How Long Does It Take to Buy a House?

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How Long Does It Take to Buy a House

Are you wondering how long does it take to buy a house? Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast answer. The exact time it will take to buy a house will depend on several variables.

A good rule of thumb is that buying a house should take approximately six months. Our helpful guide right here covers everything you need to understand. 

  1. Financial Preparation

Six months before buying you will want to begin your financial preparations. This is assuming you already have your down payment and closing expenses saved up (20% + 2-5% of the purchase price).

Define your budget. You need to know what is and is not affordable. Use an affordability calculator to figure out what you can realistically afford. This isn’t just how big of a loan you can receive but whether or not you can afford the repayments. 

  1. Get Familiar With the Market

Start looking at homes about four or five months out from buying. The goal of this exercise isn’t to find your dream home but to narrow down your list of must-haves to meet your budget. 

It is also important to get to know the experts in your area. They will help you understand if your budget is realistic, as well as answering any home buying questions you have.

At this stage, you want to know what you can afford and what your priorities are so you can make well-informed decisions when it comes to making offers. 

  1. Organize Your Mortgage and Get Pre-Approved

Two to three months before buying it is time to find a mortgage broker and the right lender. Once you have found a lender you will want to get pre-approved. Pre-approval is important because it lets sellers know you are serious and will ensure a smooth buying process. 

  1. Start Searching

Spend the next month or two looking for your dream home. Set up automatic notifications on property listing sites and stay in constant communication with your agent. Start visiting homes and speaking to agents showing homes to see if they have any that meet your requirements. 

  1. Make an offer

When you find a property you love, make an offer. Be prepared for this process to be a little stressful. Sellers may not accept an offer immediately but it’s worth knowing under half of the buyers have their first offer accepted. So be prepared to negotiate and make multiple offers.

  1. Complete Escrow and Close on Your Home

During the 30 to 45 day escrow period, you will need to meet requirements to finalize your loan. This will include scheduling inspections and having the home appraised. Staying in close contact with your lender and completing all tasks quickly will avoid any complications or delays. 

On the morning of closing, you will do a final inspection of the home to ensure all agreed repairs and works were done. Next, you will go to the title company’s office and sign the closing paperwork and pick up the keys to your new home. 

So How Long Does It Take to Buy a House? Now You Know!

Whilst there is no definitive answer to how long does it take to buy a house, expect it to take around six months. If you follow our guide and are prepared, you won’t find this process nearly as stressful and it’ll feel like no time before you are in your dream home.

If you enjoyed this article, check out the rest of our real estate blog.