Tips for Buying a House in the Austin Housing Market The Central Texas housing market is among the top three in the country. It’s home to Austin, Fort Hood, Killeen, College Station, and Waco. Together, these cities provide a wide range of living choices from family-friendly to the military lifestyle and even college town. They offer great value and a high quality of life. Though, for sake of this article, we’ll focus on the Austin real estate market. In Austin, the cost of living is very reasonable (three percent below the national average). Its strong economy is one of the main elements boosting the local real estate market. It’s also a reason why home values continue to be so healthy. In fact, home values have almost doubled since 2010 (source: Passive Real Estate Investing, Sept. 2018). Are you worried it’s too late to take advantage of Austin’s growing equity? Don’t be. The Austin real estate market is still a bargain for buyers as market listings are seeing price cuts and there are fewer bidding wars. Now really is the time to buy a house in Austin. Buying vs. renting in Austin There are many things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent a home. When it comes to finances and budget, keep these three points top of mind. Rent can rise unexpectedly, but your mortgage (pending your loan program) remains the same. Austin rents are already around $1,750 a month! Austin’s median home value is around $348,800. According to Zillow, after three years and three months, buying will be cheaper than renting in Austin. If you look at your gross costs, equity, and investment potential; it's better to buy a house in Austin than rent if you plan to live there for three years or more. Growing equity means increasing your wealth. Think of your home as an investment that offers incredible returns. Every time you make a mortgage payment, a portion of that payment pays your loan down each month, giving you more equity in the home. Are you ready to buy a home? Maybe you’re not sure where to get started? Follow these simple steps and you’re sure to find the perfect house in the Austin market. 1. Understand your mortgage options What’s your total budget? How much have you saved for a down payment? Do you prefer a traditional loan term or something that can be paid off quickly? Are you (or were you ever) in the military? Have your answers ready because there are many loan programs available, and each can be customized to meet your needs. FHA loans require as little as a 3.5% down payment, and that money can be a gift VA loans require no down payment and no mortgage insurance A 15-year loan term means you pay your loan off sooner and save hundreds of thousands of dollars over the long run 2. Secure mortgage pre-approval If you’re a first-time home buyer, it may seem backward to call the mortgage company before making an offer on a home. But the reality is, you can receive mortgage pre-approval without a house! Mortgage pre-approval means a loan officer reviews your finances, checks your credit, and analyzes your debt to see how much home you can afford. It’s important because you’ll know your home purchase budget ahead of time, so you don’t set your heart on a place you can’t afford. Better yet, when you find that home of your dreams, your mortgage pre-approval is going to let the seller know you have the funds available to purchase the home. 3. Choose a top real estate agent What’s the easiest way to find the right home for your budget and personal preferences? It’s choosing to work with a real estate agent who has your timeline and goals top of mind. They can help you with making a competitive offer, and they can introduce you to the neighborhoods that make sense to call home. 4. Consider living in a nearby suburb Are you looking for the best bang for your buck? Consider living in one of these Austin area suburbs. Southwest Austin - Buda Buda has a small, Texas country feel and a lot of value. It’s located 15 miles southwest of downtown Austin and is one of Austin’s fastest-growing suburbs. That, unfortunately, means there’s not much supply. If you’re fortunate enough to find your Buda dream home, expect to have a budget that can cover a home cost of $230,000 to $390,000. North Austin - Round Rock Located about 20 miles north of downtown Austin, Round Rock is another fast-growing suburb and is one of the nation’s safest cities. It’s the self-proclaimed "Sports Capital of Texas," providing residents access to a professionally designed disc golf course, twenty-field baseball complex, five-field softball complex, seven soccer facilities, and a family aquatic center. It’s also home to the Dell headquarters, making it a job hub for those who love technology. Prefer to work in Austin? You’re not too far away, but the workday commute may not be the best. So, be sure to do your research before falling in love with a Round Rock home. North Austin - Leander Leander is 30-minutes from Austin. Many suburban homes are being built, and the current median purchase price is $180,700. With beautiful views of the Texas hills, Leander is still reasonably close to Austin’s amenities and jobs. Not a fan of traffic? The town is served by the MetroRail Red Line, ensuring that you don’t have to worry about getting stuck in traffic during your morning commute. Northeast Austin - Pflugerville Pflugerville is a very diverse and growing town situated northeast of Austin. It's an outdoor lover's paradise with 28 developed parks and over 40 miles of trail within the city limits. Let’s not forget the local restaurants and housing opportunities, many of which are incredibly affordable. In fact, the June 2018 Pflugerville median home value was $243,400. That’s nearly $100,000 less than the median home value of Austin. Prefer to live in Austin? Consider the neighborhoods of Mueller, Barton Hills, Travis Country, Hyde Park, East Austin, Rosedale, Windsor Park, North Austin, West Austin, North Loop, Downtown Austin, Central Austin, Crestview, Allandale, and Old West Austin. Why Austin? In 2017, US News and World Report ranked Austin first in the U.S. for quality of life. That same year, WalletHub ranked the city sixth in their list of best places to live. Awards aside, Austinites will tell you there's no better place to call home. There's plenty to see and do. The weather is great. Let's not forget there's no income tax. Contributed by: American Financing? American Financing is a family-owned and operated mortgage lender with access to every loan in the industry https://www.americanfinancing.net/about-us/reviews
Is This Your Situation: Should I Invest in a Condo or a Co-Op? It’s imperative that you do your research before deciding whether to buy a condo or a co-op. Many people are unaware of their differences, but we’re here to change that. Keep reading to get the lowdown on condos versus co-ops. The Co-op Lowdown What you own: Contrary to what you might think when you buy into a co-op, you’re not buying the apartment itself—you’re buying a share of the building. A corporation usually owns the entire building or land and gives individual leases to every member of the co-op. Changes to the unit: Changes that you are allowed to make to the unit are limited. They have to get approved by the board first. The board: This is hugely important and is made up of residents of the building. The board controls monthly maintenance fees and even gets to decide who can buy stock in the building. This means that if you’re looking to buy into a co-op, the board must approve you first, and if you’re looking to sell your shares in a co-op, the board has to approve your buyer. The financials: Co-ops tend to be a little less expensive to purchase than condos. However, the monthly maintenance fees are higher, and it’s harder to sublease the apartment. Boards may also have restrictions on buyer financing. Fees: The monthly maintenance fees are higher than those of most condos. However, some portions of these maintenance fees are tax deductible. The Condo Lowdown What you own: When you purchase a condo, you own that specific unit as well as a stake in any of the common areas like pools, gyms, etc. Changes to the unit: Owners of condos are free to make whatever changes they deem necessary to their unit. They can change the floors, paint and make home improvements. In some cases, there may be restrictions, but they are far less strict than those of co-ops. The board: Condos are run by a homeowners association (HOA). They maintain the property and make decisions regarding the monthly maintenance fees. By contrast, in a co-op, you have voting power in what changes are made regarding the building; in a condo, this is less common. The financials: Condos typically cost more than co-ops. However, there is more leniency when it comes to buyer financing. You can also take tax deductions on your mortgage interest and property taxes. Fees: Condos usually have lower maintenance fees than co-ops. The fees cover things like snow removal and maintenance inside and outside of the building. These fees are billed monthly or quarterly. Of course, these are just the basics. Keep in mind that laws and regulations change frequently. Give us a call and we’ll discuss your particular situation. Article Provided by: Albert Clark HomeAction
New Zillow study crowns Texas homes the most valuable in the country By Lindsey Wilson Jan 29, 2020, 8:56 am If it seems like home values in Texas are soaring, that's because, well, they really are. Real estate site Zillow confirmed in a new study that Texas added more housing value than any other state in 2019, thanks in large part to a slowdown across much of California. The Lone Star State grew its total housing by a whopping $89 billion in 2019, the most in the country. California, by comparison, came in second at $77 billion, with Florida ($69 billion), Pennsylvania ($47 billion), and Washington ($45 billion) rounding out the top five. The total value of the U.S. housing market right now is $33.6 trillion, nearly as much as the GDP of the U.S. ($20.5 trillion) and China ($13.6 trillion) combined. That's up 3.4 percent ($1.1 trillion) from a year ago and 51 percent ($11.3 trillion) from the start of the decade. On a closer level, however, there are two Texas cities that made huge contributions to these numbers. Dallas-Fort Worth was one of five that added the most to the U.S. housing stock ($23 billion) — along with Washington, D.C. ($38 billion); Phoenix ($30 billion); Seattle ($30 billion); and Los Angeles ($29 billion) — while Austin's new-home surge mirrored that of Charlotte's for an impressive boost in value. Austin is also third in Texas with a housing market worth $252 billion. In the 2010s, its total housing value grew $141 billion but slowed down significantly in 2019, growing only $22 billion. The story is similar throughout Texas, with Houston growing $20 billion now compared to $221 billion in the 2010s, for a total market share of only 0.7 percent. In total, Houston homes are currently worth a total of $481 billion. San Antonio grew $70 billion a decade ago, but only $9 billion in 2019, making up 0.5 percent of the nation's total. Its total housing market worth is now $161 billion. It's not a surprise where the most valuable homes in America are: the New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco markets are all worth more than $1 trillion. Despite being worth $3.2 trillion, New York actually lost value last year, while $2.5 trillion-Los Angeles added the most value over the full decade. California lives up to its Golden State nickname, making up a whopping 21.2 percent of the nation's housing value with 12 percent of the population. To put that into context, the next most populous state, Texas, makes up 8.8 percent of the U.S. population, but only 5.9 percent of the country's housing value.
This affluent San Antonio suburb cashes in as richest city in Texas
By John Egan Jan 15, 2020
Terrell Hills is less than seven miles from downtown San Antonio. Forget Beverly Hills. Move over, Manhattan.
One San Antonio suburb is cashing in as the richest city in Texas. A new list from data provider HomeSnacks ranks Terrell Hills as the richest place in Texas with at least 5,000 residents. The company analyzed four factors to arrive at that conclusion: poverty rate, median household income, and unemployment rate, as well as "where the richest of the rich live."
Terrell Hills, with a population of 5,425 as of July 2018, boasts median household income of $175,913, a 1.2 percent unemployment rate, and a 0.7 percent poverty rate, according to the HomeSnacks ranking, released January 11. Terrell Hills also topped HomeSnacks’ 2019 list of the richest cities in Texas.
Last year, review website Niche.com also named Terrell Hills the best place to live in Texas, based on categories such as public schools, local housing, cost of living, diversity, and walkability. In 2016, Terrell Hills, just five miles northeast of downtown San Antonio, was named one of the country’s most expensive suburbs.
Real estate website Zillow says the median price of homes currently on the market in Terrell Hills is $699,000, well above the median home price of $230,600 for the San Antonio metro area. One other San Antonio suburb makes the list of the state’s richest cities.
Ninth-ranked Fair Oaks Ranch has median household income of $125,806, a 2 percent unemployment rate, and a 3.6 percent poverty rate, according to HomeSnacks. It’s about 28 miles northwest of downtown San Antonio. Zillow says the median price of homes currently listed for sale in Fair Oaks Ranch is $464,450.
Here are the 10 richest cities in Texas, as determined by HomeSnacks.
1. Terrell Hills (San Antonio) 2019 rank: 1 Median household income: $175,913 Unemployment rate: 1.2 percent unemployment rate Poverty rate: 0.7 percent
2. Bellaire (Houston) 2019 rank: 2 Median household income: $201,629 Unemployment rate: 2.4 percent Poverty rate: 1.7 percent
3. Highland Park (Dallas-Fort Worth) 2019 rank: 25 Median household income: $207,019 Unemployment rate: 2.3 percent Poverty rate: 2.7 percent
4. Melissa (Dallas-Fort Worth) 2019 rank: 5 Median household income: $113,532 Unemployment rate: 1.4 percent Poverty rate: 0.3 percent
5. West University Place (Houston) 2019 rank: 3 Median household income: $250,001 Unemployment rate: 2.9 percent Poverty rate: 1.7 percent
6. Trophy Club (Dallas-Fort Worth) 2019 rank: 6 Median household income: $142,483 Unemployment rate: 2.5 percent Poverty rate: 2.4 percent
7. Willow Park (Dallas-Fort Worth) 2019 rank: Not ranked Median household income: $119,511 Unemployment rate: 2.3 percent Poverty rate: 2.1 percent
8. Southlake (Dallas-Fort Worth) 2019 rank: 4 Median household income: $230,700 Unemployment rate: 3 percent Poverty rate: 2.2 percent
9. Fair Oaks Ranch (San Antonio) 2019 rank: 7 Median household income: $125,806 Unemployment rate: 2 percent Poverty rate: 3.6 percent
10. Coppell (Dallas-Fort Worth) 2019 rank: 13 Median household income: $123,802 Unemployment rate: 2.5 percent Poverty rate: 3.2 percent
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