3 Signs Your Starter Home Should Actually Be Your Forever Home

by Maurie Backman | Published on Sept. 13, 2021

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that pay us a commission. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.
A woman kissing a smiling man's cheek while he holds up keys to the new house they're standing in.

Image source: Getty Images

Sometimes, it pays to stick with a starter home for the long haul.

There are plenty of good reasons to buy a starter home. If you can't afford a larger space, a starter home may be an affordable way to break into homeownership. Plus, a starter home can give you a sense of what it's like to be a property owner before you commit to a home that will be far more expensive to maintain.

Many people buy starter homes and move on to larger spaces after a few years. But if these things apply to you, you might consider making your starter home your forever home instead.

1. You're done growing your family, and you fit into your current space

Some people move into a starter home before getting married or having children, and they assume that once their family grows to a certain size, they'll need to move on. But you may end up content with the amount of space you have, given your family size. And if so, there's no reason to move.

Say you and your partner purchase a three-bedroom starter home thinking you'll upsize once you have kids. If, years later, you decide you're content being child free, then you may not have any reason to move. Or, you may end up having children, but you may also find that you're able to live in that home comfortably with them, in which case moving may not make sense.

2. You love your neighborhood

In some cases, buying a starter home could be your ticket to owning property in a more expensive neighborhood. But if you love your neighborhood and can't afford a larger home, then you may want to consider staying in your starter home for the long run. This especially holds true if moving to a different neighborhood will negatively impact your life.

Say you have children who have been attending school for several years. Moving out of your neighborhood could mean having to switch them to a different school district, which is something you may want to avoid.

3. You can comfortably afford your mortgage payments

Starter homes tend to cost less than larger ones. And that means a starter home might more easily fit into your budget. If you're used to making your mortgage payments and like the flexibility of spending less on housing, then you may want to stay in your starter home rather than take on a house that will cost you a lot more and force you to make other sacrifices.

Say that based on what your starter home costs, you have enough room in your budget to take two vacations a year. Moving to a larger home could make it so you can't really travel at all. And you may not want to give up those trips if you're reasonably content where you are.

There's nothing wrong with moving on from a starter home if yours no longer works well for you. But there's also nothing wrong with deciding that your starter home is the place you'll live in for decades. And if the above signs apply to you, you may want to consider staying put.

About the Author