Two starter homes

In Denver and the Great White North

In the UK, there are starter homes that are sold to first-time home buyers under the age of 40 for 20 percent less than market value. In the States, a “starter home” is usually just the first house that someone buys, with the intention being to eventually purchase something bigger, or nicer, or something with a sizable yard for the dogs (or, I guess, kids) to run around in.

I like the idea of a starter home. I like the idea of a small, manageable residence that has enough space for a guest or two but won’t run up the heating bill in the winter just to keep it warm enough to occupy.

In the US, the median price for a starter home is about $233,000. But as we all know, living in cities and metropolitan areas usually incurs higher costs of living and real estate. So, the starter homes featured here are listed for a biiiiit higher than the national median price.

A quaint two-bedroom in Denver

I’ve never understood how the whole cooking-at-high-elevations thing works. The fact that a person’s distance from sea level can mean that water boils at a different temperature than it does for someone closer to the ocean breeze is bizarre to me. Of the cities with the highest elevations in the US, the State of Colorado definitely takes the cake with loads of cities and towns towering at significant heights. In looking at that list, I was shocked to find out that Santa Fe is actually higher in elevation than Denver, beating the Mile-High City by nearly 2,000 feet.

This lovely starter home in the Five Points neighborhood of Denver offers two bedrooms and one bath inside a compact 869 square feet of living space. Originally built in 1891, the home has been completely renovated and includes a brand new kitchen, exposed brick in the living room, and wood floors. While there isn’t a proper yard, homeowners will enjoy a porch at the front of the house and a patio out back. The asking price is $497,500. [Listing pulled from Douglas Elliman, courtesy of Madison & Co. Properties]

A wee brick house in Canada

I feel like an old person when I say, “Ya know, when I went to Canada, you didn’t even need a passport to cross the border!” But here I am regardless. When I was about 13 years old, my family took a detour to see Niagara Falls when we were in Upstate New York looking at colleges for my older sister. A year or two later, US citizens needed their passports to reach our northern neighbors. It was my first time out of the country. I hardly count it, if I’m honest. But I’d love to go to Canada as an adult. Remember when people could travel without worry?

I love this comfortable brick house in Toronto. Inside the bungalow, there are two bedrooms and two bathrooms — making it a great starter home. Features include dark bamboo flooring, an open floorplan, and a totally renovated basement with two extra bedrooms (making four total) and a kitchenette. The listing suggests using the downstairs area as a basement apartment. With a separate entrance, it could work great as a rental unit to offset some of the costs that come with owning a property (such as a mortgage and taxes). Purchasing this adorable home will cost you $889,000 CAD ($694,369 USD). [Sotheby’s International Realty]

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