The Average Price of a Starter Home Across the U.S.

By: ROS Team

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Guess what? If we made a list of people’s most popular “wants,” buying a dream home would probably top the list. It’s interesting that nearly all people share this dream, regardless of their race, creed, religion, ethnicity, or national origin.

Buying a new house is a daunting task–no one wants to empty their savings or lose money in a bad investment deal. The obvious solution for most first-time homebuyers is getting a starter home.

Everything You Need to Know about Starter Homes

Let’s learn a bit more about what constitutes a starter home and, on average, how much they cost.

What is a Starter Home?

There’s no clear-cut definition in Webster’s dictionary for a starter home. At best, starter homes are the homes that typically fall on the lower end of the price range.

Once upon a time, starter homes were considered en vogue, and it was considered normal for young people or new couples to buy starter homes. However, this type of home (or the coined term, at least) lost its shine as the prices for all homes went up, and even what was deemed a starter home became unaffordable.

What is a Starter Home?

People opted to rent instead of buying while they waited for prices to drop so they could buy a more elegant residence for themselves. This is the reason we don’t see many starter homes on the market nowadays. However, that doesn’t mean they’re non-existent; you can still find them in some real estate listings.

What is the Average Price of a Starter Home in the U.S?

The prices of starter homes continue to trend upward, making them less popular in the U.S. In a recent survey, data indicate significant variation in cost across the U.S. On average, starter homes are priced at more than $300,000 in D.C., California, and Colorado.

On the other hand, the most affordable starter homes were located in Oklahoma, Michigan, and Kansas. The national average of a standard starter home price range is $230,100.

What is the average price of a starter home in the U.S?
New York City is quite expensive when it comes to starter homes–the median price of starter homes in NYC is $637,250, more than double the national average. Therefore, they don’t have the same appeal to New Yorkers these days as they once did.

Why are Starter Homes Appealing?

1. Price

The best thing about starter homes is that they are cheaper. On average, the first home is usually cheaper than traditional homes. As a result, you will only have to take out a small home loan compared to if you were to get a larger more expensive home.

Additionally, the closing costs will be less as they are always proportionate to the value of the property. The NYC transfer tax will also be lower based on the price of the house.

2. Demand

One interesting trend is that there is a constant demand for starter homes in the real estate market. As a result, it makes sense that smart homes are usually bought by younger homebuyers or young couples given the price point.

3. Safe Investment

Being cheaper also means that the average first home price will be lower, or at an entry-level price range. The price is usually not going to get any lower than the entry-level point, but there will always be pressure to increase the price point.

Even on the market’s worst days, starter home sales rebounded quickly, so it’s safe to assume it is worth investing in a starter home.

Why is the Starter Home Market Lackluster in NYC?

Current analysis suggests starter homes are no longer all that fascinating to New Yorkers anymore. Overall, the popularity of starter homes has decreased nationwide but not as drastically as in NYC.

The reason for this decline is that the average price of starter homes is trending upward, so they’re increasingly becoming unaffordable. Millennials choose to stay with their parents longer or retreat to a rental property instead of buying starter homes.

In NYC, the average price of a standard starter home is almost three times the national average.

Parting Advice about Starter Homes:

1. Make a Logical Decision

Buying your first home is always an emotional treat for people. For some, it’s a life-long dream come true. Because of this, sometimes people lose focus and pursue a home that’s out of their budget.

Make a practical and logical decision when it comes to buying your first home. Although it is tempting to fall for a larger, beautiful home, paying for it might make life tougher. Don’t spend a penny more than what you can afford.

2. Get Pre Approval

Pre-approval is a process in which a bank evaluates your financial health and lets you know how much you can borrow for a home purchase. The bank makes its determination based on your annual income, current debts, etc.

The number of home loans for which you’re approved will give you a fair idea of the starter homes you should consider during your search.

3. Stay Flexible

You might have spent years daydreaming about how your new home would look, what amenities you would have, and how you would decorate. But not everyone finds their dream home on the market immediately.

Most of the time, you have to make tradeoffs when it comes to some features based on your budget. So stay flexible in your approach. Now go and buy your first house!


What is the Average Starter Home Size?

In the United States, the average size of a new starter home is typically between 1,000 and 1,400 square feet, according to data from the National Association of Home Builders.

What Should You Look for in a Starter Home?

It’s important to carefully consider your priorities and needs when looking for a starter home and to work with a qualified real estate agent or broker who can help you find a home that meets your requirements and budget.

Is a Starter House Expensive in NYC?

Starter houses in New York City can be more expensive than in other parts of the country due to the high cost of living in the city. However, the actual cost of a starter house in NYC can vary widely depending on factors such as location, size, condition, and amenities.

Can a Foreigner Buy a Starter House in NYC?

Yes, a foreigner can buy a starter house in NYC. However, the process of buying a home in the United States as a foreigner can be more complex than for a U.S. citizen, and there may be additional requirements and regulations to comply with.