Buying Tidbits »

Put experience on your side
  • Determine where you want to live.  Visit online real estate search sites like Austin Board of Realtor’s sponsored site http://www.austinhomesearch.com to learn where and what your money can buy in a home.  Narrow down the areas you’d like to buy into.
  • Plan ahead – get pre-qualified for your home loan. Most good listing agents require
    a pre-qualification letter indicating your “worthiness” to buy. Work with your mortgage
    broker in advance so you won’t miss that opportunity to get your dream home.
  • Given you have a basic idea of what you want (need) in a home (and what you can
    afford), it’s time to find a good realtor. Learn why working with a realtor to buy
    a home is the best option. Learn how I can help. There is no additional cost to working with
    a real estate professional.
  • Ask your realtor to provide a market analysis for the areas you’ve honed in on. Look at available listings.
    Get signed up to receive immediate notification of new or changed listings.  This is critical in today’s market.
  • Once you find the right place, work with your realtor to submit an offer. It’s likely you go through
    at least one round of “counter offers”. (Note: in a seller’s market expect to pay at least
    full price for new listings.)
  • By all means hire an inspector. For a more thorough inspection recruit the services of an engineer.

Your Home, Your Investment

Homes typically appreciate around 4 to 6 percent a year – even more as we saw in inner city
Austin neighborhoods in 2006. This of course varies year to year and by neighborhood.
Five percent may not seem like a good return compared to other
investment opportunities, however, consider the appreciation is not just against your
down payment but the whole value of your home.

Suppose you purchase a $300,000 house with twenty percent down – that’s $60,000.
At an appreciation rate of 5% annually, a $300,000 home increases in value
$15,000 during the first year. That means you earned $15,000 with an investment
of $60,000 – your return is 25%. Of
course, you’re paying interest on your mortgage and paying property taxes, along with a
couple of other costs. (Since the interest on your mortgage and your property
taxes are both tax deductible, the government is helping you buy your home
purchase.) Bottom line, your home is a wise investment.

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"Contact me for a free market analysis of your home or for a particular area of Austin. "