For generations, the starter home—an entry-level property like a smaller condo, townhouse or single-family home acquired by a first-time buyer—was thought of as the gateway to home ownership.
The pros: Affordability, of course. Also, the chance to get a jump start on building equity. The cons: The starter home tended to have smaller square footage and far fewer bells and whistles.
Still, its design was rooted in potential—the potential to settle down, build wealth and, ultimately, upgrade. (Cue the visions of aspirational dream homes.)
So when did the concept start to fade from our lexicon? Has the starter home gone the way of the Dodo, or the pension check, particularly for millennials, an age group that would typically be entering a life stage primed for home buying? According to Clare Trapasso, deputy editor at Realtor.com, it’s not a lack of interest that’s killing the starter home, it’s a lack of inventory that’s the main culprit.