Post # 1
…how long did it take you to buy a house (not counting all the research time beforehand).
Hubby and I have an apartment lease that expires in June, so we’d have to move out in late May. I’m hoping to use a hefty tax refund as a down payment on the house. Will try to file my taxes in Feb or as soon as I get my W-2. Assuming we find a house we like and want and can afford, is this a reasonable timeline? I’m also elligible for a no down payment mortgage since I work in the medical profession. But I feel like there’s got to be a catch to that mortgage somehow. Hmmmm…
Post # 3
I’d say from the time you put a contract in, it’s about two months for a foreclosure. If you are buying from actual people and not a bank, then that’s a whole nother story. They may need to settle on a house to move into before settling with you.
But for a foreclosure,it really depends on how long it takes you to get financing. I know some banks will set a certain closing date but if things are ready sooner then they can move the date up. As long as you can find something you like quickly and the realtors and bank moves quickly then you should be good.
Post # 4
We have been inteh process of finding/buying a home for 6 months. Our closing date just got pushed from Wednesday to Friday. Since we actually put in our first offer on this house it has been about 3 months.
Post # 5
To address a few different things you have in your post:
1) Time from acceptance of offer to closing depends on a lot of factors including inspection results, appraisal results, and time for their bank and your bank to pull together all of the closing paperwork. It helps greatly if you are pre-approved and organized with all of your financial documents and homeowners insurance lined up before making an offer. Once all of the conditions have been removed (inspection, financing approval…etc), it will take between 30-60 days to close.
2) I personally feel that it is never a good idea to rely on a tax return for a future purchase. A lot can happen between now and the end of the year that can greatly affect your refund amount. Any money received from a refund should be viewed as a “nice to have”, but it should not be relied upon in any way.
3) No down payment mortgages are a BAD idea for many reasons. 1) It does not allow for any equity in your house, so if prices go down even the slightest, you will be under water. It will also affect your ability to refinance in the future. 2) It comes with much higher interest rates and you will pay mortgage insurance which will increase your monthly payments by at least $100/month. Try to put anything you can towards a downpayment, even if you qualify for a no money down mortgage.
Post # 6
We looked for 6 months. We were preapproved fro the start. In those 6 months we put offers in on 3 houses. the first 2 we lost and the third we got. From the time they accepted the offer to the day we closed was just over 30 days (maybe 35 day). It was a forclosure and it took 2 days to hear from them after we put in an offer and our closing was pushed back once. We have an FHA loan so we had to put 3% down. They paid closing. We do have to pay mortgage insurance but it is $33 a month. You have to do what works for you. For us we would have put nothing down if that choice was avail. We looked for a house that fit our needs and was something we can afford very comfortably. We didn’t go by what the bank told us we we approved for, we spend much, much less. Just make sure you look for what you can afford. And house values are constantly changing right now, atleast where we are. We had equity in our home the day we signed the papers but within 2 months that started to change.
Post # 7
Assuming you arent buying a short sale or foreclosure, it could take 2+ months. From the time we had our offer accepted, our closing took about 75 days. This included inspection, appraisal, etc. We also were already pre-approved. But there are SOOO many things that can pop up while buying a home, that you really never know. I have friends that closed in under 30 days, and I have friends that had to wait over a year (that was a short sale).
My advice is to be pre-approved and have all your paperwork in order (tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, etc).
Post # 8
Thank you for all the responses! I can see that the timeline is highly variable. We may opt to do a monthly renewal on our lease to give us extra time, though rent then goes up $100/month from the yearly rate. The reason why I feel it might be worth buying now even with no down payment is:
1. I’m not leaving the area period. My line of work basically guarantees employment, which is super rare these days. I might possibly have to settle for a job I’m not thrilled with someday. But I’ll never be unemployed.
2. With no property, a lot of my income gets eaten away by taxes.
3. House prices are lower than they have been in a while, lots of foreclosures to pick from, and interest rates are still low too. Am afraid rates will go up in the next year or so if we keep waiting.
4. My hubby wants to do tons of house work and work on his car in a garage somewhere. I also like the idea that he could fix up a house in need of some repair.
Are any of these reasons stupid for rushing into the house thing? Anything else I should consider that I’m not?
@CanAmBride: What type of things could change between now and the new year that could influence the refund amount? The reason why I’m expecting a large refund is that my husband makes far less income than I do and I’m having them deduct taxes from my salary as though I’m single right now. I primarily did this to avoid owing the govt anything, but from the looks of it I will be getting back something along the lines of $40k since my husband makes so little! Between that and what I can save in the next year, I’d say that’d be a decent down payment even if I don’t have to make one.
Post # 9
@pfinarffle: You might be getting $40,000 back in taxes?????? Did you mean $4,000? If not, I want your job!
Post # 10
As others have said, it just really depends on your situation… My husband and I are closing on a house next week, just one day short of a month after we put in an offer. Our situation: we were pre-approved for financing and had everything in order, the seller knew when we made the offer that a quick close was important to us (our current house had just gone under contract & we needed a place to go!). In this economy, it’s hard to sell a house, if a seller knows you want to close quickly, it’s likely they’ll be willing to work with you because who knows when they will get another offer. But, like others have said – every situation presents different scenarios.
Post # 11
@magilnyc: Ha ha! I used the IRS refund calculator thing that I found in another thread on the Bee. I was kind of amazed too, but am not counting on that entire amount just in case. Anyway, I’m a physician and have a ton in student loans– enough to buy a townhouse, actually! And I guess with Medicare being as wacky as it might get, who knows what will happen even to physician salaries in the future. So you definitely wouldn’t want to be me!