How to Get the Best Results from Your Austin Home Search
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 homesearch. Whether you’re moving to Austin or simply to a different Austin TX 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 homesearch goes further beyond browsing the Austin MLS. It will be much smoother if you’ve interviewed Austin Realtors® and found one, 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 real estate 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 Hunters’ article on finding a great Realtor® in Austin, and if you know you’re unhappy, how and when to fire your real estate agent in Austin.
Know Your Price Range Before Beginning Your Austin Homesearch
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 Austin 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 Austin property taxes and insurance costs will be, as they can add quite a bit onto the cost of your home.
Before Embarking on Your Austin Homesearch, 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 Austin homesearch, 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 When You’re Buying a Home in Austin
Particularly in the spring and summer months — the most popular months of the home buying season in Austin — 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 in Austin, you should start by making your best offer. If you really like the place, you can even include a personal, heartfelt letter that just might swing the decision in your favor.
Save Up for a Sizable Down Payment on Your Austin Home
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 homesearch, such as closing costs and inspection fees.
However, you don’t need to let these costs scare you away from Austin home buying. 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.
First and foremost, you’ll want to make sure you’re working with the best Austin REALTORS®, and that’s where we come in.