Should First-Time Santa Cruz Home Buyers Get a Starter Home or a Dream Home?

Posted by Lauren Spencer on Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 at 1:01am.

Even though you’re a first-time Santa Cruz home buyer, you may want to skip the starter home and drive straight to your dream home. Due to lower housing prices and interest rates, you may be able to afford (or at least qualify for a loan for) your dream home. But that doesn’t mean it’s the right move for you.

What is a starter home?

A starter home is a home that is less expensive than the average Santa Cruz home. It's usually less expensive because it is smaller, older or a fixer-upper.

What are the benefits of buying a starter home?

If you’re struggling to let go of your desire to own your dream home right now, consider these benefits of buying a starter home:

• It’s easier to qualify for a smaller mortgage.
• You can stop paying rent and start investing in your own home sooner.
• The down payment you have to come up with is smaller.
• You don’t have to pay for Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI), if you have a large enough down payment.
• Your closing costs and property taxes are lower.
• You have lower monthly mortgage payments.
• You have more money to spend furnishing, decorating and maintaining your home.
• Your utility bills are lower.
• You’re more financially flexible, which greatly decreases stress.
• You can build equity towards your dream home.
• You discover what you really want in a dream home.

Half the fun of your dream home is imagining it. Continue to do that while enjoying your starter home and all the benefits that go with it.

Whether you’re ready to buy a starter home, a dream home or something in between, I can help. Give me a call today at 831.662.6522 or email me at to learn more about buying a Santa Cruz home.

For additional information, please visit my home page at


Starter home

Private Mortgage Insurance

Closing costs


About Lauren Spencer

Award-Winning Santa Cruz REALTOR®

Lauren Spencer is your local real estate expert, specializing in Santa Cruz real estate and surrounding communities—this is where she lives, works, and plays too. Let her know your questions about the community and county and she'll be happy to fill you in on all you want to know! Lauren Spencer has consistently been voted best local REALTOR in Santa Cruz and is always happy to offer her advice and expertise. Call her at: 800.226.4717.

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