- Talk to a Lender and Get Mortgage Pre-Approval
The first step is to talk to a mortgage lender. They will let you know the maximum mortgage / house price you can get at the current interest rates, considering your income, debt, and credit score. They can also provide you with a pre-approval letter, which is a vital part of making offers. Most Sellers will not accept an offer (and take the property off the market) until the Buyer provides proof of financial capability.
- Find Your Price Range
The lender will let you know your maximum house price and help you find different loan programs that are best for you. But, you need to find yourself what you are comfortale paying. We have created a calculator to help determine the maximum house price depending your desired monthly payment.
- Start your Austin Home Search
These days, the Austin home search starts on the internet. We have two search tools that you may use: a self-serve, map-based Austin home search and a form-based home search. You will be automatically emailed when something new comes on the market that fits your criteria. If you see something you like, we will preview those homes.
- Make an offer
So now we have found a house you like, so
let's make an offer. The offer consists typically of a standard form
used by all Texas Realtors that spells out the offer price along with
many other details we will talk about at the time we draw it up. Also, we
will research the Austin real estate market and neighborhood for similar homes to help you
decide how much to offer.
- The Option Period and a Home Inspection
After an offer is accepted by the Seller, you should schedule
an inspection as soon as possible. You will typically have a
7-10 day option period in which you can get the main inspection as well as
any other inspections (like foundation) or estimates done. With this
information, you may decide to renegotiate with the Seller, or
everything is as expected, and you move on.
Closing happens at the title company. You
review the settlement statement, sign a lot of documents, pay the down-payment
and/or closing costs, and get the keys.