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 by aggressive real estate investors and changing neighborhoods. Some homeowners may be feeling financial stress from maintaining their homes. 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?  Use this checklist to connect to advisors, learn more, and apply to programs that may help.
Download a checklist for yourself in English, Españo, Tiếng Việt, 中文 (简体), 中文 (繁體),  and  हिंदी.

  Know the signs of predatory investors.

Austin is a prime target for predatory real estate investors. A predatory investor takes advantage of homeowners to accept unfavorable terms or much less than their home is worth. They buy properties, then sell, the houses for a high profit without paying the homeowner a fair price.

  • Misleading mailers and phone calls that fake urgency & may make you think that you owe money.  
  • Random offers to buy your home. 
  • “Processing” or “Administrative” fees.
  • High-pressure tactics.
  • They don't have a license.

>> More information about predatory investors and your options are available here.

 

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.

Austin Habitat for Humanity
austinhabitat.org; 512.472.8788
 

Business and Community Lenders of Texas  bcloftexas.orgbcloftexas.org; 512.912.9884
 

Frameworks Community Development Corporation frameworkscdc.org; 512.385.1500

  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.

>> More information about home repair programs & the application is available here.

Housing & Planning staff are also happy to answer your questions.  Contact us at 3-1-1 and HPDCS@AustinTexas.gov.

  Learn about mortgage relief options and protections.

If you are worried about paying your mortgage, there are several federal assistance programs that may help:

Fannie Mae Help For Homeowners

FreddieMac Single-Family Client Resource Center

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has additional information for homeowners, as well as an overview of all federal options.

You can also contact a HUD-certified counselor, who can:
  • Discuss your situation and whether you qualify for any assistance programs
  • Guide you through any other programs for which you may qualify
  • Counsel you on budgeting, credit card debt, and other financial issues

 

Additional options are available through HOPE Hotline and the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's "Find a Counselor" tool.

 

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

Homestead Exemption is provided by Texas law for owner-occupied residential properties. It lowers the taxable amount of your home. All Texas counties have tax deferral and payment plans. 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 at:
Travis Central Appraisal District 512.834.9138; traviscad.org/homesteadexemptions
Williamson Central Appraisal District 512.834.9317; wcad.org/residence-homestead-exemption-information-video
 
Information about penalty waivers & taxpayer rights:
Texas Comptroller comptroller.texas.gov
Apply for weatherization assistance.

Austin Energy Weatherization Assistance provides free home energy improvements to eligible customers. Austin Energy customers may qualify if their home is 2,500 sq. ft. or smaller; if the home’s appraised value is $300,000 or less (excluding land value); if the house is 10 years or older; and if the customer meets income requirements.

 

Share this info with your neighbors!

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