Unique Challenges of Buying In Austin

Posted by on Sep 7, 2016 in Writing | No Comments

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Buying a home, be it your first or fiftieth is a process fraught with challenges.  There are contracts to read, inspections to do and sometimes the market isn’t cooperating either. Austin real estate, however, is in a fairly unique position within the country.  The cities population is constantly growing causing demand to go through the roof.  Prices are on a nearly 12-month climb and inventory is not becoming available fast enough.

THE POPULATION BOOM

With an influx of highly desirable job opportunities, a hip cultural identity, and relatively affordable big city living Austin is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States.  The metric changes year to year but the most recent estimation indicates that nearly 110 people are moving to the “Live Music Capital” each day. This means that demand is high and with that comes competition, particularly at the sub $3oo’s price range.

THE MARKET IS FAST

As of writing this the average days on the market is right at about ~40. Considering the closing process takes between 20-30 days these homes are selling very quickly. To get a home in Austin you will probably need to make a quick decision and put in your best offer up front.  This market tends to create multiple-offer situations which usually end with the “first, best offer”.  Unless you are in a position to pay cash or offer over list price you may need to put offers in on several homes, sometimes between 7-10 times.

PRICES ARE ON THE RISE

The median price for home sales is currently at $335,000.  It is increasingly difficult to find homes below $225,000 within the Austin city limits.  Fortunately, there are plenty of more affordable options available up north in Cedar Park, Round Rock, Pflugerville or south in Kyle or Buda.

If you are trying to purchase a home the first step really needs to be figuring out how much of a loan you are pre-approved for.  This will give you a realistic idea of how much house you can afford in Austin and give you a goal as far as a down-payment goes.

SO HOW DO YOU MAKE THE MOVE TO BEING A HOMEOWNER?

Make a plan.  Buying a home in Austin requires planning and diligence.  Think of it like this, you are always making a mortgage payment, whether it’s yours or someone else’s.  Austin’s economy looks stable for the long view, and that makes ownership a good investment both long and short term.  Homesteads in Texas are protected against loss through bankruptcy, which helps guard against the vicissitudes of markets and, you can borrow money, within protective limits, against the equity in your home.  Statistics point to improved performance in school, stability in families, and improved financial well-being among people who own their own homes.