starter homeBack when we bought our first house, we were looking for something with "potential." Decent neighborhood, enough space, a good floor plan, some vintage details and a yard for our future dog.

We understood that a house we could afford would need some TLC: a fresh coat of paint, some repairs and some updates.

We did not expect granite counter-tops (or even Corian, which was the granite of the day) or stainless appliances or a walk-in shower for two. In fact, the house we ended up buying had metal kitchen cabinets, red Formica counters and a vinyl floor. One bathroom had pinkish tile and the other was blue from floor to ceiling. But it had potential. And it was what we could afford.

Today's first-time home buyer is different. Spoiled by the current market conditions, they are able to take advantage of low prices, great mortgage rates and the wide selection of homes for sale, and they don't have to sell a current house in order to move forward with a purchase. That's why first-time buyers accounted for half of the market in 2010.

A recent Coldwell Banker survey revealed that, because of market conditions, first-time buyers were able to buy a home sooner than they had expected (67%), found a home in a more desirable neighborhood (50%), got more space (40%) and at a lower price than expected (61%). In this market, the first-time buyer is in the driver's seat. They can be choosy. They will look at more homes before they buy and they are less likely to make compromises about what they want.

  • 78% said that the home had to be in an area convenient to shops and services.
  • 75% said it was important to be close to work.
  • 66% said they needed to be near "highly-rated" schools.
  • 87% said that finding a move-in ready home was important to them.

The implication for sellers: your buyer has different expectations than you did when you bought your first home. They want it all, and you need to take that into account as you position your house for sale in today's market.

Search for Homes on Chicago's North Shore

We are North Shore Chicago real estate specialists and one of the top teams in the area. If you would like to schedule a buyer or seller consultation with the Come Home North Shore team, please call 847-881-6657 or send us a note here.

Are you relocating to Chicago's North Shore? We'd love to familiarize you with the area and help you find the perfect home for your family. Ask me about our "Tour of the Shore." Whether you're looking for new construction or an existing home, we'd be happy to guide you through the process.