Relocating to Austin and buying a home are two of the most emotionally daunting activities we face in our adult lives. When you buy an ugly tie, an unflattering dress or shoes that don’t fit, so what? Return them, or throw them away, no giant loss. But buy a home in the wrong area and life gets very uncomfortable very quickly.
Not Enough Time to Research? Rent
As a practical matter, we recommend to Austin newcomers unfamiliar with the metro area that you rent first before you buy a home if you don’t have ample time to research. Austin is changing rapidly. Don’t make a hasty – possibly unsatisfying – choice because of out-of-date information or someone else’s fuzzy-minded bias. As we see it, here are the plusses and minuses.
Benefits of Renting First Before You Make the Purchase Plunge
- You get familiar with Austin’s locational nuances which will lead to a more informed decision.
- If you don’t like your rental home, you can move with relative ease somewhere else.
- Renting allows you to buy time to drive around different areas at different times, watch, listen and observe our metro area and digest the local news. Developing a long term, broader perspective of the different areas will help make your housing choice more clear.
- Your initial cash outlay will be less. Moving is expensive, even if you have corporate relocation assistance. There are always unanticipated expenses that can add up.
- Depending on the particular Austin neighborhood home prices are falling, rising or staying about the same. School quality varies in the Austin area. Renting gives you time to find out the where and why.
- Renting gives you greater flexibility to resolve the timing issues and obstacles that invariably pop up when you try to co-ordinate the closing of your old home and the relocation and closing on your new home. Closings are delayed all the time regardless of the best intentions and most careful planning.
Disadvantages of Renting First
- You have multiple moves – old home to rental to new home at least. We can all agree that moving sucks. Think about it, have you ever met anyone that likes to move?
- Children complicate things – as if you didn’t know. Unless you rent in the same school district you ultimately purchase in, then the children may have to switch schools again.
- Mortgage interest rates are at historic lows. They can’t drop much more and they won’t stay that way forever. They could rise without warning while you are in your rental, so there is a financial risk to consider.
- Short term leases aren’t easy to find. In Austin’s tight rental market you may be locked into a six month lease or more. You’ll want to check out the penalty provision should you decide to break the lease to move into your new home
Rent vs Buy – What’s Right for You?
In an ideal world, renting is usually the best choice absent any complicating factors. But as we all know, our world isn’t ideal. Whatever decision you make, we can help make your move as smooth as possible. Check out our Guide to Relocating to Austin for more tips. We’ve been in your shoes and know how overwhelming relocating can be. Call us at (512) 827-8323 or email us at info@11OaksRealty.com to get started.