Home Buying in Austin>Question Details

Tashistation, Other/Just Looking in

what's the secret to finding something under $450k in Allandale? Seems it has gotten so expensive and there is no inventory.

Asked by Tashistation, Tue Jan 29, 2013

This question was asked from this property: http://www.trulia.com/rental/3088821869-1505-Forest-Trl-Aust…

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Betina Foreman’s answer
Dear Tashistation,
The secret is to hop into a time machine and go back to 1980-1990. LOL This area is very sought after, and kind of small. Many people want to live there so its the old law of supply and demand. The demand is high so the prices are too. I sincerely wish there was a better answer, but there really is not. Sometimes you can find condos in your desired neighborhood which will be more affordable than a free standing house. That might be one option to consider. Or you may consider a neighborhood that borders Allandale, thats not quite so pricey. I wish you the very best of luck finding what your looking for!

2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 29, 2013
The short answer? Be aggressive.

1) Make sure you have all the information. Realtors can set you up on a search of the MLS that is constantly monitoring for homes that fit your needs. When a new listing hits the MLS (3 bed, 2 bath, under $350K in specific zips, for example) you will receive an email with the details.

2) Work with a lender NOW to get prequalified. You MUST have this letter in hand to make any offer.

3) Work with a realtor to hunt for pocket listings that you might otherwise miss. There are homes in the high demand areas that are being bought and sold every day... and never appear in the MLS.

Let me know if you have other questions!

Bryan Treat
JB Goodwin
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 29, 2013
Try working with an algent and firm based in the Allandale area. We have many "pocket listings" that never make it to the MLS.
Also, I have been living and working central Austib real estate for 30 years....... I can help you, too!

Michael Clawson
Goldwasser Real Estate
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 29, 2013
I don't know if you have noticed, but Austin has grown by almost 50% in the last decade. That's DOUBLE the number of people here than just a few years ago. Combine that with some great neighborhoods, and lifestyles, and you have your answer.

The key to getting a great place ANYWHERE, is not to have automatic searches set up, or drive around everyday - but to have an agent that is well-connected in a large office. They will have the insight to properties that are about to come onto the market, before they hit the MLS system.

Once they are in the MLS, or realtor's database the game is over.

You have to find them before they get listed for a decent chance in the 2013 market. That's the honest truth.

There are lots of things to talk about regarding the Austin Real Estate market - if you ever want a cup of coffee, let me know and I'll gladly chat with you about some strategies to get you a great place in Allendale.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 30, 2013
I know a house on an amazing lot that isn't listed but the owner is willing to sell for the right price - I tried to buy it myself in the summer but he just wasn't ready to make the move.

It's a very desirable lot and location but the house is in more or less original condition. I would have spent $100k to remodel but it is in livable condition now. If you are interested, give me a call.

My wife and I spent half of last year looking for the same thing you are asking about and we ended buying on the edge of Allandale / Rosedale (but spent more). We included Crestview in our search.

As mentioned already, right now inventory is low but that should pick up in the spring. And it will depend on what condition you are willing to look at (remodeled or "time-capsule" needing improvement).

Charles McLagan, CNE, SFR
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 31, 2013
This should help you choose the areas to explore: http://www.myclients1st.com/school%20ratings.htm
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 31, 2013
thanks Rosalia. I've done a lot of research on schools so know where the good ones are. But where I get stuck is figuring out which schools have homes nearby that meet our criteria. Seems there is very very little in our price range. It's bumming me out. I don't want to live in the suburbs forever! ;)
Flag Thu Jan 31, 2013
interesting responses. I thank you all for your time. Are there other areas I should be looking in that will meet our criteria: 450k or under, 1400 square feet (ish) or larger, near a school rated at least an 8 on great schools, at least 2 BR, ideally 3?

No suburbs please. I'm currently doing that and it is not for me.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 31, 2013
Being on a search list so that you and your Agent get notified immediately when a property comes on the market that meets your search criteria.

Bill Friedrich
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 29, 2013
Are you interested in Allandale or Tarrytown? The home in the link above is for the latter. Regardless, patience is important. Many folks have shared that inventory increases as we moved towards spring. Doesn't mean you will find the exact fit right out of the gate. If you have a plan and work against it, you will be able to make good decisions quickly and find the home. Have you considered driving through the neighborhood and identifying homes you like? Maybe drop a letter or two, see if the current owner is willing to sell to you or maybe knows a neighbor thinking about a move. Or go the traditional way - hire a professional to bird-dog for you.

Good luck!

John Crowe, Broker
Keller Williams
(512) 636-0100
Web Reference: http://www.crowehomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 29, 2013
thanks for your reply. I am interested in tarrytown also, but mostly focused on Allandale because it seems I have the best chance of getting something affordable and over 1500 sq ft that is near a good school for under 400-450k. Of course, if I am missing out on some neighborhoods, please do let me know :)
Flag Tue Jan 29, 2013
You can find homes in Allandale under 450k, but like others have said, you need to be poised and ready when something good comes on the market. Here is a link to Allandale and Crestview inventory today.


You can set up listing alerts at this site too so when homes you want in the 78757 zip code hit the market, you will know about them right away.

A mortgage preapproval is a good idea too. I am both Realtor and Lender, so contact me to get started or apply on line at http://www.myTxhomeloan.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 29, 2013
Right now inventory is very low but as spring approaches it will increase, although I do not expect buyer demand to go down very much. What you should do is work with a skilled Realtor like myself, get pre-approved with a lender, and then have me set you up with a real-time website that will update you immediately with any new listings, price drops, et cetera. This way you can stay on top of what is available a day or two ahead of consumer sites such as Trulia, et cetera. You can also run your own searches at any time and have direct real-time access into the Austin MLS. It is a great tool that gives you a major advantage!

Feel free to click on my name and review my Credentials and Client Testimonials and let me know if you would like some excellent, free, professional representation. I work very hard seven days a week to find my clients just what they are looking for, and then negotiate the lowest possible price. I have negotiated over $900 million in my career.

Joe Jarusinsky, Realtor/Master Instructor, Keller Williams Realty, Austin's #1 Real Estate Company, Ranked #1 by Buyers and Sellers (JD Power & Assoc. 2012)
Call 512-261-4415
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 29, 2013
I wouldn't expect inventory to increase much this year. In fact, I'm thinking we are going to have a lot of multiple offers on the limited number of houses in 2013.
Flag Wed Jan 30, 2013
Hire a Realtor (like me) to stay on top of the market for your target area and get you there when something that fits your criteria comes on the market.

Ron Cullinan
Avalar Austin
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 29, 2013
Depends on your expectations. If you are willing to do updates yourself and/or purchase under 2,000 sq.ft home, it is doable. In general, inventory decreases this time of year. Give it a few months but definitely, be ready (mortgage pre-approved and hire a Realtor) since the area is in high demand and good homes will sale fast.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 29, 2013
My pleasure. I can set a dedicated search by school/school district. Here's a link to school ratings: http://www.myclients1st.com/school%20ratings.htm
Flag Thu Jan 31, 2013
hi rosalia, interesting, I saw the one on parkdale but not the other two. thank you for posting those.
Flag Thu Jan 31, 2013
Check these MLS: 4558290, 3535049 and 3176890. If these do not show in your search, something is odd. A Realtor can set up a dedicated search for you with your criteria and perhaps expand to surrounding areas if you so desire. Since the serch is feed directly from the MLS, the information is the freshest (unlike this site or others) and you can manage it, marking favorites, posting your comments, etc. If you are not working with a Realtor, I would be happy to set it up for you, provide lending referrals, be ready to show you the properties you're interested in as soon as they hit the market and provide you with all information I can possible gather so that you make the right decision when ready. There is no charge to buyer clients for my services.
Flag Tue Jan 29, 2013
I've lowered my search to 1200+ square feet and am still not seeing anything. Didn't think about the seasonality of inventory, so thank you for pointing that out. I'll keep an eye out in the spring and hope that something becomes available.
Flag Tue Jan 29, 2013
I used to live in Allandale, and your criteria can be met. Right now, inventory levels are low, but I expect new listings to increase as we enter the spring.

I would be happy to set up your own personal website showing only homes that meet your criteria. Also, on my homepage, you can just click on Allandale and see the current inventory at anytime.

Please feel free to contact me for a no obligation consultation.

Steve Nusinow
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 29, 2013
You can set up some trigger alert searches either by yourself on web sites such as REALTOR.com or Trulia.com and also get the assistance from a good buyer agent in the area. Real estate agents who work the Austin area can set up special MLS trigger alert searches that deep dive into the database and sometimes find you special search hits not available elsewhere. You could also work the fringe of Allandale and look in nearby very nice areas such as Brentwood. If you wish, you can send me a note, and I will give you some other ideas.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 29, 2013
A great Realtor and lots of patience! ;)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 29, 2013
There is no secret, prices are what they are. Allandale is an expensive, desirable neighborhood and if you want to live there, you have to pay the price. If price is too high there, you can either look for a smaller property or change your search to a less pricey area. I wish there was a secret that I would share with you, but , alas, there isn't.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 29, 2013
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