A Way to Make Buying a Home In Chester County Affordable for First Time Buyers

homebuying in Chester CountySubmitted Image/UGC

The cost of living in Chester County is almost 20% higher than the national average. From June 1, 2023, to October 11, 2023, the median home price in Chester County was $518,750. The median household income as of 2021 according to the US Census was $109,969 for Chester County. This creates an affordability gap and makes buying a first home here a very challenging process. 

Like many areas in the country, Chester County is experiencing a housing shortage. This is especially true for affordable housing, with no end in sight. A solution will be based on increasing the housing inventory in the county. Which will take years of increased new construction. 

So what is a solution that can work now?

How about looking at a duplex or triplex as your first home? Buying a duplex or triplex provides income to offset the monthly costs of owning a home. It can bridge the gap between home cost and affordability. 

For example: a duplex in the Oxford area could be bought this year for $415,000. The payment with taxes and insurance would be about $3,793 a month. The median rent for a 2-bedroom apartment in the Oxford area is $1,338 a month. That is a monthly net mortgage payment of $2,455 a month (mortgage payment minus monthly rent received). A mortgage payment of $2,455 a month gets you a $250,000 single-family home. There aren’t too many $250,000 homes in Chester County. Buying a multi-unit home and occupying one of the units creates a solution. 

There are mortgage programs that allow you to buy 2-4 unit properties with similar terms to single-family homes. With the caveat that you occupy one of the units. Some of the programs allow you to factor in a portion of the rental income to help with qualifying for the mortgage. 

READ:  U.S. Housing Shortage Worsens Amid Construction Boom

Buying a multi-unit property can be a first step to acquiring more rental properties for income as part of your financial plan. If being a landlord isn’t your thing long-term, you can just sell it and move. 

Buying a duplex or triplex can be a great way to live in Chester County affordably while creating financial flexibility. The key is understanding your current financial picture and what it will look like after purchasing a multi-unit property. Weighing the pros and cons, and understanding the risks and rewards. 

For the latest news on everything happening in Chester County and the surrounding area, be sure to follow MyChesCo on Google News and Microsoft Start.

This article is intended for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only and should not be construed as advice, guidance or counsel. It is provided without warranty of any kind.