Homebuyer FAQ: How Long Does it Take?

Real Estate Agent

Hi folks, Scott here.  I thought I'd cover a question I get a lot from homebuyers.  Even people who have bought a home before may not remember exactly what the process was like and how long it took them.  First, I'll answer the basic question of "how long does it take to buy a home?"  Then, let's look at a what factors might influence that time.

So, "how long does it take?"  In our area, the typical purchase, from the day you start seriously looking, until you move in, takes from 40-60 days total.  By itself, those numbers don't mean a lot, so let's break it down and look at what influences your timeframe.

Assuming you're buying with a mortgage, it's good to plan for a minimum of 30 days from the day you make your contract.  That gives most lenders just enough time to complete your loan and deal with a couple of "speedbumps" in the process if they arise.  So, 30 days is our baseline.  Right off the bat, we get to our minimum of 40 days by adding 10 days to search for, view homes, and negotiate a contract.  

If you're buying a resale home that's occupied, you now have to consider the current owners' situation.  If they are going to be buying another home, they'll need a little extra time, so you can add 10-15 days for their home search (They may not be as decisive as you!), bringing you to the 50-55 day period.    

On top of these time periods, we will also consider what type of financing you are using.  If you are using a government backed loan such as an FHA or VA loan, then you'll need to add another 5-10 days to the process, as they simply have a few more processing requirements that take extra time.  So, that's how you get to 40-60 days for your entire process.  

Remember, this is just a generic look.  Every buyer's situation is a little different based on their specific circumstances.  Give me a call if you're thinking of buying and we can talk about what your timeframe would look like!

Finally, don't forget that within your 40-60 days are several specific steps, like appraisal, inspection, and others.  Check out my other blogs for details of how the specific steps work!

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