Doris Arnold | Nocatee Real Estate, Ponte Vedra Real Estate, St. Johns Real Estate


With rent prices shooting soaring across the country, many young Americans who were previously happy renting while they saved for a home are now turning to other options.

One common solution is a starter home. If you want to keep your monthly mortgage prices low while being able to build equity and slowly save for your “forever home.” a starter home can be a great option for first-time buyers.

When does it make sense to buy a starter home?

Buying a home means mortgage payments, home maintenance and repairs, and closing costs. However, they can also be a great introduction to the responsibilities of homeownership.

Better yet, starter homes allow you to build equity that can be used toward the down payment of your next home, something that first-time buyers often struggle with. This could help you secure a lower interest rate and avoid costly private mortgage insurance (PMI).

Sounds great, right? But when shouldn’t you buy a starter home?

It might not make sense to buy a starter home if you don’t plan on living in it at least 3-4 years. You might find that the cost of renting is less than that of your mortgage payments and closing costs if you don’t live in the home long enough to reap the rewards.

It also might not be a good idea if your family is going to outgrow a small home in the next few years for the same reasons mentioned above. That makes it all the more important to discuss your long term plans with your spouse before considering a home.

Things to look for in a starter home

1. Resale value

One of the most important aspects of your starter home should be the ability to resell it in the future. Now, there is an endless number of factors that go into the marketability of a home. Key factors include the condition of the home and keeping it well-maintained, as well as the location of the home. Buying a starter home in an area that will attract young professionals down the road is typically a good investment.

2. Small size = low price

It probably goes without saying, but finding a home with a low price, at the expense of square-footage, is most often a smart choice when it comes to starter homes.

Small homes are cheaper to buy, cheaper to heat, and cheaper to maintain. However, since housing prices are trending upward, you’ll likely still see a positive return on your investment in ~5 years time when you’re hoping to buy again.

3. Reasonable home improvements

If you can spare the time, buying a starter home that needs some work can be an excellent investment. It can be more difficult later on when you have a large family to care for and less time to focus on making improvements.


This stunning home located in prestigious St. Johns Golf and Country Club is loaded with upgrades. Home has been upgraded with hardwood floors throughout. Kitchen upgraded with California granite counters with SS farm sink, gas 5 burner stove with double oven and much more. Backyard is amazing with 800 square foot screened paver patio which includes a huge stone gas fireplace, dining area, large stone dry bar with seating and travertine counter which includes refrigerator. Covered area has wood beadboard ceiling. Garage is a mans dream with Monkey Bar wall cabinets and Butcher Block counter with workbench and A/C diverter with 3 vents. Driveway has been widened with pavers. This home is located at the end of the street w/preserve on the side and back. Home will not last long.

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1288 Stonehedge Trail Ln, ST AUGUSTINE, FL 32092  

Residential
$330,000
Price
4
Bedrooms
3/1
Full/Half Baths
This stunning home located in prestigious St. Johns Golf and Country Club is loaded with upgrades. Home has been upgraded with hardwood floors throughout. Kitchen upgraded with California granite counters with SS farm sink, gas 5 burner stove with double oven and much more. Backyard is amazing with 800 square foot screened paver patio which includes a huge stone gas fireplace, dining area, large stone dry bar with seating and travertine counter which includes refrigerator. Covered area has wood beadboard ceiling. Garage is a mans dream with Monkey Bar wall cabinets and Butcher Block counter with workbench and A/C diverter with 3 vents. Driveway has been widened with pavers. This home is located at the end of the street w/preserve on the side and back. Home will not last long.



This listing recently sold for $286,500.

4401 Poppy Tree Ln, JACKSONVILLE, FL 32258  

Residential
$295,000
Price
$286,500
Sale Price
4
Bedrooms
2
Baths
Beautifully remodeled home located on a large lot in a quiet neighborhood with a sparkling in ground pool. This home has 4 bedrooms, 2 baths and separate living/dining rooms with stunning hardwood floors. The kitchen and spacious family room will surely impress with it's beautiful hardwood floors, wood burning fireplace framed with beautiful arched windows and opens to Florida room. Kitchen has granite counters, travertine tile flooring, ss appliances, recessed lighting and crown molding. Master suite is large and opens to side yard. Large backyard with pool, lots of decking and gazebo. This home is a must see.



This listing recently sold for $460,000.

149 Wellwood Ave, ST JOHNS, FL 32259  

Residential
$475,000
Price
$460,000
Sale Price
5
Bedrooms
4/1
Full/Half Baths
This stunning and beautifully upgraded home on a private preserve lot in desirable North Durbin, has 4 or 5 bedrooms, 5th bedroom could be a bonus room, study with French doors, formal dining room, gourmet kitchen that opens to great room with coffered ceilings and surround sound, breakfast area and butler pantry. Beautiful hardwood floors in main living area. Master suite is huge with sitting area, large walk in closet and glamour bath with separate vanities. Two bedrooms have Jack n Jill bath, another bedroom with private bath. Screened paver patio is plumbed for future summer kitchen. Huge extended paver patio with fire pit overlooks this beautiful backyard with room for a pool. Don't forget to check out the storage room accessible from the back of the house and 3 car garage.




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