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Can I rent out my Affordable Home at Mueller?

There are so many misconceptions about the Mueller Affordable Program – the income qualified housing scheme at the old airport redevelopment in Austin that I thought I’d better answer this question. The reason I’m compelled to answer this particular question was that it changed the course of someone’s life very recently. Here’s what happened.

One of my neighbors came over to help me with my irrigation system a few weeks back. Given that she’s a licensed irrigation expert, I thought it best to get her opinion on my new system. She was pleased with the design and gave me some instructions on how to test for soil moisture and not to over water the new grass. She also mentioned that she was off up North. I told her that we’d just sold our old house, and that it was part of the Affordable Program. She told me that hers was too, and that she planned to lease it out after she left.

It's all unicorns at closing when selling an Affordable Home right now

It’s all unicorns at closing when selling an Affordable Home right now

Can you rent out an Affordable Home? No! I told her. It’s against the rules and the principals of the program – to promote affordable living in Mueller, not to inspire landlords. Sure, you can have room mates and rent out rooms, but one of the key things in the program is that you have to maintain the home as your principle primary residence. You have to live in it.

My friend was shocked and realized that she would have to sell it. Given that it’s a detached yard home, there would be no problem reselling it I told her, and we’ll see how this plays out in the next few weeks.

The challenge with attached affordable resale homes is that there are new ones being built and they’re competing for the limited pool of qualified buyers. Those people who don’t qualify for a new affordable home (less than 80% of the Austin Median Family Income) may still qualify for the resale affordable homes (less than 120% of the Austin MFI), so this allows more people to qualify for a resale home.

So the outlook is good for her. Her 3rd party appraisal came in today, and she seemed genuinely shocked with the value of her home (pleasantly shocked – it came out much higher than she anticipated). If all goes according to plan, the Mueller Foundation will exercise their first right of refusal and help another qualified buyer purchase the home, and she’ll be on her way with a healthy equity pay out.

The other thing I told her was that she didn’t necessarily need the expense of real estate agents to help her sell her home. I know, it’s shooting myself in the foot, or the wallet, or something, but I feel that in a strong sellers’ market, it should be relatively easy to put together a contract with the Mueller Foundation to get it sold.

Another thing to remember, is that when you come to sell your affordable home, the Foundation has the first right of refusal, so you need to contact them first. Of course, you’re welcome to call me and ask me for some thoughts on values, how long the process might take and what to expect, but you don’t really need to hire an agent initially. I’ve been through the process myself and for several clients, and I’m well versed in the old scheme and the new one.

If you have questions, feel free to pitch them my way – +1 (512) 829-1351or if you dislike the phone as much as I do, get in touch electronically.

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