Starter Home Vs. Forever Home: How to Choose

Choosing between a starter home and a forever home can be difficult. You want to find the perfect balance of affordability, size, location, and long-term investment potential. This article will help you make that decision by breaking down the pros and cons of both options. The first step is understanding what these two types of homes are exactly:

Starter Home

A starter home is typically smaller than a forever home with less expensive features like appliances. A starter home will be an ideal place to kick-start your family, pets, and plants before transitioning into something bigger.

A starter home is typically the first family-friendly home for couples just starting. It’s an ideal option for those who are not sure whether or not they want to make a long-term investment in the property market. Many people only stay in their starter home for five years, whereas others end up in their starter home for much longer (upwards of 20 years).

In most cases, a starter home is smaller than your forever home. Some may even lack architectural features like fireplaces or other features that would potentially increase resale value. On the other hand, a starter home will be easier on the wallet, making it a better fit for someone uncertain about their long-term plans in a specific geographical location.

Buying a starter home can be an excellent idea for anyone who is looking to move up in the housing market quickly. However, keep in mind that this option is best for those on a budget because it has probably been on the market longer and likely won’t give you more space or better features than an equally priced forever home.

Also See: Tips to Buy a New House from Sellers Market

Forever Home

On the other hand, a forever home is often larger than a starter home because it’s an investment. Those looking for something to stay in long-term generally choose this option. It’s also likely to have features that appeal to families with small children or pets.

Forever homes are designed to be luxurious and family-friendly at the same time. They’re going to have more space and better features, which will appeal to buyers who have a family.

On the other hand, a forever home is also an investment in the long term. It’s typically only bought with people who plan on staying in their current location for ten years or longer. It may not be affordable if you want to stay in a specific place for more than five years. This lack of affordability may make it a stretch for young professionals if they’re not making big money yet.

Forever homes are often more expensive because you’re going to be living there for longer and investing in the property market rather than immediately reselling your home when you get bored of the location. They may also be more difficult to sell quickly if you plan to move within five years because it has better features than your average starter home.

If you’re looking to stay in the same place for at least ten years, then this might be the option for you. However, it will likely come with better features and a larger space than a starter home. It also means that you’ll be paying more per month for your mortgage (or rent).

On the other hand, if you’re looking to move within five years, a forever home will be too expensive for you because of the mortgage payment and lack of affordability. In most cases, it’s better as an investment rather than as a residence.

See Also: Buying a New Home – The entire Process

How Long Will You Be Staying In A Starter Home?

Starter homes are generally acknowledged as the first step to buying you forever home. However, there is no specific timeline for how long you should stay in a starter home.

Some people end up staying in their starter homes for only five years or less because they’re looking for something better or can’t afford their mortgage payments. Others may spend upwards of 20 years in their starter homes because they don’t want to take their chances and move out.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a short-term investment, then you’ll need to look at your mortgage payment and determine whether or not it’s within your means. Otherwise, you could gamble on selling your home after five years and renting a bigger place.

It’s up to you as the homeowner to decide how long you want to stay in your starter home. However, remember that it should be a building block toward better things and not a permanent residence if you’re looking for something luxurious.

How Long Will You be Staying In A Forever Home?

If you’re looking for a forever home, then you’ll likely be living there for many years to come. However, it doesn’t mean that you should stay there forever. Forever homes are generally a luxury for those who don’t plan on moving within the next ten years or more.

A forever home is an investment, so it’s essential to consider how you might benefit from that. If you’ve outgrown the space or features within five years of buying the house, then maybe you should sell your home and figure out what else makes sense for you in the future.

On the other hand, a forever home may make an excellent long-term investment for those who can afford it. You’ll be able to take part in tax deductions, and selling your home is going to be easier if you’ve been there for at least two years.

In many cases, those who live in their forever homes end up staying there until they retire or move into a smaller home. It doesn’t mean that you should live there forever, but it does allow you to make a long-term investment in the property if you have the means.

CALCULATE MY MOVE

Starter Homes: Pros and Cons

Following are the 5 Best Pros and Cons of choosing a Starter Home:

Pros:

  1. Starter homes are more affordable than forever homes.
  2. Starter homes are easier to sell quickly if you plan to move within five years.
  3. Starter homes often come with better features than your average forever home.
  4. Starter homes are a good investment for those who want to move within five years.
  5. You’ll have more money left over to invest in other things if you choose a starter home over a forever home.

Cons:

  1. Starter homes are often tiny and have lesser space than forever homes.
  2. Starter homes aren’t going to come with a lot of privacy or space for your family.
  3. You may not have enough room in a starter home if you want to have kids within five years.
  4. Investments in a starter home are often temporary.
  5. You won’t have the amenities in a starter home that you would have in your forever home.

Read Also: Pros and Cons of Moving in to an Apartment

Forever Homes: Pros and Cons

Following are the 5 Best Pros and Cons of choosing a Forever Home:

Pros:

  1. A forever home is a long-term commitment to where you live.
  2. A forever home allows you to make space for things like growing families or having guests over more frequently.
  3. You’ll have a more luxurious, comfortable, and enjoyable forever home than you would in a starter home.
  4. A forever home is an investment that can increase your net worth over time.
  5. You’ll be able to enjoy your forever home and take part in tax deductions.

Cons:

  1. A forever home is expensive and costlier than a starter home.
  2. You’ll have higher monthly mortgage bills with a forever home than you would with a starter home.
  3. If you don’t plan on staying more than ten years in your forever home, then you’ll have paid more for the same things that you would’ve gotten with a starter home.
  4. Selling and moving out of a forever home can be difficult and highly costly.
  5. With a larger floor plan comes a larger utility bill to pay.

Top Questions to Ask Yourself Before Deciding Between a Starter Home and a Forever Home

Are you planning to have children in the next five years?

If so, it may be better to invest in a forever home because of the additional room and privacy that come with a bigger home. If not, then a starter home may be better because it’s less expensive, and you’ll have a smaller monthly mortgage bill.

Do you plan on retiring within ten years? 

It may be better to invest in a forever home because of the additional amenities and tax benefits of owning a larger property. If so, it may be better to invest in a starter home because of its affordability and potential resale value. Alternatively, plan on being in your forever home for ten or more years.

Do you want to stay in the same place for more than ten years?

If so, it may be better to invest in a forever home because of its luxurious features and long-term investment potential. Alternatively, suppose you only plan on staying for less than ten years. In that case, it may be better to invest in a starter home because of its affordability and potential resale value.

Do you have the time and patience to maintain a bigger house? 

If so, then a forever home may be better for you because it’s more work to maintain a starter home. If you want a hassle-free experience, it may be better to invest in a starter home because of its smaller size and less expensive features.

Have you considered the cost of utilities? 

Utility costs can vary greatly when it comes to home sizes. For example, a bigger house often means higher water and electricity bills. On the other hand, it also means larger HVAC systems that keep rooms cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Additionally, a bigger house often requires different kinds of yard work (mowing, weed pulling) than does a smaller home.

Is your current income stable? 

It’s important to consider your current financial situation before choosing between a starter home and a forever home. With that being said, it can often be challenging to qualify for loans on bigger houses, so you may want to consider buying something that fits your current income rather than planning on earning more money in the future.

At the end of the day, only you know what kind of house is right for your life. However, you can get help finding the ideal home by talking with real estate agents that can provide insight into different places and neighborhoods.

Is cost an issue for you? 

If not, it may be better to invest in a forever home because of its additional features and tax benefits. If you’re looking for a more affordable option, it may be better to invest in a starter home because of its smaller size and lower monthly mortgage bill.

Are you concerned about not having enough room in a home? 

If so, it may be better to invest in a forever home because of its larger-sized rooms and features. If you’re not concerned about needing more space, then it may be better to invest in a starter home because of its lower price tag and smaller size.

Do you want access to state-of-the-art amenities such as an elevator or walk-in shower?

If so, it may be better to invest in a forever home because of its additional luxury features. If not, it may be better to invest in a starter home because of its more affordable costs and smaller size.

Are you saving on a tight budget?

If so, it may be better to invest in a starter home because of its affordability and potential resale value. If not, it may be better to invest in a forever home because of its long-term investment potential and tax benefits. If you are having a tight budget you can red our article Tips on Moving on a Small Budget.

The Verdict: Starter Vs. Forever Home

Deciding between a starter home and a forever home largely depends on how long you plan to stay in your forever home. If you’re planning to move within ten years, a starter home is likely the better option. Alternatively, if you’re planning on staying in your forever home for an extended period (15 years or more), then a forever home may be the better option.

Starter homes are often considered temporary and less glamorous, while forever homes are generally regarded as long-term investments and luxurious living spaces. It’s essential to assume where you’re at in your life and how much time you plan on spending in that house.

If you’re not sure whether or not it’s better to buy a starter home or forever home, then consider talking with real estate agents who can help you figure out the best option for your living preferences.

Also See: Best National Movers in the US

Written by


Rostislav Shetman is the founder of 9Kilo Moving. He has been in the moving and relocation industry for more than 25 years, making him an expert in his field. Rostislav started as a helper, dispatcher and driver and has worked his way up to owning his own company. He takes great pride in his work and enjoys helping people relocate across the United States of America. When he's not working, Rostislav enjoys spending time with his family and friends. They are the light of his life and bring him happiness every day.