You’ve dreamed for years of buying your first home, and now it’s time. You’ve created Pinterest boards dotted with photos of beautiful home decor, watched all the episodes of HGTV’s “House Hunters” and spent hours trolling listings online. You know exactly what you want.
But have you done the math?
When it’s time to search for a starter home, many young – and not so young – people quickly discover that their budget won’t cover their dream home. That means making tough choices and doing some serious thinking about what matters: Will granite countertops make you happier than living 15 minutes closer to work? Is a third bedroom worth giving up a second car? Is living in your dream neighborhood more important than having a yard? A National Association of Realtors survey shows that first time home buyers make up 33 percent of all home buyers. The average buyer is 46 years old, and 63 percent are married couples. Unmarried women made up 18 percent of first-time buyers, and single men accounted for 9 percent.
We’ve compiled, from experts, some things to consider as you prepare to buy a starter home. Check the list on our sister site, Living on the Cheap.