Purchasing a home can feel overwhelming. Where to begin? Well the internet is a good place to start. By understanding the process and preparing for the next steps, you can ease your worry and make educated decisions. Below are some tools we hope will help. We created them from your perspective, keeping the Austin market in mind. If you have questions, we are here to help - obligation free.
Home purchases are a life experience. You can change the color of the walls, but you can't change the way you feel when you walk through the door. Buying a home should be an experience that allows you to find the right place for your life to unfold.
Whether you are a first-time home buyer or a veteran home purchaser, it is a big decision. You are making an emotional, financial and logistic commitment to whatever home you choose and that decision requires a thoughtful purchasing strategy. You are not alone in this process and should seek out reliable support systems and trusted advisors. The market place fluctuates and it is a good idea to understand your goals and the local housing economy. It is your realtors job to help you navigate the unknown and present useful information to help you in your search.
Owning a home can be a sound investment that will grow over time and can even offer year end tax benefits. Additionally, mortgage rates are historically still low making it so you can afford more house for your money. Contact us to discuss, without obligation, the Austin housing market. You have questions, we have the answers.
Do you wonder if you will find a house that you love in a neighborhood you like at a price you can afford? The answer is yes. Begin by thinking through the qualities you want – this is your “pie in the sky” list – your dream home. Then make a list of all the attributes that you require– these are your “must-haves.” By understanding what you want and want you need, you will have more flexibility in your search. If you need a little help getting started, try answering the questions below. Then start searching for homes and give your list to your agent so that they can help you search the MLS listings. Still looking for an agent, learn more about choosing The Gene Arant Team to help you navigate this process.
Answer the questions and highlight your requirements:
Do you want or need a(n):
While finding your new home is an exciting process, the financial aspects are usually a bit daunting. You don’t have to be anxious about such a large financial commitment if you understand the process. Know what you can afford and this part of the buying process is much less confusing.
Lenders make decisions based on averages and formulas. Historically, banks used a 28/36 ratio to decide how much you can afford to borrow. Your house payment can’t be more than 28% of your gross monthly income. Your total debt (car payment, student loans, credit cards) cannot be more than 36% of your total monthly income. Quick tip: this is not the time to be making any large purchases, it affects your credit score and you want to have as much cash in the bank as possible.
While you are excited to be searching and at this stage, may have found your dream home, it is best to hold off on purchasing that new patio or kitchen set. In fact, your mortgage depends on your information, credit cards and debt-to-income ratio remaining the same from date of original approval to the final closing. It is important that during this time you do not
And remember, it is good to have cash in savings. This gives you and your lender peace of mind for unexpected costs.
Pretty simple actually. Use our mortgage calculator. Don’t forget to include your current home’s worth - this will be key to determining your new budget and setting your home search parameters.
The benefits of understanding the financial process are:
You hear it all the time, location, location, location and when it comes to buying a house, location should be a deciding factor. With a little help and a bit of research, you can begin narrowing your search. Determine what attributes are important to you in a neighborhood. Some things to consider are school districts, work commute, distance from the airport, property taxes and neighborhood amenities. Use our search tool to help get you familiar with Austin neighborhoods. If you have questions about certain areas, just give us a call, we are here to help. By logging in, you can customize and save your searches.
When making an offer, there are several variables to consider. An informed offer means that as a buyer, you have done your research. You are prepared to negotiate, know when to agree to terms or when to walk away. You will begin your negotiations by making an initial offer. Make your offer compelling, depending on the state of the market, you may start low but not too low, showing that you are serious about purchasing the home. Need more help? Contact us without obligation, and our team will help answer any questions you may have about particular houses, neighborhoods or the Austin market.
You have found the house and now it is time to do some detective work. While most due diligence begins with hiring an inspector, we suggest you do a bit of reconnaissance as well. The home and neighborhood you have chosen seems perfect during daylight hours, but what is it like during peak traffic times or at night? Is there a streetlight that shines directly into the master bedroom? Is the house located next to train tracks that are only utilized at midnight? Is the neighbor's dog left outside to bark for hours on end? Consider these questions below and keep notes of other questions that may arise. Remember, you may not receive the answers until you specifically ask the questions.
Do hire a home inspection, in fact, hire two. Homes are a very large purchase and this is not the time to cut expenses. Time and money spent on due diligence can be your biggest savings in the end. If the home owner offers to provide you a disclosure document, use this as additional information, but never use this as your primary source of inspection.
Here are some questions to ask when screening home inspectors:
For more information or for a list of trusted home inspectors in the Austin area, call us. We are here to help you - no commitment required.
Closing on a home should be a painless formality while in reality, it is advisable to expect the unexpected. To ensure that your closing goes smoothly, it is best to prepare weeks in advance. Make sure that you are in contact with your lender and your agent, they should be confirming that your paperwork is progressing smoothly. Here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind.
It is time to close, here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind:
Speak to your real estate agent and your loan officer to make certain that you have provided all the necessary documentation needed to close.
Have questions about the process? We are here to help - no obligation required.
Congratulations, the paperwork is signed and you are a proud new homeowner. It is time to pack your boxes and make a moving "To-do" list, or use ours to help get you started. When working with our team, our commitment to you continues even after you sign the papers, contact us to arrange usage of our complimentary moving truck.
Once you have moved in and are getting settled, it is time to protect your investment. We can help you with filing your first tax return as a homeowner and explain the Homeowners Exemption Act. We can also help you set up routine maintenance on your home's systems depending on the age of your home.