If your New Year's Resolution is to buy your first home, you're likely full of questions, including one of the most common: "How long does the process take?"
Though we live in an instant gratification world, buying a home is not an impulse buy and is likely the largest purchase you'll ever make. As such, there are quite a few checks and balances along the way to protect you and your lender.
Ultimately, there is no "one size fits all" answer to how long the process will take. It depends on many factors, including your local area market inventory, how fast you want to move, how prepared you are, and how well you understand the necessary steps of the homebuying timeline.
If you can answer yes to the following questions, it's likely you've done your homework and are on the right track to start your home search:
- Are you aware of your credit and do you have a firm grasp on your finances?
- Have you locked down what type of home you want, your "must have" features, and location?
- Have you assembled your team of real estate professionals?
- Have you worked with your lender to get pre-approved for a mortgage?
Once these steps are in your rearview mirror, you're ready to start the fun part — shopping for your new home. The time it takes to find your perfect home varies, however the typical homebuyer searches for about 10 weeks and looks at 10 homes before buying.
Once you've found your dream home, you'll need to:
- Make an offer on the home. This generally takes one or two days for you and the seller to reach an agreement.
- Conduct a home inspection and appraisal. Typically, the inspection takes two to three hours, and two days to receive the results. The appraisal process can take up to two weeks.
- Close on the loan. This can be a lengthy process, but there is a lot of due diligence to protect you and the lender. The timing can vary from 30 — 60 days.
As you can see, there are many variables in the homebuying timeline, and how long it takes doesn't come with a simple — or single — answer. However, the more educated you are on the homebuying process and required steps, the more likely you'll be able to streamline the process and your homebuying timeline.
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