First-time buyers skip the starter home

  • Article by: JIM BUCHTA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 29, 2012 - 3:57 PM

Attractive deals are leading some buyers to opt for homes they plan to stay in for years.

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holstjSep. 30, 1212:07 AM

Money is cheap but to buy a "forever house" in your 20's with a $300-400k mortgage is still a lot of money and even though I could afford it now in my 50's I wouldn't want the burden but I wish them the best.

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westcentralwSep. 30, 12 8:20 AM

I owe, I owe, I owe, so off to work I'll go

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cavellSep. 30, 12 3:57 PM

Yay, 250k starter homes are such dumps. Gotta spnd 450k to find a nice house. 2 people. 2nd floor bedroom? Laundry room by garage door. Lots of needless trips. Why not get a modest house with 1st floor bedroom, den?

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jimmyb007Sep. 30, 12 4:12 PM

Smart move....eliminate all the costs of moving from the starter home to a "family home". Between realtor commissions, brokerage fees, mortgage fees, etc, the couple is probably saving $30K to $40K of these expense.

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bkind37Sep. 30, 12 4:46 PM

I'm not so sure this will be their forever house. We bought a modest house in our twenties. Our kids had to share bedrooms. Now that our kids are at the age that they are moving out, our house is still the perfect size. We don't have to move and downsize like a lot of other couples. I really don't understand the need for so many bedrooms and bathrooms and why two kids can't be in one bedroom anymore. Less house and more money for other things is the way to go, I think.

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cks1950Sep. 30, 12 5:02 PM

It's probably a fine move, just as long as you can keep similar paying jobs.

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pitythefoolsSep. 30, 12 6:00 PM

Have they figured in all the costs of owning a larger house? Higher heating and cooling costs. Higher homeowner insurance costs. Higher property taxes. Higher maintenance costs, everything from painting to plumbing repair. Higher lawn care costs.

I just walked around my neighborhood, built in 1999--pre-bubble. Houses here sell for far less than people paid for them, especially when you figure they were new so they've probably got $100,000 in landscaping and decking added, plus a finished basement. These were "mid/upper level executive" or "successful business owner" houses. Or were in 1999. People bought well within what they could afford. Now, you can tell who isn't doing well. Driveways have sunk far below the garage apron. Double pain windows leak and streak between the glass. Siding shingles falling off, or going without paint and turning grey and moldy. I can only guess what's inside that's not getting fixed. I don't recommend buying what you can easily afford. I recommend buying far less.

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somamoonsOct. 1, 12 9:57 AM

Who in their 20s can comfortably afford a $420-500k house, especially on a single income???

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sayshhmnOct. 5, 12 8:07 AM

My husband & I are in our twenties and just bought our first home. 3 bedrooms, 1 bath, less than $200K; I would call it modest. We don't have kids yet, so we still have more room than we need. I don't want to have to clean a giant house and we could live here our whole lives and be content. We may buy something larger in the future, but we won't be spending $400K.

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mspreader1Dec. 17, 12 7:03 PM

These people are smart to skip the starter home. The idea of buying a house and selling in a few years and walking away with some cash is all but gone, unless of course you put down a large down payment. Buying a house for a five year window isn't a good idea, buying for 10 plus is much better, besides, when you go to sell, if need be, you have a larger audience to purchase your house. People bought starter homes it of necessity...if interest rates are in the 3s...why bother if you wAnt to be in that location for years to come. If you can afford it, what is the problem? Sounds like some sour grapes as a few have some income envy or are underwater n their starter home...

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