You don’t need to read the headlines to know that the real estate market in Austin is booming. In a market where most homes sell after only a few days of being listed, you have to be on your best game to get the place you want. For best results, you’ll need to be aware of certain things before you even begin your Austin home search. Whether you’re moving to Austin or simply to a different Austin neighborhood, here are some great tips to help you get started on your Austin home search.
Work with a Knowledgeable Agent on Your Austin Home Search
Properties fly off the Austin real estate market so fast that you really need to know about a potential place before it even hits the market. Your Austin home search will be smoother if you have an Austin REALTOR® who is a go-getter and who looks out for your best interests, rather than simply looking for whatever property is easiest to close on. Your REALTOR® should also have a deep knowledge of the Austin market and a lot of connections, so you can be the first to find out about a home. Not sure if your REALTOR® is what you need? Check out Habitat Hunter’s article on finding a great Austin REALTOR®.
Know Your Price Range
You should have a clear idea of your price range before you begin your Austin home search so that you don’t get swept away by a place you can’t afford. We recommend you get estimates for mortgages from several banks, credit unions and/or lenders. Here’s a nifty guide for understanding the nitty-gritty of the home buying process. And remember: just because you’ve been approved for a certain price, doesn’t mean that you should necessarily spend that much. It’s also important to keep in mind what your property taxes and insurance costs will be, as they can add quite a bit onto the cost of your home.
Before Beginning Your Austin Home Search, Know What You Want
During your Austin home search, consider what’s important to you. Do you want your property to be close to hip restaurants and shops, or maybe on a quiet street with good schools? Is it a necessity to have a big kitchen or spacious closets? You’ll need to weigh these considerations against your price range. If you know this information before you begin your home search, you’ll know if a place fits your criteria when you spot it, and you’ll be able to make an offer fast and without hesitation.
Prepare for a Bidding War
Particularly in the spring and summer months — the most popular months of the buying season — you should expect there to be several bids on your dream home. If you start with an initial offer that is too low, you risk losing the property to someone else. Even if you offer the asking price, you could
still lose the property to someone who is making a cash offer. To give yourself a good shot at getting the place you want, you should start by making your best offer. If you really like the place, you can even include a personal, heartfelt letter that could swing the decision in your favor.
Save Up for a Sizable Down Payment
Having the money for a significant down payment will help keep your interest rates low and may even make your bid more attractive to a seller. You will also need cash to pay for other costs that will come up during your Austin home searches, such as closing costs and inspection fees.
However, you don’t need to let these costs scare you away from this process. When it comes down to it, purchasing a home can be cheaper than renting, and nowadays there are programs that can keep a down payment lower than in the past.
Armed with this information, hopefully, you feel more confident about the Austin real estate market. At Habitat Hunters, we have the expertise to help you with your Austin home search. Contact our real estate office today to get started.