Yes, interest rates are high right now, but it's never too early to start looking. Maybe you’ve finally outgrown your starter home, or you’re looking to settle down in a house you plan to live out your days in. In either case, you might be telling friends and family that you’re shopping for that forever home.
What is a starter home?
Starter homes, on the other hand, are typically smaller and more affordable. They’re homes that newlyweds might buy knowing they’ll leave after their second child is born, for example. That might mean compromising on a smaller yard in favor of a more affordable mortgage payment.
What is a forever home?
Unlike a starter home, a forever home is one that you can see yourself and your family fitting in long-term. In other words, you won’t outgrow it anytime soon, and you don’t want to make a ton of compromises when it comes to your wish list.
Data from the National Association of Realtors in 2022 found that the average homeowner stayed in a home for 8 years in 2021, down from 10 years in their homes in 2020 and 2019.
When should you start looking for your forever home?
If you find yourself feeling cramped in your home, longing for certain features you always said you’d have “one day,” or ready to take on a bit more of a mortgage payment as your lifestyle changes, then it could be the right time.
For some, it might be when their kids are young, for others, it could be when they are reaching retirement.
What to Look for as You Search for Your Forever Home
You’ll want to have more of a laser focus on your list of needs and wants as you select a forever home, starting with the surrounding area.
To evaluate a neighborhood, look at the local school district, whether the location has easy access to parks and public transportation, and the area’s walkability.
When looking at forever homes, consider aspects such as size, requirement, location, etc. based on your present and future situation.
If you change your mind (or circumstances force you to move), don’t sweat it.