How To Get More Out Of Your Starter Home
Gone are the days of working hard, making money and buying the mansion of your dreams — at least in your twenties, anyway.
Instead, you still have to work hard and strategically save, working around such financial factors as your lingering student loans in order to buy a home. And, once you’re ready to buy, there’s a good chance the homes within your budget aren’t the sprawling estates available to homebuyers of eras past.
Instead, it’ll be a starter property — a place you love, of course, but not one that’s perfect as soon as you move in. It may be outdated or small or both, which means you have to do your part to enhance what the house has to make it the perfect home for the foreseeable future.
In order to make that process easier, we’ve gathered six of the best tips for getting the most out of your starter home. Here they are:
Give Every Corner a Purpose
Your starter home isn’t as spacious as the home of your dreams, but you’re going to make it work. Start by defining every single space as something that’s functional to you. Use the decorative tools available to you in order to define different spaces within a single room, such as a living room, dining area and office space.
A great method for defining separate spaces in a large room is to lay down area rugs. Not only do they provide benefits like noise reduction and added comfort for your feet, but they also define and “center” a specific space.
Your home may not be perfect, but it’s yours. It should be a reflection of who you are and everything you’ve done so far in your life. Adding your own personal photos and mementos will instantly make your place feel more like home.
Even if you don’t stay there for a long while, displaying your personal items will make you like the entire place more until it’s time to move on to your next property.
Make Use of the Garage
You might’ve sought out a property with a parking space or purchased your home with little idea of what you’d do with the garage that’s part of the property. Either way, you can make so much use out of this additional space — whether or not you decide to actually park your car there.
All you have to do is give it a little TLC and your garage can be transformed into a relaxing TV room or a place for you to tinker on DIY projects.
You can turn it into your own auto shop, repairing and cleaning your car from the confines of the space. Or, you could even make your garage into a gym where you can break a sweat without having to pay monthly dues at the local club. Whatever you do, you’ll soon realize what a bonus it is to have a garage and how much better your starter home is than you initially thought.
Invest in Statement Furniture
We’re not suggesting you make a statement with boldly-colored, super-trendy pieces of furniture. Instead, it’s a good idea to replace a bunch of small pieces of mismatched furniture with one nice, big statement piece per room.
For example, in your living room, it will look cluttered and visually smaller if you fill it with various mismatched chairs and a loveseat. Instead, invest in one regular-sized sofa and watch how much it changes the look of your home without reducing its functionality. Think about how you can create this cohesive effect throughout your home with nicer pieces of investment furniture.
The storage solutions you’ve already installed are most likely at eye-level or arm-height. You can easily see and reach everything, of course, but you may not be making the most of your starter home’s storage potential.
So, as you renovate and add your own storage solutions, be sure to take advantage of vertical space. Extend cabinets all the way to the ceiling for added space — sure, you’ll have to use a step stool to reach the top, but you’ll be able to put your rarely-used items up there without much inconvenience.
Do the same with shelving and bookcases in other room to ensure you’ve taken advantage of every inch of starter home space you have.
Prioritize Your Updates
In order to make your new home work for you, you’ll probably have to roll up your sleeves — or open up your bank account — in order to make it happen. With time and financial constraints, you know you can’t update everything at once.
Instead, you’ll have to prioritize your updates in order to get what you need out of your home as soon as possible. Figure out what must be done first and then order the rest of your envisioned updates after that. That way, you can ensure each update is done well and in an economical way.
Move In and Move Up
Your starter home is just that: a place for you to start your foray into property ownership.Your space may not be big and it may not be perfect, but it’s important to remember that it’s yours. And, with the above methods, you can make it work for you until it’s time to move onward and upward into your forever home.