(Closed) How long (after starting to search) to buy a house?

posted 5 years ago in Home
Post # 3
1411 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@tampalove35:  It depends so, so, so much on your area. Some people look at houses on one day, put an offer on one, and move in as soon as escrow is over (usually 30 days). Other people, like Fiance and I, look at 200 houses, make offers on 5, and finally move in to one 10 months later. But those are extremes, chances are you’ll be able to find something fairly quickly, so I don’t think 4 months is too soon to start looking 🙂

ETA: but there’s always the risk that you fall in love with something that gets snatched up by someone else! But then, you move on.


Post # 4
309 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

We’ve been looking for 2 months already. But it also took a while to realize that the area we were originally looking in was not really the part of town we really wanted to live in. Houses are just staring to come back on the market here as well. I’m guessing that we will find something in the next few months.

If I were you, I would wait until a few months before you can move. That way maybe you can work out in your conract to close a bit later or at least only have a month of overlapping bills.

Post # 5
8595 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

As others said it really depends on your area. Keep in mind that most sellers want at least 30-60 days before closing, at least in my experience. We probably looked at 100+ houses over at least 6 months before buying.

Post # 6
3082 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

@tampalove35:  like a pp said, it all depends on the area. My fiancé and I have been looking since April. We put offers on 6 houses. we had 1 thatw as accepted but after our inspection we just did not feel comfortable buying the home. We now have another accepted offer and are getting an inspection done, so fingers crossed. 

But this market is really tough. It’s multiple offers on nearly every house. Most houses go at or above asking and there are less houses on the market than last year (20% less) so prices are higher becausof supply and demand. 

Post # 7
7311 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

Another vote for “it depends on the market in your target area”. Also, it depends on how picky you are and where your budget falls vis a vie the typical sales price in your target area.

Buyers market + not picky + budget at or over typical sales price = easy and fast shopping

Sellers market + picky + budget below typical sales price = a year or more of shopping (18 months, to be exact, for us)

Post # 8
6699 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2011 - Baby boy 12/2015

@tampalove35:  It took us about two months to buy the house we own now. We looked over 25 houses. We were lucky our offer got accepted fast and things moved on smoothly. 🙂

Post # 9
4192 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry

I’m a real estate agent, and it’s not a bad idea to start looking now. You need to have seen enough homes that you’ll know when you see “the one.” And as PPs state- you may not get the first contract (or two) that you write on. Closing generally is 30-60 days from contract. And your seller may want a rent back, for example -if they have kids, they may not want to move until the school year is over. Again, it’ll depend on your market.

Post # 10
839 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@tampalove35:  My Fiance and I just bought our first house last September. We started looking in May and put in our first offer on our house in July and didn’t get keys until the very end of September. We looked at 13 houses total before we found the one. It definitely depends on the area you want to live in. When we started looking there were tons of houses on the market in our area and the longer we kept looking the less houses were being put on. Some were some fast and others have been on the market for a while. I would start looking online, get a realtor, then start looking next month or so. Good Luck!

Post # 11
419 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

I am a real estate broker and everyone is right it really depends on your area and on the individual seller and their requirements. That being said I would start looking now, it’s better to hve more time than being on a time crunch and having to pay for a hotel or rent a house Etc. 

Post # 12
1557 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I looked for about 4 months before finding the right house. 

I was on month to month on my rental, so there really wasn’t any pressure.

Post # 13
9181 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

Yeah, it really does depend on where you are, what the market is like, what you’re looking for, and how picky you are.  It took us about 3 months to find the right house and 6 weeks to close.

Post # 14
173 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

@tampalove35:  This was our time line – Started looking Sept 2012, closed March 2013 so total timew as 6-7 months. We were on a tight schedule thought because we were getting married in May and needed time for renovation as well. 

Market at the time was kinda slow too. But we were open minded and were okay w/ lokoing at less than perfect houses that had potential. 

Post # 15
89 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

we’ve been looking for almost a year, but an offer on 4 houses and have lost out on all of them. the market here is literally INSANE. the decent houses go within hours of being put on the market – for cash or above asking price – doesn’t matter what month. however, my friends in the state we used to live in said houses sit for months at a time and you can get some good deals on places there. talk to people in the area you live in or watch the market there to see how fast houses go. we didn’t think we’d be almost a year into this and still living in our apartment.

Post # 16
10588 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

It really depends, and the possession dates really vary.  They are listed on the MLS info here, and typically are listed as immediately, 60 days or 90 days.  Thinking back, I think we house hunted for about 3 weeks, and had a month for closing.  We started looking at houses well before that though, we went to a bunch of show homes and a few open houses before we had a realtor.


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