I bought my first home as a single woman in Austin in January 2017. Despite the large percentage of single women home buyers, there is very little information geared towards this growing segment. That’s why we’ve created our Single Women Home Buyers Series. We’ll be covering a long list of common concerns and questions, but if you have a specific issue we encourage you to email us so we can help!
Why Do You Want a Home?
One of the best ways to get clear on your decision to buy a house is to sit down and make a list of why you want (or don’t want) to buy. This list is going to quickly show you if it’s worth investigating a house purchase.
For me, my list was easy to formulate and the two strongest reasons for and against the house were:
1. I was tired of throwing away money on rent saw a huge benefit to a home in Austin since this market had been appreciating.
2. I was afraid of being stuck in a house if something happened to my job.
The rest of the list looked like this:
|Tired of throwing money away on rent||Didn’t want to be stuck|
|Easier to have a dog with a gated yard||Hassle of going through the process|
|Additional space for guests and such||Might have to live far away from downtown|
|Save money each month||Loved the amenities in my apartment building|
You’ll note that this list was pretty evenly matched pros vs. cons, but the most important part about this list was that it gave me clear things to research to finalize my decision.
How’s the Real Estate Market in Austin?
I was “tired of throwing money away on rent” because I knew the Austin market was steadily appreciating. While I knew this because my family talked about it, you can take a look at our
Austin real estate market reports to see the stats. For example, August 2017 was the 36th month in a row that the median price of a home in Austin outpaced the previous year – to me that was steady growth.
I Wanted a Dog
I wanted to adopt a dog and my building had very strict breed restrictions. I also lived on the 6th floor, not ideal for taking out a new puppy. So I took a look to see which neighborhoods in Austin are good for dogs and put on my house wish list a gated yard. (If a dog isn’t your reason check out our other neighborhood lists for easy access to fitness options, great schools, neighborhood amenities and more.)
Extra Benefits to Buying
I was currently in a one-bedroom unit in a luxury building downtown so, for me, a house would definitely have more space plus it could actually be a cost-savings every month if I kept to my budget.
What If I Was Stuck?
This was the biggest barrier for me to buying a home. If you looked at my resume, you’d see that I moved across the country almost every two years of my adult life. This didn’t scream stability. While I loved Austin, I wasn’t positive my desire to stay would mean that I’d never have to move. So my largest concern was what do I do with the house if I can’t live in it anymore? This is where my Realtor came in huge (and we’ll do a larger post on this with our next installment), but we essentially only considered properties that I knew would be appealing to renters.
The Hassle of Buying a House
This is another one that we’ll hit in greater detail at a later post, but the home buying process can actually be really easy. Here’s the secret: it doesn’t cost you any more money to get a great agent than a bad agent… so don’t settle. Find someone who understands that this is something you want to do, but be clear about your time constraints. If you can’t leave work between 9 and 5 to look at property, make sure they are willing to show you after work and/or on the weekend. Also, and this is the biggest key, work with a reputable, local lender who can help you rather than a big firm with a call center. (Again we’ll cover more on this later, but I promise if this is the only piece of advice you take, you’ll thank me.)
Current Benefits of Renting
And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, if you rent in a great building the benefits are huge. I lived downtown in a building with lots of extras: pool, gym, even a bar. Those definitely have value, especially if you take advantage of them often. But don’t let those stop you from buying a house if you really want to, all of these amenities can be substituted (which I’ll show you in a later post.)
I Have My List, Now What
If you have a list and you’re not scared away by the cons yet, then it’s time to talk to a professional who can help you figure out if you can find something in Austin at your price point. Fill out our neighborhood finder to receive a list of neighborhoods (and types of homes) that will meet your needs.
If you’re still unsure, stick with us since our next installment will cover the #1 barrier to buying that we found among single women: What Happens If My Life Changes and I Can’t Live Here Anymore?
Considering Buying a Home in Austin?
We can help! We have a combined 55+ years of experience in real estate and can help you get a great deal. Check out our Austin Home Buyer page to learn more about who we are and how we work. Then, call us at (512) 827-8323 or email us at info@11OaksRealty.com to schedule a no obligation consultation.