Starting Your Search
Congratulations on considering moving to Austin!
The capital city of Texas boasts about 169 people on average moving there each day, making it their new home. It has been frequently ranked an environmentally friendly city, a great place for families, outdoor activities, and entertainment.
Before diving into your home search, we suggest taking a look at these steps. There are 7, because in Austin, we keep it weird and top 10 lists are a huge yawn:
Determine Your Budget
An exact amount isn’t needed at this early point, but a good idea of the minimum and maximum you’d like to stay within is beneficial. Austin is home to a variety of neighborhoods and amenities which lend themselves to a variety of price points. Luckily, there’s something for everyone!
Review Your Credit
It’s not a bad idea to take a look at your current credit score at the big three - Equifax, Transunion, Experian - to see where you stack up. Avoiding unnecessary surprises is key - we have seen situations where people discover they have a negative report filed against them causing their score to drop. Taking care of these issues before applying for a home loan will help the process (and your heart rate) go smoothly.
This step is critical, especially in a tight real estate market like Austin. Many sellers won’t even look at an offer unless it is accompanied by a pre-approval letter clearly stating you are approved for the amount you are offering.
Explore a Variety of Neighborhoods & Surrounding Areas
As mentioned previously, Austin and its suburbs truly have something for everyone whether it’s exemplary schools, nightlife, nature...you want it, Austin’s got it. See about touring different neighborhoods that check the most important boxes on your list to see what might be the best fit for you. Even during COVID-19, virtual tours of neighborhoods are a great option.
Refine Your ‘Must-Haves’
As your research continues, you may find you need to either review your budget, or your list of home requirements. Perhaps your budget completely covers your list of home desires, but if not, take a look and see what is truly a nice-to-have rather than a complete dealbreaker.
Decide on a Real Estate Agent
Your real estate agent is more than the person showing you houses - this is your partner in finding your next home. Having knowledge of the area is key, but so is their personality. This is someone who you will be spending much of your time with, whether virtual or in-person. Having trust, confidence and an easy rapport will make the process that much more enjoyable for you - and your wallet.
Know Your Move Timeframe
In such a tight market as is Austin, it’s imperative that you are clear on when you are looking to move. At the time of this writing, we are experiencing a seller’s market with multiple offers and many for over asking price. Starting your search 3-6 months before you are ready to move is helpful...as is being able to close within 30-45 days of offer acceptance.