Buying a house lately can seem rather overwhelming. You see it in the news, hear about it from your friends and family, housing is CRAZY! It’s no surprise either, people are able to work from home now, interest rates are at historic lows, and here in Austin we are finding a lot of new residents relocating from coastal areas.
When buying a home in Austin there are a few things to take into consideration. Below is a short list to consider:
1. Determine how much you can afford
Before you go out looking at homes make sure you can afford what you’re looking for. Understanding your budget is key. Getting pre-approved is a key here. You can do this by speaking with a mortgage lender. They will request certain documents like your W2’s, pay-stubs, and even run your credit. You might think this is a lot, but it’s worth it. Having this done will give you an idea of what you can afford and also, it will allow you to make offers on any homes you fall in love with.
2. Figure out where in town you want to live
This may seem like an obvious answer but life has changed in the past year. If you’re able to work remotely perhaps living a little further out in a community that offers amenities like a community pool, or golf course is what you want. Some great communities that offer wonderful amenities are Spanish Oaks, Tessera on Lake Travis, and Steiner Ranch. Maybe you’re a young professional and you’re more interested being downtown in the thick of it. Perhaps you’re just wanting to be centrally located so you have access to your office and limited commute time (traffic can be a mess in Austin). Whatever your reasons are it’s important to understand the different parts of town and what they offer. You can find out more on particular areas by searching on the communities page.
3. USE A REALTOR
This is likely on of the most important! In today’s market it is critical to use a professional full-time realtor. Their local knowledge and expertise will help you to navigate not just the neighborhoods but also helping you submit a winning offer. With homes taking multiple offers, often within hours of listing it’s important to have someone on your side that knows how to structure the offer, and have the relationships within the brokerage community to help yours shine and make its way to the top.
4. MOVE QUICKLY
This cannot be understated. The market is hyper competitive, and acting quickly an make the difference between winning an offer and not. The most common phrase I hear from buyers is, “I’ll think about for a few days and circle back.” – I hate to say this, but that’s giant waste of your time. If you like the home, and it meets your needs, MOVE ON IT! You’re likely going to be going up against several other offers, if not LOTS of other offers, and waiting will serve you no purpose.