Buying a Home in Westlake Hills

Buying a Home in Westlake Hills

Westlake Hills is a private and close-knit area not far from downtown Austin. This unique area was incorporated in the 1950s and maintains the same natural beauty and charm. Despite its small size at roughly four square miles, there is plenty to see and do with everything from golf courses and shopping to outdoor recreation along Lake Austin.

The private and secluded ambiance is not the only thing that makes this one of the most desirable places to live in Austin. You’ll find some of Austin’s most luxurious and high-end real estate in the city, with everything from gorgeous estates to lakeside retreats. Many properties sit on large, manicured lots and offer ample space inside with luxury features. The architectural styles range from contemporary and modern to traditional, so there’s something for everyone.

Whether relaxing in your backyard oasis or spending time on the lake with friends and neighbors, Westlake Hills will feel like home in no time. If you’re interested in buying a home in Westlake Hills, read on for tips from an expert realtor.

Why should you buy a house in Westlake Hills?

The close-knit community

Westlake Hills provides a peaceful and family-oriented atmosphere. The close-knit community is near downtown Austin, so there are plenty of shopping, dining, and entertainment options while maintaining a private and serene atmosphere.

Endless activities

This charming community is surrounded by outdoor recreation and beautiful weather. The Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve is an example of what you can experience. With over 227 acres and two miles of trails, finding ways to spend your day is easy. The Red Bud Isle and Greenbelt are options for hiking trails, or exploring with your furry friends. Those who prefer something more luxurious can visit the Barton Creek Country Club or Austin Country Club. Both are private, full-service clubhouses with golf courses, recreational amenities, and more.

Proximity to Austin

While Westlake Hills has an abundance to offer residents, proximity to downtown Austin means high-end shopping and dining close by. Whether you’re looking for the perfect locally owned coffee shop or a spot with an outdoor patio to spend your weekends with friends, downtown offers it.

An excellent educational system

Westlake Hills is zoned for the highly-sought after Eanes Independent School District. This district is one of the main reasons families flock to Westlake Hills and stay for the long haul. With unrivaled academics, award-winning band, and athletic programs that have gained various state titles, it’s easy to see why.

Types of home loans for all homebuyers

Conventional loans

Conventional home loans are the most common type of fixed-rate mortgage and are accessible to most buyers. Buyers have the option of a 15-year or 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, which will guarantee the interest rate does not change for the duration of the loan. A 30-year loan allows for lower monthly payments due to the length, while a 15-year loan means less interest paid out over the life of the loan.

FHA loans

FHA loans require only a 3.5% down payment, which is less than the average down payment of 20%, making them more popular among first-time homebuyers. Low to moderate-income borrowers find this ideal because it allows an opportunity to secure a mortgage without saving extra money. However, FHA loans require you to hold private mortgage insurance, which increases your monthly payments.

VA loans

VA loans explicitly benefit service members and their families. Similar to conventional mortgages, these loans can be backed by various lenders but require you to meet a minimum service requirement to receive one. One plus to this type of loan is that you aren’t required to make a down payment or hold additional insurance. This might sound ideal, but there are also several drawbacks. First, you’ll need to pay a VA funding fee to cover the cost of a potential foreclosure in case of default. You’ll also need a VA-endorsed appraiser to evaluate the property and deem it worthy of the loan.

Money-saving tips for buying a home

Get pre-qualified

Obtaining a pre-qualification is a simple and effective way to gather an idea of what size mortgage you can financially handle. A lender will perform a soft credit check and examine your proof of income to determine whether you can pay the mortgage payment. A pre-qualification is the perfect place to start, but consider a pre-approval before you begin your search. A pre-approval will give you solid numbers and let sellers know you’re serious.

Consider a more significant down payment to keep monthly costs down

While the size of your downpayment will vary based on the price of your home, it commonly ranges between 3% and 20% of the home’s purchase price. However, one thing to consider is the more significant the down payment, the smaller the loan, saving you money over time. If you don’t have a large down payment but can wait on your home purchase and save money, that may benefit you more.

Increase your credit score

Another way to help keep your rates and payment lower is to have a significant credit score. Buyers with at least 700 or higher credit scores are considered more worthy to lenders and will obtain better rates. There are various ways to ensure your credit is within acceptable range. First, ensure your credit cards are either paid off or minimally used. One rule of thumb is to keep your utilization rate beneath 20%, at least. It only takes a few months to bring your credit up and within an acceptable range.

Work with a real estate agent

The best way to find your dream home is to find a trusted real estate agent. You’ll need to know their history with the local market and client track records. A genuine agent will have your best interests at heart.

Are you ready to find your dream home?

If the idea of natural beauty and luxurious real estate is calling your name, Westlake Hills is the perfect place for you. If you’re interested in looking at Westlake Hills homes for sale, contact Kathryn Scarborough today. As one of Austin’s top luxury realtors, you can be confident you’re in trusted hands.

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Kathryn knows Austin and specializes in sales and marketing of the finest waterfront and luxury estate homes, premiere golf course communities, central Austin, and downtown high-rise living. No job is too small and no task is unattainable. Contact us to achieve the impossible!