Affordability has become a crucial issue in Austin. Increasing numbers of homeowners facing financial pressures—in both the short or long term— that may be pushing them into hard decisions: missing mortgage payments, facing foreclosure, falling behind on property taxes, or considering selling their homes and moving someplace else.
Risks of Selling to a Home Flipper
The tight housing market has attracted a number of real estate investors known as “House Flippers.” House flipping is a quick-profit strategy to buy older homes or houses facing foreclosure at a fairly cheap price (sometimes at 70 percent - 50 percent of the current value), make some minor upgrades, and then sell them at a higher price. This can be lucrative for the house flipper, but it is not necessarily a good deal for the homeowner.
Homeowners should be careful any time they sell their homes. Remember that a house flipper and a homeowner don’t have the same interests in the sale. A flipper’s goal is to buy the house at the cheapest price and sell it for the maximum profit. A seller’s interest is to get the best price as a return on their property investment.
So, what are your options?
Get solid, professional advice—preferably from a licensed real estate professional. A real estate professional works to protect the homeowner’s interests in getting a fair-market price for the house through market exposure and advertising, she/he works on commission, and thus shares your financial incentive. A real estate agent is licensed by the Texas Real Estate Commission to conduct real estate transactions in Texas. A REALTOR® is a professional real estate agents whom abides by a strict Code of Ethics that exceeds legal requirements and commits them to honoring and respecting clients' interests.
If you are still thinking of selling, consider whether you may want to do some easy upgrades/repairs (i.e., a fresh coat of paint, landscaping the front yard, upgrading faucets in the kitchen or bathroom, or simple decluttering) to get a better price. AND, you keep the profit instead of putting money into the house flipper’s pocket.
If you are having trouble paying property taxes or a monthly mortgage, the City, the County and your mortgage company offer different opportunities you can choose from to avoid having to sell. You may be eligible to refinance or modify your mortgage loan, lowering your payment and making it more affordable. Or, if you’ve missed payments and have late fees or past-due amounts, you may qualify for a temporary (or permanent) solution to help you get your finances back on track and avoid foreclosure.
If you are worried about any of these issues, the sites below will guide you through some available tools and how each may fit into your experience as a homeowner.
There are many factors that affect homeownership, and property taxes are often the most misunderstood. The good news is that there are different ways to deal with them that fit your specific needs. If done correctly, property taxes can unlock other opportunities to make your home more affordable. If you are concerned about issues like late property taxes, missed mortgage payments, foreclosure, or if you are considering seling your home quickly to solve your financial problems, you have options that can help you keep your home.
Property tax exemptions help you lower the taxable value of your property and your tax liability. How does this work? Let's say yourtax bill says your home is appraised at $100,000 and you qualify for a $5,000 exemption, this means you will pay taxes on $95,000 of the value of your home.