Austin has been proudly “keeping it weird” for years, is top-rated for being the “Greenest City in Texas” and one of the best U.S. cities for startups. Whether you are moving to Austin or have been an Austinite for nearly all your life, you can understand why it’s one of the most desired places to live.
According to the Texas Demographic Center, more than 100 people move to the Austin area every day, and many of these new residents are first time home buyers.
If you’re getting ready to purchase a house in Austin, here are some essential tips for first time home buyers.
1. Become Familiar with Austin Neighborhoods
New Austin transplants are often drawn to the heart of Austin (the Central area), but some of the properties may be out of your price range. As you would when moving to any city, scope out the surrounding neighborhoods.
Not only will checking out other neighborhoods help you to become familiar with Austin as a whole, but you might find a school district or even restaurants that you like better.
Barton Hills is a great place for nature lovers who want to stay close to downtown while Rollingwood provides a little peace and quiet without being too far from the nightlife that Austin is known for.
2. Boost Your Credit Score
The competition for buying a house in Austin is high, and you might feel pressured to find the first home you can afford. Before you start putting offers on properties, you need to make sure your finances are in order, including a good credit score.
Since your credit score plays a big role in terms of your mortgage, you may be limited if your score is low. You should still be able to buy a home in Austin, but you will have more options if your credit is excellent.
3. Find a Lender You Can Trust
Finding a mortgage lender can often be a confusing and frustrating process. You might be tempted to stick with the first lender who’s willing to work with you, but it’s a better idea to shop around and compare lenders.
Financial experts recommend comparing at least three lenders that you trust. Before you settle with a lender, make sure you understand the terms of your agreement and your pre-approval. In short, you should never leave a lender’s office feeling more confused than when you first went in.
4. Pay Attention to Nearby Attractions and Schools in Your Neighborhood
If you’re open to living in nearly any neighborhood throughout Austin, you may want to consider buying a home in a neighborhood that is close to schools or some popular attractions.
Even if you have no plans to raise children or visit some of the Austin “hot spots,” your location can help you ensure buyers when (and if) you decide to sell.
5. Keep Track of Your Favorite Features
Whether you look at two homes or 12, it can be difficult to remember all the details of a property, including the things you loved or hated.
While a property listing is typically posted online with a large selection of pictures, they usually just highlight the most attractive features of the home.
When doing a walk-through, take pictures of things that you like and things that may turn you off from buying the property. Your photos can come in handy when you’re trying to narrow down your options and pick your future home.
6. Weigh Your Needs and Wants
Purchasing your first home is exciting and stressful. It’s undoubtedly the biggest investment you will make in your lifetime, and it’s natural to choose the perfect home for you.
While you deserve to find a home in Austin that has everything you need and want, your preferred location or budget may limit your home buying options.
Carefully weigh what you need in a home and what you want. Think about the features you can upgrade or add after a few years and things you will need as soon as you move in.
Whatever you decide to add-on to the property will boost the value of your home, so if you decide to sell in the future, you’re likely to make a larger profit.
7. Choose a Real Estate Expert You Can Trust
Many first time home buyers don’t have enough experience to negotiate pricing or make an offer on their own. While hiring a real estate agent is an expense you need to consider, it’s a worthy investment to finding your dream home in Austin, Texas.
Smart Austin® Realty Group has local knowledge in the Austin real estate market, are experienced in the home buying process, and are skilled negotiators that can help you get the best deal possible. Plus, our agents are experts in working with first time home buyers and can help you find your dream home in Austin, Texas. As a first time home buyer, one of the smartest things you can do is have a local buyer’s agent represent you. A local buyer’s agent is in your corner and looking after your interests in real estate transactions. If you’re going to be a first time home buyer soon, contact a local buyer specialists today. We will walk you through every step along the way and are here to get you the best deal on your new Austin, Texas home.
Choose Your First Time Home in Austin with Confidence
Considering some of the tips we shared and working with a local buyer’s agent can help you feel confident about your first time home purchase in Austin.