"AUSTIN IS MY HOME Header graphic with photos of Austin residents"

Austin is home to many, from folks with deep roots in Austin’s culture to multi-generational families. Austin is uniquely Austin because of the people who live here.Due to the rapid growth of our city, some homeowners may be feeling pressured from aggressive real estate investors and changing neighborhoods. Some homeowners may be feeling financial stress from maintaining their home. Some may want to stay in Austin but their homes require some upgrades to make it safer to age-in-place.

What can you do?


    Work with someone looking out for your best interests.

    Austin has HUD-certified agencies that provide housing counseling & will help to answer any questions you may have. If you get any calls or mail offering to buy your house call these organizations. They will help to answer any questions you may have.

     

    Know the signs of predatory investors.

    • Random offers to buy your home.  These can come in many forms from alot of “handwritten” notes and phone calls offering to buy your house to misleading mailers.
       
    • Misleading mailers that fake urgency and may make you think that you owe money.  Mailers, like the one shown here, are designed too look like a past due bill collection. In reality, this mailer is only a very aggressive tactic to get homeowners to call.
       
    • “Processing” or “Administrative” Fees. As a homeowner looking to sell, you should not pay any upfront fees in order to sell your house. A legitimate buyer will submit a written offer and give you the option of accepting the offer. You will then receive payment. Scammers will take your money and disappear. 
       
    • High-pressure tactics. If the person offering to buy your home requires you to pay a “processing” or “administrative fees” without a written offer, it’s a bad deal. If they want you to sign a contract promising to sell your house to them, but don’t give you “earnest money,”  it’s a bad deal. If they don’t want you to have a third-party review of the paperwork, it's a bad deal.

    Make sure you have all the tax relief tools available to you.

    Homestead Exemption is provided by Texas law for owner-occupied residential properties and lowers the taxable amount of your home. There is no fee to apply and you do not have to hire anyone to file for you.

    You may be eligible for additional exemptions if you or your spouse are over 65; disabled; or a disabled veteran.

    More information is available through the Travis Central Appraisal District 512.834.9138 and traviscad.org/homesteadexemptions

    Apply for home repair programs.

    The City of Austin has several home repair programs for income-eligible, senior, as well as disabled Austinites. These programs serve to make houses safe, healthy, and accessible. They also may help Austinites stay in their homes.

    Some of the programs help to:

    Housing & Planning staff are happy to answer your questions.  Contact us at 512.974.3100, 311 and NHCDCS@AustinTexas.gov.

     

    Share this info with your neighbors!

    You, your neighbors, and your neighborhood are all part of what makes Austin uniquely Austin.