I showed a house about a week ago that had 20 back-up offers on it.  Yes, it was a foreclosure, but still that was kind of crazy.  Other Austin homes I have showed this week have gone under contract the same day they hit the market.  My advice?  Just know what your limits are in terms of what you want to spend.  Make sure you know that the estimated monthly payment is in your comfort zone and have a pre-approval in your hand from a lender.  In addition, know who you are going to call for an inspection.  There is no need to wait until you find a house to know who you are going to call.  In this market, there is no time to get pre-approved when you find a house. 

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So, what do you do when you have lost out on a few houses because they are already under contract before you get of the gate?  Don’t panic.  You’ll find the house that’s right for you, so don’t settle on something because you start to feel a little desperate.  You have to listen to your gut and not talk yourself into something.  As long as you are realistic in terms of what your buying power will get you, there is no need to settle.  Buying a house is the most expensive thing you will buy, so if it takes you an extra 3 months to find the perfect fit – take it.

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Buying a house in this market is kind of like speed dating.  You have little time to decide if the house is a good fit for you. If the house doesn’t have any of the items on your must-have’s list…then move on.  There are more fish in the sea and there are more houses too.  You don’t get married unless you’re in love and I sort of want you to be in love with the house too or at least really like it.

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