Featured in this month's Grit Issue of Austin Woman Magazine, Lindsay tells her amazing story of the power of thinking big, persevering and taking risks. She also shares her insider home buying tips for the Austin market. A very special thank you to April at Austin Woman Magazine and the entire editorial staff for making this article a reality. We are so honored to be included in the Grit Issue.
Lindsay Harris’ Home Buying Tips in the Austin Market
1. Find a good lender and get pre-approved—not just pre-qualified—before you get your heart set on a property. There are many additional costs such as taxes and HOA fees that need to be considered. Many people skip this step and are surprised and sometimes heart-broken to find out a home is not within their price range.
2. Decide what type of property and neighborhood you want to live in. Is it a single-family home, condo or high rise? We are fortunate to live in a city that offers many different types of housing and neighborhood options.
3. Find a neighborhood specialist. Everyone knows a real estate agent, but not everyone knows the agent that will best suit his or her needs. Interview two to three agents who specialize in the area you want to live in. A good agent will have the inside scoop and know lots of important details that will add value to your purchase.
4. Once you find a property that you love, make sure it’s a good fit. Drive the neighborhood morning, noon and night. Talk to the neighbors, commute to work, see if there is a coffee shop you love close by. Experiencing the area at different times is the best way to get a true sense of the activity in the neighborhood.
5. Do not overthink the home buying process. Realize that your first or even second home is most likely not your forever home. Find a home you like and can afford with the understanding that this is a stepping stone on your path to success.
6. In real estate, you make your money on the buy. Find a house with good bones. Let the small cosmetic things go and add value by making changes that are necessary and aesthetically pleasing.
7. Find out what the seller wants. Often times, it’s not just about the price. I like to have my clients write a letter explaining to the homebuyer why they love the house and want to live in it. Buyers do not always take the highest offer. A good agent will find out what their motivations are.
8. Do not be intimidated by multiple offers. Ask yourself what you are willing to pay for the home in order not to lose it. Get the house under contract and realize there is opportunity for another round of negotiation after the inspection.