whichever path you choose, you can be a homeowner and start living your dream. Have the Russell Shaw Group on your side. Reach out today.

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May 2022

Dramatic Market Shift

We have been sounding the alarm bells for months that the market was shifting – even if no one was feeling the impact.  In the last few weeks, the numbers are confirming a dramatic shift.  Here are the facts – rather than clickbait headlines.

The alarming news

Overall the supply of active properties is up 40% from this time last year. More shockingly, the supply of MLS properties for sale is up 45% in 6 Weeks.  Pretty dramatic, right?  The Cromford Report shares these numbers:  “Inventory listed between $400K-$500K is up 35% in just 3 weeks. Counts in all segments between $500K-$1M are up 99% in 6 weeks and the count from $1M-$1.5M is up 54%, also within 6 weeks.” If you are a seller or would-be seller, this is important information confirming a radical shift is under way.  Jumping numbers of available properties are not good news for sellers.  But please, read on.

What is happening?

Not surprisingly, the rising prices along with the rising interest rates are doing what they are supposed to – dampen demand.  Interest rates rise quickly and lower slowly.  Thereby affordability is taking a big hit that is not going away soon.  For those shocked by interest rates in the 5% range (having become acclimated to rates in the 3% range) we gently remind you that historically rates have averaged in the 8% range.  But back to supply, it is not that a flood of listings are coming to market but rather less are going under contract.  That is what dampened demand looks like – less things selling.  When less things sell, supply builds.

What this means and why not to panic

Not all price points are experiencing rising inventory in our market.  The properties below 400K are still scarce and in high demand.   Additionally, the overall number of available properties remains ridiculously low.  The Cromford Report confirms: “As of this report, the supply count is 7,157, still 72% below normal for this time of year but rising quickly”.  We repeat, 72% below normal.

What does this all mean?  If you are a buyer shopping in the 500K+ market – you will have more choices and less competition.  If you are a seller, your prices are not dropping and you still have below normal competition.  The Cromford Report summarizes:

“The market is in the early stage of shifting out of an insane seller market and into a mere frenzy seller market. Before we know it, it could be a regular old hot seller market where properties still appreciate but take multiple weeks to sell…While the market is still strongly in favor of sellers, it is changing rapidly. For those sellers waiting to sell close to the peak of price, this may be the time to list. Prices are still projected to continue rising, but at a slower pace over the next few months.”

We hope this helps put in to perspective the shift.  Caution is advisable, fear is not.  If you have questions about buying or selling in today’s market, contact us.  Market knowledge is our business.

Russell & Wendy Shaw

(Mostly Wendy)