Match Your Home to Your Needs

Sometimes a starter home just won’t suffice.

Not every military family is at a place in their life for a starter home. Single service members might see starter homes as oversized, while military families with children need more space than a starter can offer. Take a look at this breakdown of types of homes to get an idea of which one accommodates you.

Starter Homes Aren't for Everyone

Not every military family is at a place in their life for a starter home.



Fixer-uppers
The homes need some extra TLC from the buyer. The number and severity of needed repairs can vary, which could make the difference between a bargain and a wasted investment. Usually a fixer-upper home won’t be grandeur; it’s likely to be a starter home size, which is at least two bedrooms and a full bathroom. Buying a fixer upper may be cheaper—sometimes below six figures—but will require time and investment after the purchase. Get advice from a professional home inspector.

Starter home
Most military families are probably in the market for a starter home. Families with children or families planning on having children soon appreciate the size, privacy and aesthetics of starter homes. Starter homes usually need nothing above minor repairs. Depending on the square footage, starter homes can sell for $125,000 or so. Expect starter homes to have two or three bedrooms, a couple of bathrooms and a good-sized yard.

Condominiums and Townhouses
When you own a condo, you belong to an association of the owners in the building who make decisions about improvements and maintenance. Condos don’t have the yards or privacy of a home, but require less maintenance. Townhouses come in one-, two- or three-story designs. Like condos, maintenance issues are left to the homeowners’ association. Condos and townhouses need to be approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to be financed with a VA loan. Both options can have plenty of interior space for military families with children, or minimal space for single service members and veterans.

Custom-built
A VA loan gives eligible veterans and service members the option of financing the land and construction of a new home. A custom-built home can be whatever your heart desires, from the color of the toilet to the size of the garage. Military families at this stage have likely developed a solid financial and credit history as custom homes tend to cost more money.

Assessing your needs and the types of homes available allows you to narrow the market for your first, second or third home purchase.
Photo courtesy monkeysox