Majority of First-Time Buyers Looking For Forever Home

By Kelly Leighton | March 14, 2023 | 2 min. read

The majority of first-time homebuyers are skipping the starter home.

According to Rocket Homes, 57% of buyers looking for their first home want it to be their forever home. As the average age of the first-time homebuyer continues to grow older, reaching an all-time high of 36 last year, according to NAR, first-time buyers aren’t looking to move again in a few years. They are ready to purchase the home they will have for most of their lives.

For the 43% of first-time buyers who said they are looking for a starter home, affordability was the top reason they aren’t planning to buy their forever home now, according to 32%. Other reasons included not being married (27%) and planning to grow their family later in life (19%).

Despite a challenging market, first-time buyers, whether looking for a forever home or a starter home, have their must-haves figured out. Location, the number of bedrooms and the number of bathrooms are important to more than 40% of respondents, while 39% said an updated kitchen is crucial. More than one-third (35%) said they want an inspection of the home before closing. About 25% of respondents said they are slowing their search until mortgage rates drop, while 11% dropped their budget to be able to afford a home. About 34% said they are working to update their finances to hopefully get better rates.

Regardless if a buyer is searching for a starter home or a forever home, the status of that property may change over the years. For homeowners who purchased their first home as a starter home, 22% said it has now become their forever home, thanks in part to affordability (28%), not wanting to move (17%) and being close to family (11%). Another 11% said their starter home as grown on them and they now love it.

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