7 Tips for Buying A Home in the Current Austin Real Estate Market

Buying A Home in Austin Right Now

It seems that at the beginning of the year, there are always “experts” making predictions of various sorts, so I thought I’d share a little bit about what’s going on in the greater Austin area right now and give you some tips for buying a home and other things to consider over the coming months!

I guess we can call it The State of the Real Estate Market in Austin!

First off, If you’ve been looking at homes in the Austin area for any time, you probably know that the market is pretty strong, to say the least!

Last weekend, I saw a post on Facebook about an agent who received 97 offers on her listing (yes, NINETY-SEVEN). Don’t worry. That is NOT the norm, but the point is… it did happen!

I did have clients who were one of 18 offers on another home…

We’re appreciating pretty rapidly across the entire Austin MSA, which includes Travis County (Austin) and surrounding counties as well. But, some areas are certainly lighter on inventory than others and certain price points are more competitive than others. So this MAY not all necessarily apply to your situation!

NOTE: This is NOT like the crash of 2008/2009! The conditions surrounding the real estate market are entirely different. Trust me… I was at ground zero with 11 homes when that happened!!!

So what does all this mean for you?

Here are 7 Tips for Buying a Home and Other Things to Consider in the Next 12 Months (and possibly beyond)

1. One, you’ve got to be prepared! This means having all of your financing ducks in a row. If you’re financing, get your preapproval taken care of before you start looking.

There simply may not be time afterward once you find the right home. (I’ve got a great lender referral if you need to get the ball rolling)

2. Be Patient! I know it’s super frustrating to be putting in offers and not getting one accepted. Even a year ago, we were often having to submit several offers to get the right home! It’s just going to take some patience and persistence in certain cases. We’ve got this!

3. Decide if you’re able (or WILLING) to pay over the appraised value. For the past few months, we’ve been seeing year over year median home prices appreciating at just over 20% across Travis county. But, there are no guarantees as to how long this trend continues. I don’t see it slowing any time soon, but if we could predict the market, we’d all be billionaires.

NOTE: This is a longer conversation than a point in an email, so if you want to discuss what this looks like, give me a call.

4. Be prepared to submit an appraisal waiver. This sort of goes with #3. It can be very scary if you don’t fully understand it. Depending on the situation (personal and property), there are some ways we can mitigate that risk by working with a savvy lender and agent… With the inventory shortage, this is often our only competitive advantage.

5. Look at your requirements. We may need to look at homes that aren’t 100% what you are dreaming of! But… sometimes that’s a blessing because you can get in at a “discount,” if you will, and then make it your own. With 20 years of experience flipping houses, I’m happy to help you see the possibilities in some less than perfect homes! Some may be as simple as a little paint and flooring… You may want to increase (or decrease your budget)

NOTE: We bought our home 3 years ago now and it fell under this latter category. A whole lotta paint, some landscaping and a deck, and our home is worth almost twice what we paid for it (at the time, we got it for about 20% below then-current market value).

6. Be ready to act. Right now, there’s really little time to “think” about it once you’ve found the right home. It’s important to have your ducks in a row and be ready, willing, and able to pull the trigger on the right home.

7. Get creative! There are some creative things we can do when you have pretty specific criteria (aka location)… This takes an agent with some marketing savvy with regard to direct mail and other marketing. (Think sending a personal letter to an entire neighborhood with a personal story).

The good news is that if we need to do this, I’ve got 2 decades of direct mail experience and millions of dollars in profits to show for direct mail alone!

Remember, knowledge is power! People are still buying and selling. We just need to make sure we have the right strategy for your particular situation. These tips for buying a home will help.

The one piece of advice I DO have is not to “sit and wait” because predictions are we’re going to see a similar pattern for the next few years, at least! So, you still have the opportunity to get in on the hot real estate market. It’s not too late! My other prediction is that more and more companies will continue to move their headquarters (and employees) to Austin the coming years.

Also, I do believe that we will see an increase in inventory over the next few months as we enter a more normal spring selling cycle (and am hopeful that many people that held off on their plans to move in 2020 move forward this spring and summer).

Let’s chat and get a plan together!


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