The median home price in Austin according to the Austin Board of Realtors is just over $308,000, based on a 20% down payment.  In order to afford a home in that price range, a buyer needs an income of roughly $70,000.  We are ranked number 25 most expensive of the 50 most populous cities in America.

While it is possible to find an occasional bargain under $300,000 in the Austin proper area, they are highly sought after, often bought by investors for cash, and almost always part of a multiple offer scenario.  So for the home buyer that wants to buy under $300,000, I recommend being very patient, and working with a Realtor that can get you listings before they come on the market.

If you put less money down, the payment goes up by about $10 for every $1,000 you put down.  The debt ratios vary by the type of loan that you are getting.  I work with competitive loan officers who can loan money based on higher debt ratios because they are working with mortgage investors, rather than a bank; banks have to answer to shareholders and therefore they have higher standards for debt ratios.  Banks have to be more cautious because they do not want to have to explain to the shareholder why their foreclosure rates are so high.  Mortgage lenders, such as the lenders that I work with, get loans from competitive sources and are more willing to take higher risks.  I always suggest that before you start looking for a home, you speak with a lender and get your financing approved.

Get a payment you feel comfortable with; don’t forget, you have a life to live, so don’t spend all your money on your house payment.  Attached I have an article that talks about the income needed for a home purchase.  There are some great links in the article as well.

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