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Old Today, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Williamsburg, VA
2,195 posts, read 997,703 times
Reputation: 4955

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Quote:
Originally Posted by GearHeadDave View Post
The only caveat to that is that it has to be easy to maintain. It has to have relatively modern electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems.

My first "starter home" was a maintenance nightmare, because with zero home owner experience, we really didn't know what to look for in terms of maintainability and structural integrity. Cannot imagine living in that place at retirement.

Definitely agree! We've been lucky that every house we've owned has been fairly well built, whether it was our first tiny condo or the big McMansion we had in our 30s. A starter home, to me, means it's small, has a simple design, and doesn't have a lot of luxurious finishes. The appliances may be dated, but we've always insisted that they work well.
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Old Today, 08:35 AM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
8,937 posts, read 17,657,653 times
Reputation: 6371
Define a "starter" home. I still own my "starter" home, I still own as a rental house now. Rarely vacant, mostly good tenants. They've paid the mortgage down about 35,000 over the years for me. It's been a good investment. Not great, but but good.
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Old Today, 08:58 AM
 
Location: Willamette Valley, Oregon
3,186 posts, read 822,154 times
Reputation: 4356
We bought a house in 2001 for $106,000. Due to my job we couldn't live in the house so we rented it. We sold it in 2006 for about $200K. I think we made out okay. In 2007 we bought our forever home for $132,000. We still couldn't live in it due to the job. We spent about $80K renovating it while we weren't living in it. I retired in 2011 and we have a house that we both love. I'm not sure what it would sell for today, but it doesn't matter. We'll be in this house until we die.


Our "starter house" turned out to be a great investment. Timing is everything.
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Old Today, 09:02 AM
 
Location: Raleigh
7,441 posts, read 5,513,281 times
Reputation: 10202
Quote:
Originally Posted by TarHeelNick View Post
Way too broad of a generalization.

So many different variables/options.
The big thing, to me, is that the term "Starter Home" doesn't have a lot of meaning. All it really means is "a house that's likely to be purchased by a first time homebuyer."

I have friends that bought very modest new construction homes on teeny tiny lots for under $200K, driving a bit further out into the county.

I have friends that bought new construction townhomes closer in.

I have friends that bought expensive, renovated homes right in the city center.

I bought an older ranch home that mostly didn't have anything wrong with it.

The one thing that it doesn't seem to mean, in most decent areas, is a fixer-upper that one can build sweat equity with. Despite the author's comments, that seems to be the realm of the buyer with cash to close after a 48 hour due diligence period.
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Old Today, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Central New Jersey
2,074 posts, read 719,302 times
Reputation: 3552
Purchased my first home, starter home, when I was 21. Sold it less than 2 years later at a profit of 20 grand or so. Rolled that money into my next purchase.
Buying a starter home, IMO, is a worthwhile investment. It's better than renting, paying someone else's mortgage off. Gotta be a smart buyer as well. Condition and area has a lot to do with future resale.
Don't buy a sh$thole in a ghetto and expect to resell it.
My 02 cents is all.
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Old Today, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Florida
4,346 posts, read 3,664,763 times
Reputation: 9522
Yes, the term starter home is pretty meaningless. We lived in our first home for 20 years. We hadn't been out of college for 3 years when we bought it. We only had 1 child so we never out grew it. The only reason we left was because hubby wanted a better job and the job market where we lived was pretty tapped out. The house was still fine.
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Old Today, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Columbia SC
8,253 posts, read 7,042,849 times
Reputation: 11031
I live in a small, patio home development. While the houses are small (1200 to 1500sq ft) and close to each other on the side, they are standalone homes. To some we are an entry level home. To others , like myself, it is a buy down. Like I always said about condos. They were for the newly wed and the nearly dead.....LOL
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Old Today, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Backwoods of Maine
7,000 posts, read 7,837,243 times
Reputation: 18156
When I was 28, I bought my first house - a Cape Cod style with 2 beds, 1 bath, and a large storage area on the second floor. My wife and i, with our 2 little girls, lived there until they were both into their teens. Then we moved to a bigger house. But that first one was paid off, so we kept it for visiting family and friends.

Now I'm 71 and retired out of state. Recently my brother in law and I renovated that first house. We finished the second floor and the basement, bumped out the kitchen, and added a large rear deck. It is now a 5 bed, 3 bath home with a large modern kitchen, with sliders leading out to the deck. We now have 6 grandchildren, 3 of whom are in college, and 2 of them live in this house. There's plenty of room for my wife and I to stay when we visit.

Bad investment?? Don't make me laugh!
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Old Today, 10:50 AM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
4,278 posts, read 2,334,530 times
Reputation: 11950
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
I've been living in "starter" houses all my life.

Why would I want anything "nicer"?
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlygal View Post
Yeah, I'm buying my retirement home and it will be in the price range and size of a starter home. I don't need anything presumably "nicer."
A lot of happy people think this way. Sometimes we don't *need* as much as we think we need.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GearHeadDave View Post
The only caveat to that is that it has to be easy to maintain. It has to have relatively modern electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems.

My first "starter home" was a maintenance nightmare, because with zero home owner experience, we really didn't know what to look for in terms of maintainability and structural integrity. Cannot imagine living in that place at retirement.

Definitely on this. Not good for the cash-poor and inexperienced first home buyer to take on too much of a maintenance headache either. I really try to educate our lowest income buyers to not bite off more than they can afford to chew. The cheap price they see online is a siren call... the reality is, a fixer takes a lot of money to fix.

Financing is the missing link in a lot of the rehab shows that get people all excited. That $80K rehab budget has to be available in cash. Unless you are going through the trouble of getting a rehab loan and all that goes with it... the bank is not going to loan on the to-do list... And they're not going to loan on it as-is either.
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Old Today, 11:11 AM
 
Location: San Diego CA
4,143 posts, read 3,061,758 times
Reputation: 6528
Well. A relative here in California bought a starter home back in the 70's on a no down payment GI loan for 25K. Just stayed and never moved. Current appraisal now around 600K. Lots of stories like that here.
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