512-297- 3442 – www.LetsMoveAustin.com – Austin, TX Real Estate and Investment Specialists.
Hunger Games: How to be a First Time Home Buyer in Austin without Becoming a Tribute
So you have decided to stop throwing away money on rent and put down roots in
our awesome town of Austin. You’ve spoken to a lender and found out what you
can afford. Maybe even talked to a parent whose going to help with the down
payment (although since most first time buyers can put down as little as 3.5% of
the home’s purchase price, you may not even have had to do this step).
Congratulations on taking this giant leap into homeownership, the most
consistent form of wealth building this country has ever experienced.
But wait! If you are a first time home buyer in Austin, TX this year the enthusiasm
can wear off pretty quickly. Because with low inventory, lots of people moving
here, and prices rising, being a first time home buyer in Austin can feel an awful
lot like being a Tribute stepping into the Arena in the Hunger Games.
You have to watch carefully for tricks, you must stay alert at all times, and you’re
going to need a team you can rely on to reach your goal.
Let’s talk about tricks: Many first time home buyers in Austin fall for the trick of
calling the agent who is listed on the sign in front of a home they like. This is a
mistake! The agent on the sign already represents a client – the seller. As a first
time buyer you are going to have a lot of questions and you need someone who is
advocating for your interests through the process. Just as the Tributes in the
Hunger Games were each assigned an escort to help them avoid mistakes and
prepare for the Arena, your buyer’s agent will help you navigate the home buying process.
At the minimum, things your buyer’s agent should do for you are to help you
analyze the prices of homes in the areas you are interested in, anticipate what
repairs/updates might be needed in properties you’re considering, explain the
details and timeline involved in a real estate contract. The best thing is, you don’t
have to pay for the buyer’s agent’s services – this person will be compensated by
the seller of the property you purchase. So it makes sense to choose someone
you feel great about working with, not blindly calling an agent from the sign or an
Click here for a list of questions you can ask an agent to determine whether you’d
be a fit to work together.
Let’s talk about staying alert: Just as the Tributes in the Arena had to be on guard
for traps and challenges throughout the Games, first time home buyers in Austin
and their agents must constantly be on the lookout for properties coming on the
market that meet their criteria. In Austin, we have a shortage of homes in the
areas and price ranges that are most popular among first time buyers. And the
competition for these homes is fierce, with multiple offers being the norm. the
multiple offers situation, which for first time buyers can feel a lot like the
bloodbath in the onset of the Hunger Games – out of control and scary. Having an
agent who is well-connected and makes YOU a priority is key to avoiding this.
There are multiple networking groups in which Austin Realtors share “coming
soon” listings. Some of these homes never even hit the open market, because the
Realtors involved in these groups understand the value of networking with other
professionals. If a first time home buyer in Austin has an agent who can find them
one of these pre-MLS properties, it can be a very good thing.
This brings us to the team approach: In many Austin neighborhoods and price
ranges, you and your agent need to be able to drop everything to tour a home
that comes available, because it simply won’t be on the market long enough to
wait a couple days until your schedules can fit it in. At Let’s Move Austin, we work
as a team so that if one of our agents cannot be available on short notice for a
priority client, there is someone else who can step in and make sure that buyer
gets to see the property. We also have a trusted network of related professionals
such as mortgage brokers, home inspectors, and service providers such as
plumbers and electricians that we make available to our clients, much as the
Tributes in the Hunger Games have a whole array of Escorts and Sponsors. This
kind of expertise is especially important for first time home buyers in Austin, TX.
Theresa Bastian and the team at Let's Move Austin are ready to help you buy, sell,
lease, or invest in real estate throughout Austin and Central Texas. Call 512-297-3442 to get started today.
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