Austin Real Estate Blog - Austin Housing Market Blog

How to Prepare When Buying a Vacation Home

How to Finance a Vacation HomeA vacation home can be a practical purchase for a home buyer who spends a lot of time vacationing in one favorite area. Some vacation home owners even rent out their cabin or vacation home while they're not there, in order to pay for the second mortgage. However, buying a vacation home and buying a primary home are very different, and the financing for a second mortgage loan is different as well. This is what home buyers need to know.

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How to Read Your Home Warranty

How Home Warranties WorkHome warranties come in all shapes and sizes, and home buyers need to understand theirs prior to closing if they want to be successful owners. From the HVAC system to the wiring, warranties keep new home buyers from having to pay for costly repairs out of pocket. Unlike home insurance, a warranty will cover parts of the property from wear and tear.

Warranties are excellent for homeowners who want to give themselves peace of mind, but warranties can be difficult to understand which can cause confusion when something actually...

Buying New Construction? Tips to Get Started

What You Need to Know About Buying New ConstructionBuying a new construction home can be an incredible thrill, but it can also be a time consuming, intimidating process. Many people who decide to buy a new construction home know little about the home-buying process and are unsure of where to begin. These tips can help buyers decide

For informational purposes only....

Private Mortgage Insurance Information for Home Buyers

What Home Buyers Need to Know about PMIUntil they buy a home, many people have never heard of private mortgage insurance. Also known as PMI, private mortgage insurance is a common type of insurance required of many people who take out a mortgage. People who are new to the home buying scene may find it helpful to know what private mortgage insurance is, who needs it, how it's obtained and other important details.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed mortgage professional...

When to DIY a Project and When to Leave Repairs to a Professional

When to Leave Home Maintenance Repairs to a ProfessionalMany homeowners want to handle home maintenance repairs themselves. After all, there are instances when doing so can save the average homeowner money and some repairs call for relatively easy fixes. However, the budget-minded homeowner does need to realize when it is best to call a licensed professional to address the problem.

Learn more about when to perform repairs yourself and when to seek professional help today.

Be Objective About the Project Requirements

There are plenty of projects which may be addressed by the average homeowner with rudimentary...

How to Choose the Right Real Estate Agent

Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent When Buying or Selling a HomeWhether buying a new home or selling the current one, all prospective buyers should work with an experienced real estate agent. Having an agent is the best way for a buyer or seller to help themselves get the best deal regarding their home as well as make sure the process runs as smoothly as possible. However, it can be difficult for buyers and sellers to know what to look for in an agent, especially if they’ve never bought or sold a home before, so here are some of the different things to know...

Why More Homeowners Are Going with Solar

Real Benefits of Residential Solar Power for Homeowners and CommunitiesThe majority of homeowners will face increasing energy bills from traditional utility companies in the years to come. The additional costs may not be offset by steps to improve a home's envelope, address drafts or reduce energy consumption. Rather, many have made the decision to find alternative sources of clean energy to supplement and even replace traditional sources, with more than 1.4 million homeowners who have decided to lease or buy residential solar...

5 Essential Packing Tips For Moving To a New Home

5 Essential Packing Tips For Moving To a New HomeMoving is a big job that takes a lot of effort, and it can easily seem overwhelming to homeowners who aren’t ready for it. But just how does someone get all of their possessions ready to move to a new home without getting stressed out? Having a plan of attack can be extremely helpful to have in mind when getting ready to move, so here are five essential steps all homeowners should use when packing up for the big move.

1. Start Packing Before the Home is Sold

While it might seem a little premature to start packing ...

8 Tips for Designing the Perfect Outdoor Kitchen

Designing The Perfect Outdoor Kitchen

Image Courtesy of Flickr

Designing an outdoor kitchen will not only provide homeowners with a lovely area to spend their time, but it will also enrich their overall home experience. Furthermore, owing to its popularity in the world of design, a stunning outdoor kitchen may even increase the value of a home at the time of sale. If a homeowner has decided to create their own cooking area for al fresco dining and entertainment, here...

Five Ways Buying a Condo Can Change the Way You Live

Five Perks of the Condominium LifestyleWhile some may call condominiums ‘overpriced apartments' or not consider them to be as ‘good' as a single-family dwelling, there are actually quite a few perks of condo living. In fact, there are a number of solid reasons to buy a condo, ranging from the quality of community life and amenities to their convenient location and potential as investments. Here are five condominium pros to think about before eliminating these types of homes as a potential option.

For informational...

Are You Ready to Buy? A Guide for Renters

How Can You Tell If You're Ready to Buy A Home? Buying a home is a big commitment. Many renters find it difficult to judge whether they have time and money to buy a home. Only by talking to a broker, inspecting the local real estate market, budgeting carefully and evaluating lifestyle factors can renters decide whether it's time to buy a home. These tips will help renters decide whether or not the time is right to buy a home.

Know Your Financial Readiness

When purchasing a home, buyers must have money up front for the down payment and for closing costs as well. The amount of money required for a down payment depends on the type of mortgage...

Try This, Not That: Making Home Showings Great

4 Ways to Make Your Home Showings GreatWhen selling a home, the most important thing the homeowner can do to help their chances of finding the right buyer is to make sure the home gives a great first impression during the showing. However, there are a number of pitfalls that homeowners may accidentally stumble into that they may not realize can be harmful to their home’s chances of selling. Here are some of those mistakes and how homeowners can make sure they don’t happen.

Stage the Home Instead of Leaving It Empty

Some homeowners think that removing the furniture from a home will help buyers be able to see just the home and not be distracted by any...

How to Apply for a USDA Home Loan

How to Apply for A USDA Home LoanUSDA loans are special loans offered by the government for people who want to move out of the city and into the more rural towns and communities across the US. They're notorious for providing extreme financial incentives for families who may be struggling. Ultimately, the government wants to revitalize communities by tempting people to live in the great wide open. For those who don't mind living outside the city limits, it may be time to find out what it takes to secure one of these loans.

Minimum Requirements

There is no down payment required when it comes to a USDA loan because the government is backing the loan in case of...

5 Best Budget-Friendly Flooring Options

“Cost

When it comes time to replace a home’s flooring, there are a multitude of different options that can suit all needs and preferences. However, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by high prices. For those who are working with a budget or just want to be budget-conscious, here are five affordable flooring options to spruce up any home to renovate or sell.

Installing Linoleum Flooring

For homeowners who want a floor that isn’t going to require special cleaning to keep it looking it best, linoleum may be a good choice. It’s sturdy and low maintenance, and it can even come in just about any style...

What You Need to Know About the 203k Loan

Homebuyer's Guide to 203k Home LoansFor those who see the potential behind a home rather than what's in front of them, the 203k loan is available to make those dreams into a reality. This loan technically falls under the FHA umbrella, but it's structured to help buyers fix up a home that may be in need of more than standard repairs. A 203k loan, however, can get complicated quickly, so learn more about this kind of available home financing option.

The Basics

A typical FHA loan requires a lower credit score of 580, but a 203k loan will ask a little more of the borrower....

5 Devices To Make Your Home Smart

5 Devices That Can Make Any Home SmartThese days, it’s impossible to walk into any sort of store that sells electronics without seeing some sort of smart device for the home. From thermostats to refrigerators, if there’s a way to connect it to a smart phone, it can be found and purchased. For those who have trouble keeping up with technology as it moves forward at the speed of life, here are five essential smart devices for homeowners who may be looking to add value to their home or even improve their home's energy efficiency not know where to start.

Smart Thermostats

Everyone...

Everything Home Buyers Need to Know About VA Loans

What Is A VA Home Loan?Are you one of many who have proudly served your country during wartime or are a reservist? In such cases, you may be eligible for a special type of loan that makes homeownership more accessible and affordable for those making a small down payment. Military personnel and their spouses may find VA loans a useful pathway to owning their first home. Understand more about the VA loan, down payments, and eligibility requirements today.

Who May Qualify for a VA Loan?

Many of those individuals who have served their country may be eligible for a VA loan. Individuals who have served honorably for at least 90 days during a period of war or for a minimum of ...

Homebuyer's Guide to FHA Home Loan Essentials

FHA Home Loan GuideAn FHA loan helps home buyers who want to purchase property but who cannot qualify for a standard loan. FHA loans are one of the most popular types of loans available to home buyers. Knowing the benefits of an FHA loan and what you can do to apply for an FHA loan can help you get the mortgage that will allow you to purchase the property you want.

FHA Loan Benefits

Many first time home buyers are attracted to FHA loans because they require a relatively low down payment. For home buyers with a credit score of 580 or above, the down payment for an FHA loan is only 3.5%. Another benefit...

What You Need to Know About Making a Down Payment on a Home

Learn the Basics of Making a Down Payment on a HomeA down payment on a home is money given to a mortgage or other lending company by someone wanting to purchase a Buda home. The purpose of a down payment is to reduce the amount borrowed by the home buyer from the lending company and to potentially decrease monthly mortgage payments. Down payments are always expressed as a percentage of what needs to be borrowed to buy a home.

Down Payments Explained

For example, if a couple wants to buy a home costing $100,000 and they have $3000 available to use as down payment, they will need to borrow $97,000 from a mortgage company,...

What You Need to Know About Conventional Mortgages

What You Need to Know About Conventional MortgagesGetting a conventional mortgage may sound simple enough, but there are more than a few twists in turns that home buyers should be aware of. Conventional loans aren't backed by the federal government, meaning if a buyer defaults on the loan, it's the lender's responsibility to pick up the slack. Because of this, lenders have a few more stipulations than they would for secured loans. Learn about the most recent changes for loans, what buyers need before applying for a loan, and what lenders are looking for in potential candidates.

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