What Makes A Good Starter Home In Northern Virginia?

The term “starter home” is one you probably see and hear often if you are considering buying your first home. I am always trying to keep an eye out for ideal starter homes inside the beltway, but what actually makes a good starter home, specifically in Northern Virginia? In my mind what constitutes an ideal starter home is:

  • price; it has to be affordable, and priced well for the condition it is in.
  • condition; in my opinion, a dated interior makes the best opportunity (see why below)
  • room for expansion
  • easy resale

Look For A Dated Interior

I could certainly add more to the list, Homes With Dated Interiorbut that is my baseline criteria. So, why is a dated home better? First of all, notice I am not saying “dilapidated” or “disrepair”, those are separate topics. In today’s market the vast majority of buyers are looking for move-in ready, updated homes that have everything they want already installed, so a dated home will invariably have less competion. In many cases buyers will way over estimate how much work and money it will take to update a dated home. The reality is, once you account for the likely discount from average market prices you could receive, all the updates you would want up front are more than manageable, and there are several loan products that can help you accomplish them right away.

Look For Room To Expand

Again, room to expand is also ideal. With the ability to expand, you can spruce up the home now, and then save for expanding the home later. Not only does this add value to the home, it can dramatically extend the amount of time the home will be suitable for you, saving you loads of cash in the long-run by delaying another move, an endeavor that is expensive and stressful.

Look For Ease of Re-Sale

Finally, ease of re-sale is crucial as well. You can’t predict what will happen in a given market over time. Some areas will improve in value, some may begin to deteriorate a bit, but in general, there are certain factors that will negatively impact your re-sale ability no matter where you are. I don’t want to make any broadĀ disparagementsĀ here, but if we are working together to purchase a home, I will help you steer clear of these hurdles, or at least make sure you know what you are getting into.

If you have additional questions about what might make a good starter home, I would love to hear them in the comments down below. Or, if you are more comfortable reaching out in private, I am happy to have you email me instead.


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