We have all heard the old addage the most important thing to consider about real estate is location, location, location. But what does that mean what are some other things you need to consider when looking for a home? Here are 6 things to consider when moving to the Austin Area.
In most cases, the first thing people think about is how long will take to get back and forth to work. Due to the traffic in Austin, that is a huge consideration. Should the home be north, south, east or west of the office in order to reduce commute times? What do you do if your spouse works in a different location than you do? Would you try to find a home somewhere in the middle? What is an acceptable commute time?
Fortunately we've found some great tools to answer those questions and to help you figure out where to start looking. This Drive Time Search is tool is great. Just type in where you driving to, when you need to arrive, how long you want it to take, and your home price and feature parameters and it will show you the homes within the commuting time you wanted to your office or other location.
One of the most overlooked things to consider is the school district. Being in the right school district can make a major difference in the price you'll pay, home appreciation and how fast a home will sell in the future. Our Great Schools tool can help you see the school ratings or you can go directly to the Texas Education Agency site and view individiual report cards on specific schools.
Due to the different costs of school taxes, land development, utility districts and city requirements an identical home across the road may have significantly higher taxes. Since your mortgage payment and qualification depend upon taxes it is important to compare property taxes. Texas has the 4th highest real estate tax rate in the US. You may be able to qualify for a home in one state but not qualify for the same home in Texas due to the high tax rates. If you'd like to find out what the taxes are on a property the local counties have websites to help you with determining the taxes on a property. Make sure however that you check with your Realtor about any exemptions that property may have on it like over 65 or diababled person or the taxes were frozen.
Williamson County's website is http://tax.wilco.org/Tax-Estimator, Travis County's site is https://tax-office.traviscountytx.gov/property-tax-estimator