Perry Homes

Move-In Ready: A Guide to the Austin Real Estate Market

When people say they are moving to Texas, more often than not people’s thoughts drift straight to Austin. And why not? In addition to being one of the largest cultural hotspots in the country, it is home to a burgeoning business scene. Large employers like Whole Foods, Dell and Intel are now calling the Texas capitol home.

With increased popularity, of course, comes high demand for housing. This summer alone, “single-family home sales volume in the Austin-Round Rock MSA increased 1.0 percent year-over-year to 2,994 home sales, while home sales within the city of Austin jumped 6.1 percent year-over-year to 927 home sales.” While sales like these mean Austin’s outlook is strong, home buyers will have to work that much harder to buy the home of their dreams.

Competition in large metros is expected, but for mid-size metros like Austin that same level of competition can come as a surprise, especially if you are moving long-distance. But with a little advice and preparation you can find your new Austin home with limited hassle.

Know what you want in a home beforehand

Vaulted ceilings or crown molding? Big kitchen or large backyard? In fast-moving markets like Austin, there is not always time for browsing in order to learn what you like. Do yourself a favor and research floorplans, styles, amenities and more before you start the buying process. This is especially important for couples and families, when more compromise may be necessary. First-time homebuyers may have the most difficulty at this stage.

Prioritize location

When it comes to real estate, it is all about location, right?

Just like knowing your home preferences ahead of time, the same should go for location. Outline your lifestyle and scout out the area (Google Maps is a perfect way to accomplish this) and see what areas could meet your needs. Ask yourself what’s more important: more space with a little commute out in the suburbs or being in the middle of the action?

In general, as one would expect, prices will be lower and homes larger outside the city limits in places like Leander. Suburbs like Round Rock, Georgetown and Pflugerville are developing quickly thanks to their short drive times to Austin and city amenities. But if living in the city is essential, it is best to look near South Austin and University Hills.

Consider school systems

This one is more for those with children or planning a family. The Austin area is home to some spectacular school districts, including Lake Travis Independent School District, situated west of the city, and Leander Independent School District to the northwest. Settling in these areas guarantees your family will have access to quality education through high school, not to mention competitive high school football come fall.

Find an experienced agent or broker

There is nothing more empowering than having someone who knows the lay of the land when it comes to homes—even if you are already from the Austin area. Agents will have access to listings and resources most do not. In fact, the best agents will have great relationships with area home builders, which could come in handy when facing multi-offer scenarios. Regardless of your experience buying homes, that agent is there to represent and protect your interests and should be considered a powerful ally.

Be ready to act fast

The most important part of this stage is being in a healthy enough financial situation to make an offer, which begins with having an approved home loan. In many cases, new listings can be sold in less than a week, so any delay in your decision process could leave you in the dust and without a home.

Do not be afraid to submit an attractive offer the moment you find a place that fits most, if not all, your needs. In some cases, you may need to reconsider your wish list to cultivate multiple options.

Never give up

Besides being a great philosophy in general, it also applies to real estate in Austin. No matter how many times a house slips through your fingers, stay the course. Keep attending open houses, scavenge home listings and keep your agent on speed dial in the case you find something during the off-hours. Weeks and sometimes months will pass without much progress, but whatever you do, avoid developing a negative outlook.

Even though the homebuying process will be stressful, it is crucial you stay positive so that when you find the perfect home you can full it with new memories rather than leftover negativity from a difficult home search.

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