Home Buying in Austin>Question Details

Jesica, Home Buyer in Swartz Creek, MI

how do i go about buying a home in austin texas when i live in swartz creek, michigan? will this cause many problems? should i move before i buy?

Asked by Jesica, Swartz Creek, MI Tue Apr 12, 2011

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi, Jesica.
Best advice I read on this list is worth repeating: Why do you want to buy without visiting or living here first? Take your time, find a short-term rental property and once your feet have walked the Austin soil and you know what areas you like, you'll make a better decision.

Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 12, 2011
Hi! My fiance is from Grand Rapids, MI...just about an hour and a half from you. Call me if you want to chat! Unless you have been here before or are trying to move next to someone you know, renting may be the best. I can help find a place for you to rent or a place to buy! I can send pictures or even take my laptop and Skype so you get live video!! :) Good luck either way! It is much warmer down here! My in-laws are still there and are trying to get here too....they may just want to catch a ride with you!! just kidding!

Sean Graff
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 28, 2011
Jesica, Only you can answer that question, but I highly recommend leasing in Austin, before you buy here. We live in a dynamic and beautiful city, and every neighborhood is different. The best way to know this, is spending time visiting neighborhoods, dining in the restaurants, coffee shops, knowing traffic patterns related to your work site, etc. In addition, if you are still trying to sell a home in Michigan, many home sellers won't want to sell their home to you, contingent upon you selling your home in Michigan. Hope this helps! Good luck, and welcome to Austin!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 12, 2011
Hi, Jessica,

I work with a lot of relocating home buyers. Are you planning to move to Austin in the near future or do you want to buy a house as an investment. Whether you are moving or investing, I would be happy to help you. First I need to find out from you what exactly you are looking for, what price range you are in, if you have any particular neighborhoods in mind, how soon you plan to buy and what kind of loan arrangement you have, if any. Once I get all this info, I can immediately start working for you and send you home listings that fit your criteria. Of course, whether you buy for yourself or as an investment, it is advisable to come to Austin for a few days and look at homes in several areas. If you find the right one, we can then write a contract and go from there. I am used to working long distance with my clients and I will take care of everything involved and keep you posted. Any document can be emailed or faxed.

Please contact me to discuss this further.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 12, 2011
Opinions vary. I really like the idea of renting for 6 months before you buy, for several reasons. I understand this will not be the "easiest" with having to move a couple of times or even putting most in storage & living "Spartan" lifestyle for 6 months in a studio or small apt if you have a family. However, this will allow you to get a feel for the city, what or which subdivisions you want to live in or near and really get a more clear picture of the market.

Of course, I would suggest you find a local agent or Realtor to help you, pretty sure you can find one on here or Zillow.com is a great free resource too. One nice different on Zillow.com is that agents can't simply write their own reviews, past clients do & it allows you to see first hand the type of agent they are.

Best of luck to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 12, 2011
Hi Jessica,
I would need to know if you need to sell before you buy...to answer your question. I dont really agree wth renting here before you buy. Contact an agent and come to Austin for a few days. Let us send you a relocation packet, tell us what you are looking for.. i.e. are schools important, location to your job, medical, price range...etc.. There are so many great neighborhoods that you will fall in love with. I have many friends
who are from Michigan and I would love to help you find a home. You could even meet with my Michigan friends to get their advise and maybe establish a friendship! I can also put you in contact with a lender, insurance company and help you from start to finish. Let me know what I can do.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 12, 2011
Dear Jesica:

You should definitely move before you buy. You did not specify whether or not you are moving here for a job. If not, then you will need to get one! I think it would be less stressful to rent at first, get the lay of the land and then buy.

We welcome you,

Mary Strickler
Realtor GRI
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 12, 2011
Hi Jessica,
I recently worked with buyers from out of town who flew in for few days to go home shopping. Even though they had never been to Austin before, they found their dream home within 24 hours of their arrival. I assure you I spend days and hours preparing and there were many communications that went between us to educate them about different areas and the market. You will need to find a Realtor with exceptional service and knowledge to take care of you.

Good luck with your search and please let me know if I can be of any help.

Sari Inoue Pearce
Turnquist Partners Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 12, 2011
Hi Jessica,

I think the Michigan agent has provided you solid advise. If you have a home in Michigan that you need to sell, you should meet with a local agent who can give you solid advise on what your home will sell for and how long it will take.

I would also recommend you speak to a Texas lender who can confirm your ability to purchase in Texas and what price you will be qualified for. In most cases, you will need to have a new job to qualify for a mortgage.

If you would like, we can refer you to our preferred lender who will answer all of your lending questions with no obligation. Additionally, I would invite you to login to our website, http://www.homecity.com to give you a sense of the homes in the Austin area.

Please don't hesitate to call us if you have any questions. We can be reached toll-free at 877-284-2489. Have a great day!

Philip Artt
HomeCity Real Estate
Web Reference: http://www.homecity.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 12, 2011
Jesica, as you see below there are quite a few great agents in Texas. The question I would ask you first is do you need to sell your home in Michigan and use the money you get from it to purchase the home in Texas.

I am a Michigan agent, if you need assistance with listing it I would be happy to meet with you.

Pam Bava, Realtor
Real Living Kee Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 12, 2011
Hi Jesica,

There are a couple of things that I would do:

1. Learn as much about neighborhoods, prices, schools, etc.(whatever is important to you) while you are still in Michigan. A Realtor will have a lot of tools and information that you will find useful while shopping online.

2. Communicate with your Realtor the important things you are looking for.

3. Visit Austin using your Realtor as a tour guide showing you both homes and neighborhoods.

Please feel free to contact me anytime if you would like information on any neighborhood or home.


Steve Nusinow
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 12, 2011
You need to work with a Realtor that you can communicate with very easily and make sure they understand exactly what you want. When your Realtor has a clear understanding of your wants and needs it is much easier to locate the best properties to match your interests. It is possible to send you all of the information you need to make an informed decision. Using trusted inspectors will help you understand the condition of the property and any needed repairs. While it's always best if you can see the property before you buy, it is possible to do that with video, pictures and inspector's reports. If you have a home to sell, it is often easier to sell, relocate and then purchase. If you have the resources to purchase before you sell your current home, then you have the option of relocating in situations where you must make the move because of a new job or family demands. Your personal needs determine whether it makes sense to purchase before you move. Communication of your wants and needs and great detail on what your priorities are and what is important to you and your family is most important. Finding a Realtor who you feel completely understands your wants, needs and priorities is very important if you are considering purchasing long distance. When you feel that you are able to communicate freely and completely, you will feel comfortable attempting a relocation from out of town.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 12, 2011
Jesica -

As mentioned, you can buy a house without setting foot in it, but I also discourage it. Your home should speak to you - resonate with you when you walk in the door. After all, you are planning on walking in that door (hopefully) thousands of times.

If you are sure that you are going to live in Austin, maybe a marathon weekend of house hunting is in order. If you are just considering Austin, perhaps leasing is the way to go. Either way, we are happy to help.

Peace in your home,

Doug Vogelsass
REALTOR :: Agents for Change

cell :: (512) 739-0457
eFax: :: (918) 513-5112
email :: doug@myagentsforchange.com

15% of our net agent fees at the closing of our client's property will be donated to a charitable organization of their choice. We do this with ALL clients. This is our way of expressing our appreciation to both our clients and the worthy causes dedicated to the betterment of our communities.

9600 Escarpment Blvd :: Suite 745-75 :: Austin, TX :: 78749
Sponsoring broker :: David Komie, Attorney-at-Law (License# 584762).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 12, 2011
Believe it or not I have sold many houses sight unseen. But these people were also experienced investors or people that were buying a new home. If you are familiar with the area, know where you want to live, we can send you everything available in that area. Maybe you could fly down fora marathon weekend. That way we can find what you want within two days! New homes are the easiest!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 12, 2011

Buying a home from another state is not nearly as difficult as it used to be. Most of the lending and real estate documents can be handled quite easily thru the internet. There are many fine realtors and mortgage lenders here in Austin with whom I work with as a lender. If you are not planning on coming to Austin and physically seeing the home at least before you sign the contract, I would not recommend that. There are too many things that photos can distort or not show fairly. We have many out-of-state buyers that do a great deal of their shopping online. If this is to be an investment property and is not going to be owner occupied, then the trip may not be as necessary. However, extreme caustion should be exercised.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 12, 2011

Even if my mother were moving to Austin, I would never allow her to buy a home without coming here for at the very least a couple of days visit.

Personally, no matter how good I or any other broker/agent is, there is no way to replace your own feelings with theirs.

If you simply can't visit before you have to move, don't buy, rent a place on a short term basis first.

As everyone else will suggest, my firm can help you with a purchase, or a short term or long term rental.

There's just nothing to replace being here to see Austin, and see what and where you're going to buy or rent.

Best regards,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 12, 2011
You need to qualify for a loan , if you move are your relocating with same company? Or searching for new employment?

Mortgage broker speak direct with them for your options HAVE a loan officer in Texas

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 12, 2011
Hi, Jesica!

I moved to Austin from Wisconsin 10 years ago, and I absolutely love it here! I do not miss the Wisconsin winters.

If you are interested in buying a home in Austin, the first thing you should do is talk to a mortgage professional to find out how much home you can afford. I work as a loan officer at a wholesale mortgage bank located in Austin, TX. I am more than happy to discuss your current situation and give you an idea on how much home you can afford to buy. Please feel free to contact me at 512-584-6109 at your convenience.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 12, 2011
Is there really a Jesica in Michigan? Call me if there is. 512 431 8428.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 12, 2011
Hi Jessica! Technology is a wonderful thing. A long distance visit via the internet, using our real estate tools can give you a great idea about what is affordable for you and what is not. Once a "wish list" of items you want in a home is established, and we determine if schools or work is going to impact location, we can narrow the field down to a manageable number of homes for you to review and choose from. Your knowledge of the area already will determine the length of the process and how soon in the process you would need to physically visit Austin. If you know nothing of Austin except what you've read in the newspaper then you only have 1/3 of the story! If you have friends or family here that have kept you informed about what Austin is all about, the process will be easier. Other factors such as the term on your current lease or whether you have to sell a home to move, will impact the process as well, but those things can be worked around seamlessly. I sold a home to a person that never physically saw the property until the day of closing when he flew to Austin to move, but that was an extreme case where he also had friends here in town to preview the property and be here for property inspections that are required. Lots of video and photographs were required but he was happy with the final result when he did get here. Let me know if I can help and welcome to Austin!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 12, 2011
First of all make sure you have a good agent! Do you plan on moving to Austin to live in the home? Do you need to sell a home in Michigan? Are you at all familiar with Austin? Really you should talk to an agent about your situation to come up with the best plan of action. Every situation is different. Let me know if I can help.

Brandon Faught
Goldwasser Real Estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 12, 2011
I have had relocation buyers with 48 hours to buy or not get the job. We talked in depth and then they had to totally trust my understanding of what they wanted and understanding of our city. That takes a lot of faith.

The other end of the spectrum is to find a rental for 6 months and get to know the area. You probably end up throwing away a month or two of rent, but the lower stress may be worth it.

BTW, we moved from Livonia in 1973 and never looked back. I love Austin!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 12, 2011
Hello Jesica,

That is a tough question. Here are some things to consider that may help you make your decision.

Where will you be living in Austin? Do you have employment already lined up? Interest rates are low and it is definitely a buyer's market but if you are not too familiar with Austin it may make sense to rent for a while and see exactly where you "fit in" the best.

I love Austin and live in Cedar Park which is just outside the Austin city limits. If you would like a relocation guide or to talk further about your options please give me a call or shoot me an email and I can send you a welcome package.

Don Groff
REALTOR | Mortgage Broker | Consultant
Buy - Sell - Lease - Invest
Keller Williams Realty | 360 Lending Group
o.512.669.5599 m.512.633.4157

Don Groff
REALTOR | Mortgage Broker | Consultant
Buy - Sell - Lease - Invest
Keller Williams Realty | 360 Lending Group
o.512.669.5599 m.512.633.4157
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 12, 2011
A couple healthy options. Can you call me right now to discuss for a couple of minutes?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 12, 2011
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