While a starter home might be your only option financially, if you have more capital available, does that automatically mean you should buy your dream home right away? There are many factors to consider, and it can be unrealistic to buy your first home and expect to live in it for the rest of your life. Here are the pros and cons.
The main benefit of buying a starter home is the cost. If you’re buying your first home, the fact is you probably don’t have the budget to buy the dream home that has everything you’ll ever want and need. But you might have the budget to buy a smaller home, which will allow you to get your foot in the real estate market, learn the ins and outs of homeownership, and eventually sell and upgrade to a larger home. Financially, it’s the wise move.
The cons are that you will eventually grow out of it and have to move out. It’s possible you could outgrow it sooner than anticipated, and moving is no small undertaking, especially if you have kids. Knowing you’ll have to move again before you even move into your first home is not the most comforting feeling.
Buying the home you want that fits your entire family upfront ensures that you’ll have to move less—or not at all—which means that you’ll save all that time and money associated with moving. If you have kids, you’ll also spare the inconvenience of moving. Kids hate switching schools once they’ve finally built roots, so uprooting them can cause issues that you can avoid by staying put. When it comes to renovating, since you know you’re sticking around, you can make it entirely what you want it to be without worrying if the sauna addition will actually hurt you on resale.
The main issue in buying a home slightly outside your budget is one many fall into—it’s the trap of being cash poor because all your money is in your home. If the purchase means that you’ll have your dream home, but be forced to eat ramen because you can’t afford anything else, is it really worth it? The idea of being tied down to one place forever can also have its own issues. What if a dream job offer comes up, but it requires moving across the country? You don’t want to close yourself off to growth opportunities because you invested so much of yourself into one particular home.