Buying a Home in Austin

Home for sale

We aren’t stuffy.  We aren’t high pressure.   And we don’t take ourselves too seriously because we believe buying a home can be both easy and fun.

 

Our goal is to apply our market knowledge to help you find the right home that meets your needs and budget.  Whether you are looking for the perfect home in a great school zone, building an investment portfolio, or searching for your dream home, you can count on us to give you candid advice and practical recommendations along the way based on our broker’s 21+ years of experience in the Austin market.  We focus on giving you an unparalleled level of personal attention and responsive service so that you can focus on making the purchase decision that is right for you.

The process for buying a home can be broken down into nine basic steps:

  1. Identify the long-term goal of your purchase.  The criteria for an investment property versus a permanent dream home are different.  We will help  you identify your objective and tailor your home search to meet those needs.

  2. Search for the right home.

  3. Negotiate with the seller to get you the best deal possible on the home you select.

  4. Inspect the home to identify any underlying issues or concerns.

  5. Re-negotiate the purchase price of the home, if needed, based on the outcome of the inspection.

  6. Finalize your home loan and homeowner’s insurance.

  7. Arrange to turn on the utilities in your new home, typically to start on the day your purchase contract is “closed.”

  8. Sign the paperwork to finalize the purchase at “closing.”

  9. SMILE – you own a home.

Not only is buying easy, it’s never too early to talk with us about your thoughts.  We are happy to help you at any stage of the process.

 

As you begin your home search, take a moment to review these helpful buyer links.

 

What Austin’s New Real Estate Developments Mean for Homeowners

Whoever said summer is supposed to be relaxing? I’ve walked in a fashion show for charity, taken the family to the beach, taxied the kids back and forth to camp and swim lessons, made innumerable forts, pitched a tent, gone to the Dino Park, visited the Wildflower Center, and fed the animals at Austin Zoo. And it’s only June. Whew!

Luckily last month my kids spent some time with their grandparents, so my wife and I had some free time to get reacquainted with our ever-changing city. While we had fun exploring new restaurants and what not, I was struck by the fact that Austin is undergoing a complete makeover. As a guy who has lived in Austin since I was 3 years old, I have mixed feelings about all this, but no matter. Today I want to share how some of these changes can impact your real estate holdings. In my experience, we can expect that the areas around the new developments will appreciate in value at a faster rate than other areas. To help you plan accordingly, here are some of the ongoing or upcoming developments in our great city.

  • Downtown: In 2011 Austin set a goal to have 25,000 residents living in downtown. So far our best guess is that there are about 11,000 people living downtown.  Because the new condos are selling like hot cakes, we can expect our skyline to keep evolving and construction downtown will continue for years to come. This is good and bad from an owner standpoint. If you want to buy something new, cool, and urban, you won’t have a problem finding it downtown. If, however, you are a seller, you may face challenges selling an “older” unit since there are so many newer options to choose from.

 

  • North: The Domain is in the middle of finishing its third phase, including the Rock Rose District featuring local establishments like Salvation Pizza, Viva Day Spa, and Bird’s Barber Shop. This should bring the total number of residential rental units within the Domain to 2,813. At the beginning of the year, I picked the neighborhoods bordering the Domain as my top pick for 2016; read about that here. I stand by that prediction; I think those neighborhoods are a good investment with lots of potential for price appreciation in the coming years.

 

  • North Central Austin: The old Highland Mall, now inhabited by Austin Community College, and Airport Boulevard are also being redeveloped. New restaurants keep cropping up, although I’d go there just to visit old Austin favorite The Omelettry in its new location. This is sure to bring renewed vibrancy to the area between Mueller and Hyde Park/ Northloop.

 

  • Northwest Hills: The Austin Oaks project, located at Spicewood Springs Road and Mopac, is the subject of a hotly contested feud between the neighborhood and the developer. If the Triangle and the Anderson Lane Wal-Mart debates of the last decade are any indication, we can be sure that something will eventually be built here, probably with restaurants, shops, and a park. Despite the opposition, I expect property values will rise with this development.

 

  • South Austin: Soon we will see the beginning of two large projects in South Austin. While it’s awaiting the City Council’s blessing, St. Elmo’s Market and Lofts would create a marketplace, music venue, hotel, and condos on South Congress. In turn, the South Central Waterfront District plan was recently approved by City Council. The plan calls for redevelopment of the south shore of Lady Bird Lake including proposals for open acreage; trails, bridges, and bike lanes; and mixed use development with retail and restaurants on the street level. Many details are still to be determined, but there has been discussion of creating a bat observation park, pontoon landing, and other citizen-centric features.

 

  • The Grove at Shoal Creek: This is at what many of us think of as the old Bull Creek Dog Park at Bull Creek and 45th Street. The neighborhood and developer are at odds and can’t get on the same page about the development. Whatever happens, I anticipate that the nearby Rosedale and Oakmont neighborhoods will see significant price appreciation. It’s a good time to buy in those areas.

 

  • University: The UT medical district is just getting started. According to the master plan, there will be a new medical school and medical research building, as well as a new teaching hospital and medical office building. This will impact nearby real estate in East Austin and downtown, and it will impact Austin in general with job growth.

Austin's changing skyline will have a very realimpact on local homeowners

SO WHAT’S A HOMEOWNER TO DO WITH ALL OF THIS NEW DEVELOPMENT? I suppose that depends on your perspective. Some folks are excited about the growth, while others hate it and talk of moving. Either way, you have options.

  • If you are a buyer: Now is a great time to buy. I predict (but cannot guarantee) that prices will increase at a greater rate as each of these projects near completion. If you are thinking of moving to one of these developing areas, I suggest you make your move before the developments begin in earnest. Other parts of Austin will continue to appreciate, but probably not at the same levels.
  • If you are a seller: Sell if you must, and let’s find time to talk about the best ways to get every dollar you can out of your home. But know that Austin and the home you sell will continue to appreciate. And if you are close to one of these areas, try to hold on until after these projects are built out so as to get maximum value from your sale. Your pocket book and retirement account will thank me later. <wink>

Even though Austin is going gangbusters, I admit to having some concerns about our U.S. economy with the presidential election looming and the global economy in Europe following the Brexit. Even so, investors historically tend to seek out holdings in the U.S. as a safe haven in these situations. The best I can tell, we should see some benefit, and I anticipate that our interest rates should stay at an all-time low.

So that’s my two-cents for this month.  Give me a call (512-300-2995) or drop me a line (paul@homesville.com) if you’d like to talk about any of these projects or your upcoming move.  I’m always excited to discuss; after all, it lets me know someone reads this stuff!

Cheers,

Paul Reddam | Owner/Broker | Homesville Real Estate

© June 2016

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