Buying Your First Home in Austin
Owning a home is a lot of responsibility and it's important to be prepared with realistic expectations before you start looking at real estate. There's a lot more to home ownership than painting the walls any color you want and being allowed to own pets. We know that home ownership is exciting and we're here to help you through every step of the process, but it's important to know what you're getting yourself into.
We have assembled some questions that you can ask yourself to help gauge whether you're ready for this next big step. Once you conclude that you are, we invite you to contact us so that we can assist you further and take the stress out of finding your new home.
Questions To Ask Yourself
Are you ready?
We mean mentally and financially. Homes require maintenance and upkeep, which means that a portion of your income and time will go towards repairs and looking after the property. We recommend budgeting 1-2% of the home's value and several hours per week for maintenance costs. If you're truly willing to dedicate this time and money over a substantial period of time, you may be ready to purchase a home.
What is your budget?
What your salary and down payment will allow you to afford to depends on your region, but many first-time home buyers are discouraged when they realize their dream home isn't within their grasp. It's important to recognize that sacrificing too much of your income towards a mortgage becomes a burden and isn't worth the extra stress. Consider purchasing a modest home in the short term and plan to upgrade in a few years.
What's your DTI?
Your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) is the amount of monthly payments you make towards debt compared to your overall income. Lenders agree that your DTI should never exceed 40% and that housing debt should max out at 32%. While you may feel that you can contribute more than this to a mortgage and be happy, most lenders simply won't let you. This has a direct impact on what you can borrow and consequently what you'll be able to afford.
What do you want?
Knowing exactly what you're looking for in your next home will help you determine where to live. Do you mind mowing a large yard? Are you able to follow a garbage routine? Do you rely on public transit? Can you tolerate listening to your neighbors? Do you want to paint the outside of your house any color you fancy? These types of questions will help you figure out what neighborhood to live in and what type of property to own. Put together a list of your priorities and we can help you narrow down the best areas to look.
We Can Help
You need the best agents who will work for your goals. Our real estate team will help you find the best home at a fair price. We want to find you a home that you'll enjoy for years to come.
Keep your priorities in mind when visiting a home. The process of looking at homes can be an overwhelming one and sometimes people lose their practical sense. It's important to evaluate each home based on how well it suits your needs, rather than your feelings. We'll make sure you remain on track while we find you a fantastic property.
Hire a good real estate lawyer. Transferring ownership of a home can be a legally complex process and it's important to hire a lawyer to protect you from future problems. We can recommend a few great lawyers in Austin who may be right for you. We also recommend meeting with lawyers and ensuring that you mesh well with them. Real estate lawyers tend to be expensive, but their services are worth every cent if you find the right one.
Making an offer. Once you think you've found the right home, it's time to make an offer. We'll prepare the paperwork and go through it with you to ensure you understand what's happening. It's important to remember that a lot of offers don't work out, so don't get your heart set on this place just yet. Also be prepared to write a deposit check that proves you're serious about your offer.
Get all necessary inspections done. This step should never be skipped, as a home owner will check for damage and harmful materials. From lead paint and faulty wiring to leaks and pests, a home inspector can spot problems and save you from having to pay up for their repair. We know several inspectors in Austin and will gladly recommend them to you.
From your first message to us to the moment you're holding your new keys, we can help you with every step of purchasing a home. We are experts in helping first-time home buyers and would love to make the process as easy as possible for you.
Contact us today for more information about purchasing your first home.