Here are four ways for first-time buyers to find a starter home they can afford:

1. Focus only on what you need to start. Think of your starter home as a financial launch pad to the ideal home you’ll spend the bulk of your life in. Decide how long you want to stay in your starter. Then list your basic needs for space and location, and don’t worry about amenities.

2. Look at resale homes vs. new. New homes generally cost more than “existing” homes being resold by the resident owner. New starter homes can be hard to find, with most builders targeting upgrade buyers. An older home in a well-established neighborhood might give you what you need at a price you can manage, even accounting for renovations and repairs.

3. Be smart about location. Home prices and property taxes are higher in better neighborhoods and school districts. Why pay this premium if you find a nice home in a good neighborhood and it’ll be years before your kids are in school? Another consideration: if you find an affordable home farther from work, be sure to factor in the added commuting costs.

4. Get a mortgage pre-approval. With well-priced starter homes, you can find yourself competing with other buyers. See us for a mortgage pre-approval to strengthen your offer.

Whether you’re purchasing your first home, upgrading, or downsizing, please contact us for help with the financing. We’re also happy to answer questions about refinancing your current home or funding home improvements.

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