rent or buy in Austin, texas

Asked by Charlie, Austin, TX Mon Oct 11, 2010

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Liz Urbina’s answer
Liz Urbina, Agent, LAREDO, TX
Sat Oct 16, 2010
Hello Charlie,
How much you currently pay in rent might have to do with your decision to buy. If you are paying anything above $700, I would challenge you find something more affordable to allow you to save $. New construction homes many times offer incentives to buyers with closing cost or free appliances etc. vs buying resale with hidden unexpected maintenance cost. However, some resales are very affordable.Scout the area you would like to purchase a home in someday and ask a realtor or mortgage banker questions about what mortgage pymts look like in such homes. Check taxes and figure out cost of maintaining such house and any homeowners association fees. If your estimated mortgage pymt, and maintenace is 1400 a month for ex. and your current rent is 1000 per month, save the difference in a bank. Continue to do this for 6 months to a year would allow you to adjust your lifestyle. Home buying is an important step so surrounding yourself with knowledgable ppl and asking questions is empowering. Ultimately Charlie, saving for a good down and for emergency maintenance fees is always a good idea. God Bless!-Liz
1 vote
1st Zero-Emi…, , Austin, TX
Wed Oct 13, 2010
Rents are skyrocketing right now, so it is about to be incredibly enticing to purchase a home, especially with unbelievably low interest rates right now that make the cost of ownership even lower. Just don't miss your mark though with the rates right now.
Rent if you don't want an investment in Austin for the next 5 years or so.
Rent if your income is unstable.
Rent if you yourself take less pride in ownership (nothing wrong with that).
Rent if your living situation is unstable and you don't want to stay vested in Austin over the next few years.

Buy if you are financially/career stable.
Buy if you plan to at least keep a vested ownership in Austin for the next few years.
Buy if you are the type to have "pride of ownership" desires (adding your own touches and having a say in your community).
Buy if you want to take advantage of affordability in one of the United States top cities to live in (for many different reasons.

check out the array of videos about Austin Tx, found on my website (below my intro video).

Buy if you want to be a part of history and a part of Austin Tx culture that you can look back on one day with pride of ownership, community contribution, and an investment.
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1 vote
Ricardo Pena…, Agent, Pflugerville, TX
Mon Oct 11, 2010

Here is what I call the TAX advantage:

You've heard again and again how buying a home is the best tax break around.
Maybe you've even been called a chump for renting. After all, paying $1,200 a month for your mortgage is really the equivalent of paying $900 a month in rent. But how does that work exactly? Here's the deal:

Mortgage interest (including points) and real estate taxes are tax deductible. That doesn't sound very sexy, but it adds up. Since most of what you pay for your mortgage in the first years is interest, on a $1,200 mortgage payment you get to deduct about $1,080 a month. That reduces your taxable income by about $13,000 a year. If you're in the 28% tax bracket, that deduction is worth about $300 a month.

To see the benefit, you can either wait for a big payout after you file your income-tax return, or adjust what is withheld from your paycheck each month. Claim additional allowances on your W-4 form and your paycheck will jump immediately. You'll have to do the worksheet on the back of the W-4 form to figure out how many additional allowances you can claim. But using the above example, you could take two or three more.
1 vote
Don Groff, Agent, Austin, TX
Mon Oct 11, 2010
Hello Charlie,

That is a difficult question to answer for you not knowing more information. Obviously we have historic low rates not seen since the 1950's at the time I am writing this response. The main thing you want to look at is how long do you plan to own the home you may or may not purchase? If you plan to own the home for at least 4-5 years it probably makes sense to purchase something. If you see yourself moving in 3 years or less it probably makes sense to rent.

I am a mortgage broker and Realtor in Austin and 30 year rates are currently at 3.75% with zero points. Here is an example of how interest rates allow you to own more house for the same money. Let's say you want to purchase a house for $200,000. Assuming that is your loan amount and disregarding down payments etc your payment would be $926.23. If rates go to 5% you would need to look for a home priced around $175,000 to keep a similar monthly payment.

So if you think you will be in the home for at least 4 to 5 years it may make sense. If not do some hard thinking about your situation. If you would like to discuss your options and different payment options please let me know. I give my clients reduced fees on their mortgage when I represent them as their Realtor on the purchase of a home and I would be happy to help you.

Best of luck to you.

Don Groff
REALTOR & Mortgage Broker
Keller Williams & 360 Lending Group
1 vote
Spirit Messi…, Agent, Tucson, AZ
Tue Apr 5, 2011
You will get a lot of answers and opinions from agents and realtors. I would also suggest you speak with a CPA for tax ramifications of owning a home, as you can "write off" the interest you pay on your mortgage. Also, speak with a financial advisor, as many will tell you owning a home is considered "a good debt". In the end, look at what it would cost you in rent a month Vs a house in your price range; you can use a mortgage calculator to see what a $150K house would cost in monthly mortgage. Only you can decide if you can continue to live renting or if you want the freedom of owning your own home, hard to put a price on that.

Are you pre-approved? Before you even start looking, I strongly suggest you meet with a local lender, get pre-approved, review a mortgage calculator with them, and etc. If you can't get approved now, they can work with you so that you can improve your scores so in time, while you save for the down payment you can also increase your scores.

Best of luck.
0 votes
Sam Trevino, , Austin, TX
Tue Apr 5, 2011

Call me. Lets figure out whats right for you.

Sam Trevino, REALTOR®
Keller Williams Realty
(512) 299-6321
0 votes
George Kiefer, Agent, Austin, TX
Mon Oct 11, 2010
Good about of discounted foreclosure inventory to consider. Great time to buy. Good amount of Fannie Mae owned inventory to look at (many of those have already been fixed-up by Fannie post foreclosure).
0 votes
vivianne dor…, Agent, Austin, TX
Mon Oct 11, 2010
Charlie, this is the $60K question that only you can answer. Some people are comfortable renting all their life, others want have that pride or homeownership, but it comes with a price. When you rent, you don't have to worry about home repairs, home insurance and most importantly, property taxes which are very high in Austin and even higher in the surrounding areas (but home prices are lower let's say in Round Rock or Pflugerville). As one of the other agents mentioned in his answer, rents have increased in the past year quite a bit and maybe for just a little bit more money you can own. A house is a home, but also an investment and when home prices go up again (they will eventually), you could congratulate yourself for having bought when interest rates were very low and home prices more affordable than ever.
Whatever route you choose, I can help, just let me know.
0 votes
Bill Austin, Agent, Austin, TX
Mon Oct 11, 2010
Quite an encompassing question and would be irresponsible for to make assumptions as to what is right for you. If you'd like to make an appointment to discuss your situation I'd be available to you.

In general in the Austin Metro rents on houses have gone up enough that buying in many cases is less expensive than renting, in a macro view. Buying requires more available funds from the buyer to get the deal done than rentings up front costs.

0 votes
Voices Member, , Austin, TX
Mon Oct 11, 2010
Buy! Rates are low, prices are right.... there's no reason to throw your money away on rent, when you can own for virtually the same cost.

Good luck Chuck! LOL. Please let me know how Lennar can help in your search.
0 votes
Courtney Old…, Agent, Austin, TX
Mon Oct 11, 2010
This is a great question that many people, just like yourself, are asking. Because there is such a great demand for help, we offer Home Buying sessions once a month; our upcoming one is set for October 21st. We address the pros/cons of Lease vs. Buy options, give you the financial formula to success and answer any questions you have. Visit our website, for more information about our team or give us a call at (512) 531-2904 to come to the class. It's free and includes dinner too!
0 votes
Betina Forem…, Agent, Austin, TX
Mon Oct 11, 2010
Dear Charlie,
It all depends on what you want. Interest rates are phenomenally low right now so its a great time to buy. When you rent your just buying the house for somebody else. The first step is to get pre-qualified and see what you can specifically afford. THen have an agent help you look for the right home. Please let me know if I can help you find the right property for sale or lease.
0 votes
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