The concept of “starter homes” cropped up after the end of the Second World War, when millions of young families took advantage of low-cost new developments to gain a foothold in homeownership: the emblematic first step in fulfilling the American Dream.
Today’s first-time Johnson County home buyers are a lot less predictable—just as the market itself is altogether different. As we recover from the previous years’ economic declines, which temporarily suppressed the number of area home buyers, the combination of low interest rates and historically affordable home prices allows many to aim for bigger and more accommodating housing— skipping the starter home altogether.
For sure, the market hasn’t completely abandoned the starter home idea—especially if you include local REO and foreclosure fixer-uppers as financially rewarding targets for handy young householders. The FHA 203(k) loan, which includes a built-in “limited repair” budget, can enable that route. But new home buyers also find other prospects can be newly within reach— among them, larger older homes and newer area condominium and townhome choices.
If the combination of bargain prices and low mortgage rates isn’t enough to call prospects to action, the clear trend toward rising prices may do the trick. As inventories of the best bargains begin to shrink and mortgage rate rises look more and more inevitable, local home buyers could well imagine a ‘tick-tock’ sound growing louder. For area sellers waiting to make a move upward on the housing ladder, the same conditions could well make this spring’s real estate market the one they’ve been waiting for.
It all means that prospective home buyers in Johnson County stand to be rewarded by keeping an open mind about the variety of properties they may now find within reach. By seeking the help of an experienced agent, the widest choice of possibilities will be open for consideration. If you are looking for the area’s most up-to-date market advice, we’re here to make sure you have access to the tools you need to make the right decision—the first time around, and every time after!