I'm thinking about relocating my family to Austin and I will be in town August 27 through 31.

Asked by Johnny, 10314 Sat Aug 23, 2008

Should I contact a realtor to show me a couple of houses just to get the sense of the different neighborhoods? Or is that a waste of a realtor's time, since I won't be purchasing a house right away. If it is a waste of time then what would be the best way to explore the different neighborhoods.

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Betina Forem…, Agent, Austin, TX
Sun Aug 24, 2008
Dear Johnny,
If a Realtor won't take you around town to get a lay of the land, I would not work with them. It is part of the job to help you get aquainted with Austin. You need to find a Realtor you are comfortable with and one who will have your best interests at heart. This is a standard part of what I do for my clients that are relocating. The majority of my business is relocation. If you can give me an idea of where you will be working and details on the ideal home you want, I can prepare a list of available homes for you to look at. I can email you new listings as soon as they hit the MLS or it can be sent weekly or monthly if your timeline for moving is longer. Austin has many wonderful attractions. I am sure you will be happy here. Please give me a call any time to discuss what you are looking for in a home. I look forward to the opportunity to earn your business.
Web Reference:  http://www.BetinaForeman.com
1 vote
Tim Hunke, , 78746
Mon Aug 25, 2008
Many realtors prefer to have a prospective client, pre-qualified for a loan before they take them out. It is wise on your part to know how much house that you are qualified to buy so that you don't waste your time or theirs looking a property you cannot afford. A mortgage lender can do this is a very short period of time and then provide you with a letter. This can be done either on the phone or thru email.
0 votes
Carol Hooks, , 78132
Sun Aug 24, 2008

Just wanted to pass along this community to you. Havenwood at Hunters Crossing in New Braunfels, Texas. We are located 35 minutes outside of Austin close to the I35 corridor. We are a gated estate 1-3 acre community. Not sure if your family needs to be in the heart of Austin or would consider a little bit outside in the hillcountry to raise the family - (since travel time is about the same considering traffic). Here is a link to homes-acreage-the community to view: This link will show you what the parks, custom homes and the 1-2 ac lots look like:
Call me if you want more information : Carol Hooks - 210-723-9723. Best of Luck.
0 votes
Josh Thomas, , Austin, TX
Sat Aug 23, 2008
Hi Johnny,
Your best bet is to sit down with your family and discuss your priorities. As you can see from my colleagues below, Austin is a very eclectic city and you can get just about anything you want, anywhere you want. There are some things you will need to consider before your trip in order to help YOURSELF feel like you aren't wasting time. This is a familiarization trip for you, so let's help you make the most of it. Check it out.

1. Pull up a map of Austin and find the potential place(s) that you will be working.
2. Draw a radius of 10 miles (this will be about a 20 minute commute if you are in town).
3. Draw a radius of 15 miles (30 minutes and up for this range).
4. Figure out a commute that is comfortable to you and start looking in those areas (write these down).
5. Google pertinent info on them (i.e. school districts, median income, crime rate, whatever is important to you).
6. Budget out an acceptable home price range, size, amenities, etc.
7. Check the MLS (you can access it on just about any Realtor's site, including mine).
8. This will give you a head start on what to expect in the specific markets you have found so far.
9. Once this is done, contact one of us a day or two before your trip to let us know what your general needs are and maybe an area of interest. We will work feverishly to accommodate you and make your experience seamless and pleasant.
10. Most importantly, see what Austin is all about. Check out austintexas.org or austin360.com and brush up on what we have going on down here. There are certainly some places you won't want to miss on your visit. This place is certainly a far cry from Staten Island, man.

The good thing about looking ahead is that it gives you more time to focus on areas that YOU are interested in without a Realtor taking you to places you KNOW that you aren't interested in. This, in turn, will make you feel much better about your trip and Austin in general. And hopefully, when the time is right, you will come on down.

When you call a Realtor, it may be a good idea to list your needs and preferences. I have provided a sample list below for your reference. Be safe on your trip and feel free to contact myself or one of my esteemed colleagues if we can be of service. Our contact info is on our profiles.

Sample List:
1. Size: 1400-1600sf
2. Price: $180-220k
3. School: son in HS, daughter in ES
4. Location: North or South, 15 minutes from town
5. Miscellaneous: Prefer Golf Course Community

.....add or revise as you see fit. And remember, it's OK that you weren't born in Texas, just get here as fast as you can. Have a good one.
Web Reference:  http://www.dealoftheweek.org
0 votes
Julie Nelson, Agent, Austin, TX
Sat Aug 23, 2008
Johnny ... you should be seeing the pattern in the responses by now. Some realtors will not put a buyer in their car without a signed Buyer Rep Agreement but most will and recognize it as a normal part of the process ... helping you get your feet and assess your options. We are a team of 5 professionals and have two Buyer Specialists. We work with out of town clients / buyers all the time. We recommend a sit-down meeting where we can help you identify the areas of town that may meet your needs, we will plan a customized tour for you and will plan an outing to view some sample properties. You can meet the team at http://www.thenelsonproject.com, you can read some neighborhood reviews and blogs at the web below and you can search the MLS at http://www.searchAtown.com. I recommend you identify a realtor who knows the areas of town you may be interested in, knows their stuff and that you personally like. We would be happy to set up an appt for the first day of your visit.
Web Reference:  http://www.tnpblog.com
0 votes
Susan Avant, Agent, Austin, TX
Sat Aug 23, 2008
What interests you about Austin? Is your company relocating or are you just wanting to move to another part of the country? Where are you living now? It's a wonderful town, I relocated to Austin 20 years ago and still love it here.
It's always a good idea to take a "tour" of the area before you start looking at homes. Austin is different from many other cities because there are many, many pockets of interesting places to buy homes. It is best to narrow down your search based on your lifestyle. Where would your office be located? Or will you work from home? While Austin isn't huge, the traffic can be at a standstill (and I grew up in L.A.) so you want to be within a convenient drive to the office. Also, how old are your children? What actvities are important to your family? Are you wanting to live in a planned community or more urban area?
What price range do you want to stay within? That will point you toward different areas. For instance you will get a larger house for the same amount of money if you head to the north or south of town. Is that important to your family?
We have a fabulous website that allows you to search the entire MLS through a variety of different venues (mapping, address, neighborhood, etc). I suggest you start there and see if anything jumps out at you. I would be happy to help answer any questions for you and if you want to get together please don't hesitate to contact me.
Web Reference:  http://www.aveone.com
0 votes
San Juanita…, , Austin, TX
Sat Aug 23, 2008
Johnny, I'd be happy to meet with you and plan a route for a tour, provide you with maps and relocation guides, information on schools, hospitals etc. I am currently working with a company relocating to this area and helping 22 employees with their home search and move. Please register at my website and give me a call if you'd like to get together.

San Juanita (Janie) Schafer, e-PRO, GRI
512.423.1349 - direct
512.346.3550 - office
0 votes
Harmony Maro…, Agent, Austin, TX
Sat Aug 23, 2008
Hello Johnny,

I am a reator and I offer a Tour of Austin to all out of town clients. It is not a waste of time and I would be glad to help. I represent many buyers and can give you references. Give me a call or shoot me an email if you would to discuss.

Harmony Marotz
(512) 775-1164
0 votes
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