September 6th, 2011
Most first time home buyers are DINKs, or dual-income-no-kids. They’re young couples that are typically just starting off on their own. In her blog post “Are you a DINK?” Erika Riggs offers some real estate tips for these buyers. First she notes that most DINKs will become DEWKS, or dually-employed-with-kids – so it’s important to find a home that you not only love now, but that will still be the right fit once you have kids. With the current housing market, most experts suggest that you only buy a house if you plan on staying in it for at least 5 years.
You also want to consider buying a home that will appeal to other DINKs who anticipate becoming DEWKs. A lot of couples wait to buy until they are officially starting their family, so a house that is more of a bachelor pad may be tough to sell.
Here are some things you want to think about:
Children. Is there are chance you’ll have children within the next 5 to 10 years? If you want children, then the answer is probably yes. If that’s the case, a one-bedroom condo probably isn’t the best property.
Schools. If you plan on having children, you want to think about the surrounding school district and the quality of the schools. This can be critical even if you don’t plan on having children because good school districts mean good property values. Homes in areas with good schools tend to hold their value regardless of what the market is doing because the demand is there. Parents are willing to pay more for their home if it means their child will have a better future.
Location. Prime location is a relative term. For someone in their 20’s, prime location may be downtown, right in the middle of the hustle and bustle. But for someone with children, a home in a quiet residential area with schools nearby is much more appealing. If you’re curious about the home’s neighborhood, Riggs suggests that you check out crime maps, local home values and Zillow’s local data pages.
Job. Something that’s 5 minutes away from your current job may be perfect for the time being, but do you think you’ll still be there 10 years from now? It may be better to deal with a 30 minute commute now in order to be in more of a central location, perhaps close to a business district – down the road when you’re busy juggling kids and their activities you’ll appreciate it.