What counts as a starter home? Can short sales and foreclosures be considered? Thanks!

Asked by Roberta (Bobbi) Simpson, Coon Rapids, MN Mon Feb 22, 2010

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Angela Pierce, Agent, Loganville, GA
Mon Feb 22, 2010
A starter home is generally a home that is affordable to the first time home buyer. Short sales and foreclosures included.
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Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Mon Feb 22, 2010
I see where Dan's coming from, and can't argue with his definition of all those lovely terms. Still, I come at it from a different angle:

A starter home is what a lot of first-time homebuyers should have been buying in 2003-2007. Something within their means. Affordable, Decent sized for 1 or 2 people. Probably similar to the home their parents had bought 30 years earlier. Something they'd probably be able to sell without much trouble to another first-time homebuyer in 4-6 years.

Instead, a lot of first-time homebuyers bought way outside of their means. Something their parents never would have been able to afford. Able to house a family of 6 or 8 people. Something they knew--if they'd thought about it--that they'd only be able to sell to a greater fool (the "greater fool" theory) in a year or two.

As for short sales and foreclosures being considered: Well . . . . technically they can. I know plenty of starter homes--3 bed/2 bath that were selling for $150,000 in 2003 that sold for $500,000 in 2007. They're now back down to about $150,000. And they'd be fine starter homes. But I'm not sure I'd want to subject a first-time homebuyer to the agonies that accompany many short sales (and some REOs).
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Dan Chase, Home Buyer, Texas City, TX
Mon Feb 22, 2010
A starter home is one that is to small and crappy for someone to want to live in for the next 30+ years.

Sadly, many who buy such starter homes tend to be stuck there as they can not afford to move up as they had originally planned to.

I see starter home similar to other terms
cottage( way to small for comfort)
unique (to ugly for words)
fixer upper (call the fire department quick)
won't last long ( overpriced please do not notice)
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Alma Kee, Agent, Tampa, FL
Mon Feb 22, 2010
If you're gettting FHA financing or VA financing just make sure the property is good condition before you start paying for appraisals or inspections. Short Sales and many bank owned will normally not make any repairs that need to be done.
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Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Mon Feb 22, 2010
They could be considered a starter home. A starter home is usually one the appeals and is marketed towards the first time home buyer. It should be under the average home price for the area and be considered affordable for the region. It is a broad term that covers various properties.
Web Reference:  http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
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