Tips for getting a house in Austin as residential prices increase

Interest in the homes for sale in Austin is rising, and as a result, a market that once favored buyers is quickly shifting in the favor of sellers. However, you can still take advantage of plenty of opportunities to find affordable housing in Texas' capital city.

Consider the following tips to get an Austin residence that fits your budget.

1. Develop a game plan
Understand what the Austin housing market has to offer and explore properties that satisfy your preferences. There is an abundance of residences available in Austin, and those who know what they want can move fast to acquire quality homes.

For example, those who want to live in a trendy area of the city might choose to live in downtown Austin. This section is home to several art galleries, including Art Amici, the Arthouse at the Jones Center and the Austin Museum of Art, so art enthusiasts are sure to find a lot to like about this area.

2. Review your options with lenders
Financial institutions can help you examine your housing options. Experts at these institutions could help you get pre-approved for loans, and they can provide information to help you determine which homes will fit within your long-term budget.

Now is an ideal time for many people to buy homes in Austin because of the lower-than-average interest rates available on various fixed-term mortgages. Freddie Mac notes that the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-term allowance was 3.41 percent as of October 25, 2012. Meanwhile, the source also states that people could receive 15-year fixed-term mortgages at an average interest rate of 2.72 percent as of the same date. Consulting with lenders to learn more about these loan options and others that could help make your dreams of homeownership come true.

3. Find your new home
After you've developed a strategy and explored mortgage options with lenders, you'll be ready to view houses and find your new residence in Austin. Knowing what questions to ask could prove helpful, as you'll be able to learn a lot about a property from its previous owners.

Ask homeowners if any changes have been completed in the past few years. This can help give you a better idea about any maintenance or repairs that might need to be completed in the future.