Starter Home Defined

To a Realtor it Often Represents a
Small One to Two Bedroom Home

The definition of a starter home is normally the first a place that a family or individual can afford to buy, most likely using a mixture of mortgage financing and savings. To a Realtor it often represents small one to two bedroom homes, most likely older houses but in some instances new low-cost developments. The notion was born in the USA at some point after World War II had ended when purchasing a starter home was a favored option for young post war families and considered a part of the great American Dream.

The initial notion of a freshly constructed starter home on the outskirts of the city limits has become different from both the loss of inexpensive land to develop and the changing penchant of successive United States population age groups. Since the beginning of the 21st century, many new homebuyers are searching for different kinds of lifestyles such as condominiums or older existing homes and neighborhoods.

21st century changes

In the USA, as conditions of the real-estate market continued to increase and continued growth in large and medium cities was fast, numerous starter homes were only available or affordable in large metropolitan region outlying suburbs. Purchasing the all American Aspiration of a newly-constructed detached home on a recently bare plot of land continued to grow further away from urbanized areas to take advantage the lowest priced land. Nevertheless as many regions in the nation experienced urbanization in compound clusters, states like California experienced diffused property economics where there are no low-cost lands available. This has brought about numerous real estate developers either constructing numerous high density low-cost townhomes or huge single-family detached homes at high end prices. The second approach is frequently selected resulting in beginner-homes continuing to benefit inhabitants in upper earner brackets as a large majority of a metropolitan area's suburbs near total build-out while the work ratio distance approaches the maximum. Aspects that influence builders include land cost, perceived worth, city law planning,, market demand, construction expenses, and profit margins.

From the buyer's standpoint, a change in financial conditions and loan interest rates as slight as half a point can affect large cluster of income brackets by not having the ability to finance market-driven affordable housing over the long-range. Personal income sources for single people and families have not kept pace with market price increases and living cost increases to prevail over this. Although starter homes may well be regarded as affordable based on monthly income, the real cost of owning a home has not historically been reflected in real life financing.

Attempts to increase availability

In regions which lack affordable housing, like San Francisco, New York City, Shanghai, or London, it may well be unattainable for first time homeowners to locate starter homes close to the center of the city. In an effort to help such potential homeowners, local authorities similar to Santa Cruz, California, are changing the zoning of previously commercial zones to residential housing to specifically allow developers to construct first time houses. The Wall Street Journal follows median home starter home sales prices as a component of its real estate market index..

Cities, be they suburban or the center core, have usually shifted to a movement of planned master communities allowing huge land tracts to be set aside for total build-out in as a way to keep developer cost low and provide crucial affordable and starter-level homes. Retail and commercial facilities are almost always a feature of these communities of starter homes.

Changes in the 21st century

In the United States, as real-estate market conditions continue to inflate and rise in major and medium cities where growth is fast, many starter homes are only affordable or available in metropolitan area outer suburbs. The American Dream of a new-build single-family home on a previously unused lot continues to move further out of urbanized areas to capture the lowest cost land. However as many areas in the nation experience urbanization in multiple clusters, states such as California experience diffused land economics where no low-cost land exists. This has caused many real estate developers to either develop many low-cost townhomes densely or large single-family homes at high sale prices. The latter is frequently chosen resulting in starter-homes continuing to favor people in upper income brackets as the majority of a metro area's suburbs approach build-out and the distance to work ratio approaches a maximum. Factors that influence developers include land prices, perceived value, market demand, city planning law, construction costs, and maintaining profit margins.

For the buyer's end, changing financial requirements and mortgage interest rates as low as half a percentage point may affect large groups of income brackets to not be able to finance market-determined affordable housing in the long-term. Personal income for individuals and families have also not kept up with market inflation and cost of living to overcome this. While starter homes may be considered affordable based on income, the true cost of home ownership has historically not been reflected in actual financing.

Efforts to increase availability

In locations with a lack of affordable housing, such as New York City, San Francisco, London, or Shanghai, it may be impossible for first time home buyers to find starter houses close to the city center. To assist such home buyers, local authorities such as that in Santa Cruz, California, have re-zoned previously commercial areas for residential housing specifically to allow developers to build starter homes. The Wall Street Journal tracks median home purchase prices of starter homes as part of its real estate index.. Cities, whether suburban or the central core, have generally moved to a trend of master planned communities where large tracts of land are set aside for one complete build-out in order to maintain low costs to the developer and provide essential affordable and entry-level housing. Commercial and retail components are almost always included in these starter home communities. - Feb 27, 2011

Buying Real Estate