Buying Austin Texas Real Estate
Before you buy real estate in Austin, you need to decide what exactly you need in a home. If you are relocating from another area, be sure to do extensive area research, to be sure of a home in the area that’s right for you. A good Realtor will help you with the entire process of home buying, including getting pre-approved for a loan.
At Affinity Properties, we guarantee you quality service. Our extensive knowledge of the industry, and local professionals, allows us to easily help you with every step along the way to buying your new home. We can refer you to highly qualified Austin real estate and financial professionals that we have worked with and trust, to help you get the best deals on everything from loan rates to insurance.
Once your pre-approval is in place, we can work with you to find a home that best suits your needs. You will never feel alone or confused in the process. We will help assess if a home you’re interested in is priced fairly, if it is a truly good investment and is in a neighborhood that will meet your needs. We will be there through the process of making an offer, right up to close.
Buying an Austin Area Home: Some Things to Consider
Choosing a Home:
It is important to asses where you want to live. What school district do you want for your children and how far do you want to commute to work? Consider the future, and choose a home that will meet not only your current needs, but those for at least a few years to come. You don’t want to be forced to move away from a great investment during a slump in the market just because you didn’t anticipate a change in needs. Of course, you can’t anticipate everything, but giving your future some realistic consideration will benefit you when you make the important decision on which home you will buy.
The Loan Approval Process:
Without qualifying for a loan, you won’t be able to enter the Austin real estate market. You will need to provide a mortgage lender with thorough financial information, such as a record of employment, credit, asset and debt information for yourself and your spouse, if applicable.
You should know the difference between pre-qualified and pre-approved. Getting pre-qualified is a simpler process than getting pre-approved, but is not a guarantee that you will get the loan you are hoping for. Pre-approval requires a more thorough financial information and credit history check, and can help you determine what you can afford in a home. Once you are pre-approved, the only thing needed before you are granted a loan is for the loaning agency to know the price of the home and any inspection reports. Assuming the home is within your budget and has no major detriments that will affect its resale value, you are good to go.
Assessing a Home’s Value:
When looking at potential homes, it is helpful to conduct a Comparative Market Analysis to determine whether the home is worth its asking price. This is affected by many things, including the seller’s disclosure, which will let you know anything important about the home that could affect its value. Affinity Properties is happy to help with a CMA.
Professional inspections are a good way of knowing for sure what you are getting into with a home purchase. In some cases, the seller has had inspections done recently, and records of these will be made available to you. You may want to hire an inspector yourself, just to be sure. Most lenders require inspections for certain things before granting you a mortgage loan. At Affinity Properties, we are familiar with many local inspectors, can book appointments for you and be present for the inspection process. This will help us asses the quality and value of your potential home.
If the inspections reveal the need for repair in certain areas, you will have to decide if the price is still worth while, or if you need repairs to be done before you consider buying the home. This is where negotiations with the seller really begin, and Affinity Properties has the experience to get you through this process with the least stress and best chance for a successful outcome.
Affinity Properties will help assure that everything is ready for closing the deal. You are advised to do a final walk through before this time to assure that everything has been taken care of as was negotiated. This can be a stressful time, but with us, you need not feel alone. We will review all the paperwork to assure things are as they should be.
Decision to Buy an Austin Texas Home
Before you buy a new house, you need to ask yourself some important questions. Why do you want to move? How soon do you want to move? How long will you be living in your new home? What’s better for your situation, buying or renting?
If you’d like to discuss these points with me, I’ll be happy to meet with you and help you decide is buying is right for you. If you prefer to get started right away, just fill out the form below and I will contact you.
Once you’re sure that home ownership is right for you, we will meet and discuss your current situation in detail. What home features are most important to you? How much do you want to invest? Will you be adding a new baby, seeing grown kids move out, retiring, or facing other lifestyle changes? What part of town appeals to you? What schools do you want your kids to attend? Once I know your goals, I can help you achieve them/
Get Pre-qualified or Pre-approved
Unless you have a very thick wallet indeed, you’ll want to start this process by qualifying for a loan. I can help you find the best mortgage lender, with the best rate, terms and service, for your needs. First, you’ll spend about 20 minutes on the phone with your lender, or filling out a simple questionnaire, to get a pre-qualification letter. For this step, you’ll need your and your spouses’ names; address; phone numbers; Social Security numbers; past two years of employment; and residential, bank, asset, and debt information. If you can, try to go for pre-approval rather than just pre-qualification. Pre-approval is a stringer commitment–a statement that your employment and credit have been verified and you are approved for a loan, subject to a final credit check and property appraisal.
Ask about all loan costs (origination fees, discount points, etc.) as well as closing costs. Closing costs are fees for services, taxes, or special interest charges connected with a home purchase, including front loan points, title insurance, escrow or closing day charges, document fees, prepaid interest, and property taxes. Be prepared to pay an average of 2 to 3 percent of the home’s total value in closing costs, with payment due at closing unless the costs have already been rolled into the loan. And make sure your lender gives you a Good Faith Estimate in accordance with the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation 2), so you can make “apples to apples” comparison between lenders.
We’ve found a truly promising home that you really like, but we have to do our homework before we can make an offer. First I’ll run a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to see if it’s priced fairly. Then we review the seller’s disclosure, make appropriate adjustments, and put together an offer, an earnest moneycheck made out to a title company, and an option money check for the seller.
Inspection and Repairs
Look before you buy! Hire a reputable, qualified home inspector, along with a termite and wood destroying insect (WDI) inspector to check out your home for any existing or potential problems. If you don’t know a qualified inspector, I can recommend one. The appointment time must be agreeable to the seller. I’ll be at the appointment, and you should attend too if at all possible, so you can learn all about your prospective home.
Next, you’ll review the inspection reports to see if the home is acceptable “as-is.” If everything is perfect, you can move on to the offer. If you want repairs made, we will need to re-negotiate with the seller. You can request that the repairs be done before closing, or you can ask for extra money to cover repair costs. If the seller opts to end the negotiations, then he is free to accept another offer, and you get your earnest money back. If he’s willing to re-negotiate, the contract is amended and we waive our option to terminate the agreement. Then we contact your lender to request an appraisal and start planning your move. The day before closing, you should walk through the whole house and make sure everything is still in good shape. You’re almost there….
The exciting day is finally here! I’ll attend the closing with you to make sure everything goes smoothly, after verifying in advance that all the paperwork is in order. We’ll review the HUD-1 settlement statement so you can clear up any final issues and ask any questions before closing. Usually the buyer gains possession the day of the signing, but sometimes a little delay can occur if there’s a snag in the funding, so it’s best to give yourself an extra day before moving in–especially on a Friday or the day before a holiday.
Once you’re all moved in, make sure people can reach you! You must file an official change of address with the Post Office, either locally or online, to make sure your mail service isn’t interrupted. And keep in mind that credit card companies, magazine subscriptions, and other vendors can take 1 or 2 months to process your change of address.