The starter home vs. forever home debate was one I touched on a while ago on my own blog. I didn’t realize so many people thought the logic behind deliberately buying a home you have no intention of living in forever was so weird.
I grew up in one home (once we moved to this province) and that’s all I knew, but when time came for hubby and I to buy we didn’t really know what we wanted, or more importantly needed. We bought a home that satisfied our basic ”young married couple who may eventually have children” requirements (a place to sleep, cook and relax) but that was about it.
I knew going into our first home purchase that we would not be staying here forever. I knew we wouldn’t stay here more than 5-10 years but we bought it anyway.
Benefits of buying a starter home
When we were looking to move from our one bedroom apartment into a home of our own our needs were significantly different from what they were today, as working parents. The biggest benefit for us having a starter home is that we have really figured out exactly what we want and don’t want in the home we will eventually call home, forever.
For us at least, these are things I could not have known unless I have lived with (or without) them in this current home. I still find myself discovering new wants in our next house. For one, this home only has one full bathroom. Honestly I didn’t understand the need for an ensuite. Neither hubby or I grew up in a home with an ensuite and I didn’t think twice about buying a 1.5 bathroom house as our first home. Then I had a kid. Now I totally get it. I love her but hate having her bath stuff consuming my somewhat pretty, neat and clean space. Also, why do kids like playing with feminine hygiene products!? I just want a private space for our stuff, a no-kid or guest zone! I’ll never require a double sink but I know I want an enuite in our next home.
A starter home really lets you discover what kind of homeowner you are. What makes you tick and what you can live without. It allows you to make mistakes and gives you a ”practice round” before making a life-long commitment.
Maybe a forever home is for you…
While I’m more of a ”learn from mistakes” kind of girl, some people know exactly what they want. I have friends who, before ever living in a home, designed a built their dream home, outlining every last detail. Things I couldn’t have possibly thought of adding until I knew such a thing did or did not exist.
The biggest advantage to making your first home purchase your last, is that you’ll never have to move. If your purchase is move in ready there will be little to no work so you can continue on with maintenance and if you’re the type who can know exactly what they want out of a renovation that’s great too. As long as you don’t invest money into a renovation, only to have regrets later (this chick right here already dislikes the kitchen reno we did only four years ago) then you can work on paying down that mortgage and enjoying your abode debt free.
I really think the ”starter home” vs. ”forever home” debate has many points that need to be considered. For us, we decided that building equity on an appreciating property was more important than finding our dream home in our early 20’s before we had life figured out. But others would rather save until they can afford the one and only home of their dreams. Neither opinion is wrong, every situation is different!
Was your first home purchase the one you plan to stay in forever?