MtnGinger wrote:Hey guys I was able to defer a year and will be moving to Austin with my husband next summer. I was wondering when the best time to start looking for housing is. We want something with a few bedrooms and probably farther from the law school so I didn't know when the best time to start talking to realtors would be. Anyone have any experience with this, can we start looking early for a lease that would be available in July or do we have to wait closer to the summer.
Are you looking to buy our to rent? If the latter, house, duplex, or apartment (harder to find in 3B).
For renting, a lot of houses come on the market at the end of June and beginning of July for Aug 1 move-in. And very few of them get listed on MLS. I don't feel like a realtor would be of great help beyond telling you about neighborhoods, and that's not necessary. I'd suggest following listings on CL, Zillow, and Trulia, and then coming down in the first week of July to drive a selected set of neighborhoods looking for signs and checking for new CL listings as you go, then calling to get a look at the ones you like. Specifically, I'd recommend looking between Red River and Guadalupe from 32nd to Koenig/2222 (a road with many names, you'll find), as well as between Lamar and Burnet from 49th to Morrow. Those areas will put you in decent residential neighborhoods within a 15-18 minute drive of the San Jacinto garage / law school (from the most northern part of that; about 5 minutes from the southern end of that).
Buying in Austin can be really tough and take a long time, mainly because everything central goes instantly with multiple offers (assuming it's correctly priced). I'd suggest the same neighborhoods there. Note that 3BR in the areas I talk about north of 49th will run 450k at the low end for a 1951 house to 650-750k for new construction. The areas south of there will be higher (like those new construction prices will get you 1940s houses).
I can't speak to what the apartment market is like except that there are a number of new complexes that have gone up in the Guadalupe/Lamar corridor recently, so there's a good deal more availability than there used to be.