What You Need to Know About Buying a Starter Home in Snohomish County

Starter homeBefore you buy your first home in Snohomish County, make sure you understand the best strategies, tips, and tricks for finding your starter home. Most people looking for homes for sale in Snohomish County as first time buyers are not going to buy their dream home or forever home, so they will need a way to prioritize their wish list to meet their budget. We have some tips to help.

To learn more about buying your first home in Snohomish County, contact us any time, and keep reading for more information about choosing your starter home. 

Understand the Purpose of a Starter Home

Some buyers are frustrated by the process of buying a condo or house that isn't everything they ultimately want in a home. It might feel like an extra step in the journey toward buying your forever home. Howerve, buying a starter home is a smart strategy for many reasons.

The earlier you can get into homeownership, the more quickly you can begin to allow equity to build and passive growth of the investment to support your future goals. Even in a conservative estimate, owning a home for 5 to 10 years is going to set you up to buy your forever home with far less effort than saving your money during those same 5 to 10 years. 

During the time you own your starter home, you can renovate it to boost the resale value, leverage equity toward other financial goals through refinancing, or simply allow the value of the home to grow passively. Finding a home that will meet your needs and fit your budget now, even if it's not everything you are dreaming of, can allow you to work smarter, not harder, in your journey toward that forever home. 

So how do you choose the right starter home for you? Here are some things to keep in mind. 

Prioritize Your Wishlist

We recommend listing the features you'd like to have in your home, working together with your partner if you are house hunting together. After you look at the list of things you want your home to have, figure out what is essential in the home and then prioritize the rest based on which you want most. 

Even when buying your forever home, it's rare to find a property that has everything on the list. This is probably even more true when buying a starter home, so begin by figuring out what your must-haves are to guide your search. To figure out your non-negotiable features, ask yourself:

  • How many bedrooms and bathrooms do I need?
  • What locations will work for my commute to work?
  • Is there a certain school I need to be near?
  • Does the home need to accommodate somethings specific about my lifestyle, like featuring a home office or a yard that is large enough for my dog?

Next, look at the things you would like the home to have, like a finished basement, an updated kitchen, or a large garage, and list them in order of importance. Whether it's proximity to work, quality of schools, or access to recreational amenities, understanding your priorities will guide your search and help you focus on properties that align with your lifestyle.

Consider the Future

While you don't plan to stay in this starter home forever, it's a good idea to make sure it will work well for you during the next 5 to 10 years. As much as you are able, consider how your needs might shift during this time to make sure you are in a home that continues to meet those needs. This might include something like planning to add a child to the family or begin working from home. 

In addition to the home itself, research how the neighborhood might be changing. Investigate the potential for growth and development in the areas you're considering. Proximity to future developments or community projects can impact property values and the overall living experience. Snohomish County has seen ongoing growth, and understanding future plans can be valuable for long-term investment.

Resale value is another key component of considering the future as you buy your starter home. Because you only plan to live in this home for a period of time and then leverage the asset toward the purchase of a forever home, it makes sense to choose a property that will be easy to sell in a few years. Look for properties in neighborhoods with a history of appreciating property values and factors that contribute to long-term marketability. This forward-thinking approach ensures that your investment can grow over time.

Work with a Local Expert

A local realtor can provide valuable insights, guide you through the homebuying process, and help you make well-informed decisions base. We have the local expertise you need, and have helped many first time buyers successfully find the home that fits their budget and needs to achieve their goal of homeownership.

Ready to find homes for sale in Snohomish County? Contact us any time. 

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