Buying your first house tends to be a monumental milestone in one’s life. After all, generally speaking, a house purchase is going the be the most expensive purchase in a person’s life. And while people certainly can buy multiple homes in their life, first-time homebuyers tend to make the same mistakes.
So, doing your research before buying a house can make the whole thing a lot less stressful and much smoother. In the spirit of this, we have put together a list of 7 tips for first-time homebuyers in Austin in order to hopefully make the process easier.
1. Pay off all debts and start emergency savings
At this point it should go without saying that houses are extremely expensive. Austin is in a bit of a unique situation, as prices have been dropping, and the average price of a home is $624,000.
While this is much cheaper than other places, where prices can reach well above a million, it’s still a lot. And this is without mentioning things such as HOA fees, taxes, closing costs and so on. As such, getting into the homebuying process while in debt is an extremely bad idea. So, pay off all of your current debts and start putting money away for emergencies before buying a home. Additionally, this is a good time to learn what to consider when hiring a real estate agent to help you find your new home.
Buying a home while you have other debts is a very bad idea, so pay off all of them first.
2. Figure out exactly what you can afford
When shopping for a house, it’s very important to be realistic about what you can afford. Firstly, if you buy a home that is very expensive, you could struggle with paying your mortgage, which leads to all sorts of issues. Second, you might not even be qualified for a mortgage for certain homes. As such, set your expectations before committing to buying a home.
Then, figure out your budget so you know exactly what you’re working with. This will help narrow down the search, and you will be able to find your home much quicker.
Experts from Heavenly Moving and Storage also note that you should budget for things such as moving costs early on.
3. Save for the down payment
While mortgages are the best way to make sure you can buy a home, they do have a down payment. Typically, lenders will ask for 20% of the full price as a down payment, although this can vary. FHA (Federal Housing Administration) mortgages are particularly popular with first-time homebuyers in Austin.
They allow you to get a mortgage with as low as 3% down payment. However, there is something you have to consider: the more of the full price you can pay, the better it is for you. By paying less of down payment, you owe more money and thus end up paying more in the long run. This is something you should think about carefully before coming to a decision.
Mortgages are helpful, buy you have to be prepared for the down payment.
4. Get pre-approved and consider mortgage rates
Once you have your down payment saved up, you should get pre-approved as soon as possible. Before that, however, you should consider all possible options for lenders and compare their rates. By doing this, you can find the best possible deal for a mortgage possible. A lot of first-time homebuyers make the mistake of only taking a quote from one lender. However, by comparing rates first you can save a lot of money in the long run. And once you lock down a lender, get pre-approved for the loan so you can buy your new home as soon as you find it. Then it’s time to find a good real estate agent to help you search, so keep in mind the things to ask your real estate agent before hiring them.
5. Hire a real estate agent
The next step first-time homebuyers in Austin should take is finding a reliable real estate agent. Think about it this way: buying a home is a very big investment, so you should make sure that it will suit all of your needs for as long as you live there. This is where realtors come in. This agent should be experienced with the area you want to buy your home in. Additionally, you should make sure they are reliable real estate agents, as they should be able to guide you through the entire process of buying a home. By this, we mean both the process of finding a home and buying it, from tours to closing.
A real estate agent is invaluable when trying to buy a home.
6. Know what you want out of a home
Once the search begins, you need to know exactly what you want in a home. By knowing the exact features and amenities you want out of your home, your realtor will be able to narrow down the search. This will make the process much easier, all in all. This is also a good time to start looking for movers to get you moved in. Generally speaking, local movers are always the best choice for getting you into your home safe and sound. There is always a helpful team in the area to help you get situated.
7. Prepare for making an offer and closing
Realistically, your realtor should be able to help you figure out an offer which is both competitive and reasonable. This is one of the most important parts of the process, and it can be difficult for first-time homebuyers to do. As such, trust your realtor and do your research into what you’ll need to do in order to close on a house. Remember to consider closing costs and look into what documents you’ll need to bring. Finally, consider the advantages of hiring professional packers and movers ahead of time, so you can move into your new home quickly.
7 tips for first-time homebuyers in Austin – conclusion
The process of buying a home for the first time can be quite confusing and stressful. This is why knowing what to do ahead of time is extremely helpful for making sure everything goes smoothly. We hope this list of 7 tips for first-time homebuyers in Austin helps you find your new home, and we wish you a good day.