Spring is in our rear view mirror, and Summer is almost here; so is our peak home buying season. Austin’s 2017 Summer housing market is heating up faster than the temperatures. If you’ve been looking for a home long, you’ve likely seen multiple offers on some of the homes you’ve liked. And, you may have even lost a few. If you’re tired of making offers and are ready to become home owners, here are 8 insider home buying tips for Austin’s hot Summer market.
Get Your Game Face On.
It’s a competitive market out there. To be successful, you must be prepared to fight for the house you really want. Other people will probably see the value in the same house. How badly a person wants something determines their degree of success.
Hand write a personal note to the seller. Include a photograph of your family – even your pets. Pictures of babies work great. Try to create an emotional bond between you and the seller. Compliment the seller about something they might be proud of and express your appreciation about the home’s presentation. Most sellers have done a lot of work to prepare their home for the market. Recognizing their efforts is often an effective way to separate yourself from the competition.
Be Pre-Approved and Prove It
Have a genuine, written loan approval in hand from a reputable lender. Ask your lender to write a letter stating that you are approved for the loan you stipulate in your offer. Be sure it states that your employment, income, credit history and score has been verified and substantiated. Most sellers are very concerned about their sale falling through because the buyer was not really qualified. Give the seller to peace of mind that you are ready, willing and financially able to buy.
Invest the Largest Down Payment Possible
Lenders are more cautious about who they give loans to. The more you put down – the less money you’ll have to ask for – the better off you’ll be! And, the seller will look at you as a more qualified buyer. Also, less than 20% down payment usually means paying for private mortgage insurance which drives up the cost of your monthly payment. Need a great mortgage broker recommendation? Email us!
Don’t Pay Loan Points
Interest rates are so low right now that there’s not much of a reason to pay money in points. After all, points will only lower your mortgage rate and your monthly payment a very small amount – but you’ll have to spend thousands of dollars to do it. With interest rates hovering at historic lows, you’re much better off applying that money towards your down payment.
Buy for the Long Term
A home is a long term asset. It is not a “flipper.” Buy with the intention of holding the property for at least five years. Few people make a profit in the short term as the in-and-out costs of buying and selling are too large. Give the market a chance to catch up with your investment. It takes time to make money in real estate, not timing.
Location, Location, Location
It is trite but true. Buy the very best location you can confidently and comfortably afford. Before making a final decision on a home, ask yourself: How easy will it be to sell this home when I’m ready? Carefully choosing the school district, neighborhood and community can help maximize your future potential resale value.
Schools Add Value
Even if you do not have school-age children or do not intend to have children, you should pay serious attention to the quality of the local school system. When you sell the property, most of your potential buyers will have concerns and make decisions based on the performance of the school system. Many people will pay a premium price for a home served by a superior school system.
Bonus Tip: Hire A Buyer’s Agent Who Knows the Market
A good buyer’s agent will protect your money as if it were their own and they will help you ensure you don’t overpay for the property, even in this rising market. The buyer agent you hire is paid by the seller, so you pay nothing additional other than what you agree to pay the seller for their home. Buyer’s agents will help you evaluate the investment, recommend professionals who can evaluate the property’s condition and educate you on the market so you can make successful offers.
Ready to Stop Paying Rent and Become a Home Owner in Austin?
If you think it might be time for you to stop wasting money on rent and take advantage of very low mortgage interest rates, check out our Buyer Representation page to learn how our team is different than your average Realtor. Then, call us at (512) 827-8323 or email us at info@11OaksRealty.com to schedule a no obligation consultation. Want to get started quickly? Fill out our Buyer Survey.