(Closed) First Time Homebuyer – Timeline?

posted 9 years ago in Home
Post # 3
5669 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

1) I pulled all of our own credit scores and brought them to different banks so I could shop around for a rate without having my credit pulled a lot. The meetings with the banks took less than an hour each and then you get a pre-approval letter that is usually good for an average of 60 days. We got out letter in Nov and signed the P&S in Feb and closed in April.

2) What I would recommend for house shopping it to ask relatives/friends for a recommendation of a good realtor. Then sit down together and make a list of what the place must have (you will probably tweak this once the shopping begins). Also list the things you want but aren’t a neccesaity. This can help you get on the same page and also help your realtor find places. It’s never too late to start trying to pinpoint the neighborhood and features that are on your must have and your wants lists.  Find places that meet your criteria and do drive by’s and go in every open house even if you aren’t 100% interested. This helps you become educated on what’s in the market.

Dedicate as much of your weekends as you can driving around to neighborhoods/areas and going in and out of as many open houses as you can. Then your realtor will send you lists and the places that don’t have an open house you can usually go see during a time that is convenient for you.

Good luck! 

Post # 4
2195 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

We actually really enjoyed the process, but you have to remember to go in with an open mind, a set budget and that you can make (almost) anything your style, taste and dream home! 

1. How long did the buying process take? We started looking early April 2011 (before the meetings), put an offer in April 24 pending inspection and financing and the deal was closed April 29. 🙂

2. How time intensive is the house search process? How much time per week (on average) did it take up? We spent a lot of time looking online, not just at the houses, but the average prices in different areas, what was a good deal and what wasn’t, and obviously only went to see the houses that were within our set budget and looked decent online. Our agent was also great about crossing off certain houses we thought we would like that she had already been to and knew they were totalyl out to left field! I would say it took up anywhere from 2-10 hours a week until we finally put in an offer and closed the deal. She also helped us find private sales (which our house ended up being) which were not on public sale websites such as MLS.

 Is it possible to start looking for a place on March 10th and move in in July? Absolutely! I would say that is fairly common. You would be surprised, once the papers are signed it’s just a matter of making sure the bank and lawyers have everything they need for closing and the finances are all lined up. Besides that, sit and wait! (or pack!). My husband and i bought April 29, got married June 4, honeymooned for a week and moved in August 31st. It is very dooable!! Lots of people have very quick closings too (my SIL sold Jan 2 and the house closes Jan 18). When you put in your offer you can specify your preferred closing date and negotiate with the current owners from there.

Best of luck!

Post # 5
6659 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

1) DH and I started seriously looking in late January of 2011 and we just closed on our apartment last Tuesday! We had some bumps in the road though. We were in contract almost immediately when we first started looking and it fell through after 3 months. Then we moved into a new rental and took a few months off from actively looking, but keeping an eye on the market. Our dream home appeared in July, but it was overpriced so we waited it out. Finally in late October it had a second price drop, so we made an offer and entered into contract. Two months later we closed!

So I hesitate to say it took a year, because it’s not like we were looking the entire year. I would say it took us about 5 months because if we hadn’t taken that break, we might have bought a different place sooner. It’s all about timing!

2) As far as how time intensive searching is, I would say that when we were actively looking, I checked the listings every day and we probably went to at least 2 open houses per week. I would usually make a sunday schedule for us, but if an apartment was by appointment only I would at least try to go there by myself during teh week. It was fun though and honestly didn’t seem like a huge time burden at all.

Post # 6
2231 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I’m a Realtor so this is coming from my perspective 🙂

1. How long did the buying process take? From the initial meeting with the mortgage broker (or earlier?) to when you had all the paperwork signed?

This can take a week to months, it really depends on what you’re looking for! The Toronto condo market moves fast but at the same time there is enough inventory that typically clients find what they’re looking for pretty fast. There is also the fact that you may see the perfect condo first but because you haven’t seen anything else you have nothing to compare it to! 

I say meet with a mortgage broker to get your pre-approval and then speak to your real estate agent/find one. Typical closings here are 3 months but can be as short as one month or 3 weeks if it’s a vacant unit (lawyers need time to process all the paperwork!)

2.  How time intensive is the house search process? How much time per week (on average) did it take up?

Honestly this totally depends on you and the market. Typically you can do 3 condos in one hour (especially if they’re in the same building or near by). It’s a good idea to visit different buildings and decide if there are particular buildings you like or don’t like! Then you can focus on something more particular. I find that when you first start there is a very broad and general idea of what you’re looking for but once you see a few units you and your realtor get a better idea. Then you’re not wasting your time looking at units that you know you won’t like!

July is a do-able timeline for the GTA! It also depends on what you’re looking for, you have to keep realistic price expectations! 

ETA: Good luck! Don’t stress, you’ll find something!

Post # 7
772 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

If you are moving to a new area, I highly suggest you rent for even three months to a year first.  When you first move to an area, you don’t know what it is like to live and commute there.  Many of my friends who sublet for some time first ended up buying in different neighborhoods than they thought they would. 

Also, you never know–sometimes things don’t work out.  My friend moved across country and almost bought, but they hated their new city and jobs and are waiting out her husbands contract so they can move back without repaying moving fees.  

Craigslist is a good place to find a sublet, and some companies will help you find temp housing. 

And if you are only going to be in the area for four or five years, really look at whether you want to buy.  You will have to see at least 6% price appreciation to cover the fees you will pay to sell, and that doesn’t include maintenance, etc. over that period.  Just something to consider. 

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