Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: Real Estate - Buying a House - Austin TX- The Simple Steps to Follow- Part 3

Real Estate - Buying a House - Austin TX- The Simple Steps to Follow- Part 3

When buying a house in Austin TX, there are several steps to follow, but if broken down, it's much less intimidating. What else helps?  Doing the steps in a particular order.


For example, Part 1 of buying a house in Austin TX talked about getting Pre-Approved for a mortgage, while Part 2 talked about how to start looking for houses and neighborhoods.

The third step is how to go about looking at the insides of houses.  Yes, it's very important to know what you're looking for so you're not just walking in and out of houses wasting a lot of time.

When looking at houses, you need to keep reminding yourself that you're mostly looking for floorplan as that's the main thing that is the hardest to change.  Yes, you can knock down walls, but it's not that easy.


The second thing to be looking for is condition, even in newer homes.  This is not cosmetic.  This is about how the "functionality of the home" is, like foundation.  Does the foundation look like it's been maintained with no cracks around the exterior or the interior.  Look in the corners of your walls as well as the doors.  When walking the exterior, look in the mortar for any cracks.


If you have siding on a house, it's a little more difficult to see anything from the exterior, but pay more attention in the interior.  Straight-line cracks are typically sheet rock cracks and of no real concerns.  The same as "A frame" cracks like what you see when two pieces of wood mesh together in a vaulted ceiling.  Foundation cracks are typically zig-zag lines breaking into the Sheetrock.

When looking at houses, you should know upfront how much work you're willing to do with a house.  Are you willing to replace carpet, change vinyl to tile, change Formica counters to granite, or change dated cabinets to something else?  If updates like these are not in your current budget, are they things you can live with temporarily and change over time?


These are considered Cosmetic items. Cosmetic items can all be changed, as long as you're willing to do the work.  However, it's a bit unrealistic to go looking for houses and assume you're not going to do any changes to a house.  It could be as simple as needing to neutralize the paint because there was a bright orange bedroom with a neon yellow kitchen... but don't let someone else's color selections make you not want to buy a house.


Another important thing to remember is the staging. Some sellers stage while others don't.  Just because a house is staged doesn't necessarily mean it's better.  It's just usually "prettier".  That's why you should concentrate on floorplan first.  Look past the staging and make sure your own furniture will look good in that space.  Can you picture your TV in the Family Room?  You have a 50" and the built-in only holds a 47"?  Yikes!  Are you ok with buying a new TV?  Can the TV go on another wall?

Looking at houses is harder than it sounds, but if you break it up, concentrating on floorplan first, and cosmetics last, you'll have a much easier time.

Part 4 is going to talk about putting the offer together, so watch for it!

**Are You Packed Yet?** 

donna harris Realtor Austin TX blog

Donna Harris, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Austin Skyline

Austin TX Real Estate and the surrounding areas of Lakeway, Bee Cave, West Lake Hills, Cedar Park, Round Rock, Spicewood, Circle-C, Steiner Ranch, and everywhere in between... Hill Country Austin TX Real Estate and beyond. Whether you're buying or selling an Austin home, I'll be with you every step of the way. 

For real time Austin TX listings, click here.

** #1 Agent in my Office for all of 2008 **

Copyright© 2009 By Donna Harris, All Rights Reserved. You may re-blog with links back to this post.
* Real Estate - Buying a House - Austin TX-  The Simple Steps to Follow- Part 3 * was first published on

Comment balloon 6 commentsDonna Harris • August 17 2009 09:07AM


Hi Donna

Very informative post and insight to the buying process.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) over 9 years ago

You know that orange room just has to be the most awful Dining Room in the world, don't you?  <chuckling>  And the guy's pose makes you think he is so proud!!

Why is it buyers always think small cosmetic changes will cost a fortune?  What does it cost to repaint a room?  Couple hundred dollars?  So do-able.

Posted by Juliet Johnson, Jacksonville Photography & Digital Marketing (Vizzitopia) over 9 years ago

Donna  Like you I've enjoyed doing and reading home buying postst  Karen

Posted by Karen Kruschka, - "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS" (RE/MAX Executives) over 9 years ago

Donna you did a very thorough job of explaining the process. We need to get some of these folks to look deeper into the property they are buying and not to forget the home inspection. I don't want to rain on the parade but there are times when some serious and costly problems are found. In most cases they can be a simple fix and that is great but the biggie's can be costly.

Posted by Carl Winters over 9 years ago


What a great description of the process.  Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Richard Weeks, REALTOR®, Broker over 9 years ago

Lou, Thank you as always!

Juliet, I don't think it would even cost $200... a gallon of paint is about $20, you can add the primer to it these days, some manual labor, and you're done in under $50!

Karen, Thanks!

C & C, The biggies can definitely be costly, but if you can get the seller to fix them, more power to the buyer as well!

Richard, Thank you.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - over 9 years ago