Here’s a look at the typical timeline of the average American resident: Phase 1. Graduate college. Get first REAL job. Buy first house. Adopt a dog. Get married. Have first child. Realize that the first ‘home sweet home’ is just too small. End of phase 1. Now, phase 2 may not be as typical as phase 1, but it’s a great route to follow: Buy new home. Decide to build retirement portfolio. Keep first home as a rental property.