(Closed) how long was the home buying process for you?

posted 10 years ago in Home
Post # 3
332 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2010

If you’d like a house quick, I suggest you don’t look at short sales!

We found the house we want pretty quickly. We looked a lot online and then drove by them to see if they fit our needs from the outside (big back yard was a must!). We only found one that we loved and went in it once, the next day we put in an offer.  4 months later we finally heard back from them, they accepted our offer. That week we had an inspection, which failed miserably, so we decided to walk away. The seller’s realtor came back and said that they’d try to get the bank to lower the price of the house. We got estimates for what needed to be done, and the bank did lower the price. This all probably took about 3 weeks. Now we’re just waiting to make sure we get the loan, and would like to close by the end of this month.

Post # 4
1126 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

Our home-buying process was insanely fast.  We found out what city we had been placed in, went out to look at apartments, didn’t find anything, and decided to buy.  That decision was made on a Monday, we were pre-qualified for a mortgage Tuesday or Wednesday, I looked at houses all week and visited 9 with a realtor on Sunday, Fiance and I went back that Tuesday to look at my favorites and a few more, and we picked one.  On Wednesday, we did another walk-through, then drew up the offer with the realtor.  Thursday there were counter-offers, and by Thursday at 5pm we had a signed contract.  (So, a week and four days between deciding to buy and signing a contract.)

Since then we’ve been doing inspections, mortgage crap, etc, but our closing date is set for next month, so no rush.  We were lucky to find something we liked early on.  And our offer demanded they reply the next day, so there wasn’t a huge wait there either.  The house had been on the market for a while, so I think the seller was motivated.

Post # 5
773 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: City, State

We allowed for 3 months to find a house, but were able to find it in about 3 weeks.  We did a few trips with our realtor and then got approved for a loan (just because we knew we were coming close to putting in an offer, and wanted the paperwork done).  Getting approved is SUPER quick 2 days AT THE MOST.  The most amount of time is getting all your information together. We got a house inspection about a week after the offer was accepted, and you can negotiate closing date (we gave the developer like 2-3 months, which was a long time, but we needed time to find a subletter). But you can close as soon as 20-30 days.

I was really clueless too, so we got a realtor we trusted (as much as you can), and I asked family and co-workers who had already bought a house and asked them a ton of questions.

Post # 6
179 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

We are in the midst of the home buying process right now… so I can only answer half of these questions… but its a start, huh?

We started this whole process by attending some free first time home buyer seminars that a local bank was holding. This gave us a lot of information regarding how the whole house buying process works, along with some helpful hints. We got pre-aprroved (by the same bank that held the seminar, coincidentally), which took no time at all… really just a few hours for us to get our documents together (pay stubs, tax forms, bank statements, current debt). We’re currently “getting to know the market”, and going to Open Houses to see the different houses in our price range. Next step is to sit down with a real estate agent and get the ball rolling. We rent currently, and are under lease until Sept, so we’re hoping to start putting offers in in July.

I think the process can go as slow or as quick as you want it too. You can always skip Open Houses and sign with a real estate agent immediately… or do it all without a buyer’s agent. I agree with a PP and say not to go to with a short sale or foreclosure– those often get hung up, and you can wait like, 6 months and then it all falls through.

In terms of finding THE house… I think we’ve seen a few houses during our hunt already that we would have put offers in, had we not been stuck in this lease and taking things slowly. According to our seminar, after your offer is accepted, you have 10 days to do the inspection, and then it can take about 20-30 days to offically close after that. That’s the rules in MA, anyway… not sure if RI is the same.

Post # 7
2441 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

I’ve purchased 5 homes over the years.  Some took a long time to find and some didn’t.  One took forever to build, and the one I’m in now I found right away.  I always got preapproved so I wouldn’t have the anxiety of finding a home I loved and wondering if I’d actually be able to get it.  It really all depends on what you’re looking for and where you’re looking.  I’d think with so many homes on the market due to the poor economy you would find a great house at a great price pretty quickly.  

Post # 8
15190 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

It took us 5 months to find the perfect house.  (We found two other perfect houses before this, but the owners accepted offers on them litterally hours after we saw the house and didnt even get a single night to sleep on it and draw up paper work in the morning, but even those took 4 months to find).  We were preapproved for much more than the limit we set for ourself so the mortgage approval wasnt an issue. 

Let’s see… from inital offer to both parties accepting was 4 days.
Inspection happened two days later, the more negotiations based on the findings.  P&S was signed 11 days later, then from P&S to closing was another 8 days … Totaly from initial offer to closing: 25 days.

Post # 9
4544 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

We applied for a mortage at the end of Jan. and started looking a few days later. It took us about 3 months to find a house we loved, put in an offer, have the offer be accepted, and get the house inspected. Right now we’re waiting to see if the seller will fix the things we need fixed in order to buy the house. If they do, we’ll be closing May 25th!

The most time consuming part (for us) was finding the house we wanted. Getting approved for the loan, making an offer and hearing the answer, and getting the inspection all happened very quickly.

Some things I’d recommend:

1) Meet with a few realtors and see which one you like best before making a decision. You’ll be spending a lot of time with them and you want your personalities to be compatable.

2) Do your homework on what houses go for in your area, what you want in a house, and (most importantly) WHERE you want the house to be. Location is SO key!

3) Ask questions of the realtor. It’s a great way to learn about the process and to know what to do when in the future you’re trying to resell your house.

4) Talk to people you know about neighborhoods, schools, etc.

5) Looking online is a great way to narrow down your search a bit and get an idea of what you can afford.

6) Always get at least 3 good faith estimates from lenders before deciding which one to go with.

7) Get a home inspection. I can’t stress this one enough.

8) Be patient, it can be a stressful and frustrating process. And overwhelming

9) Be realistic about what you can afford. Set a budget and stick to it. Also be realistic about what you can take care of as a first time homebuyer.

It’s a very complicated process that can be a lot of fun! But it can be very stressful too.

Post # 10
3586 posts
Sugar bee

How long did it take you to find the house? 9 months, 1-8 months with a horrible realtor, 3 weeks for the last month with my realtor who I found my house with.

How is the applying for a mortgage process – did you start looking at homes before or after you applied for approval? n/a

Once you found a home..how long was the process to gain approval, close, inspection etc? About 10 days- I paid in cash, so there was no long process between finding the house and closing.

Post # 11
7429 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2009

How long did it take you to find the house? 2 years!!! We had a set budget, and were looking in a pricey area, so it took a long time and over 100 houses before we found ours. luckily, we weren’t in a rush, so we were able to find something that was right for us

How is the applying for a mortgage process – did you start looking at homes before or after you applied for approval? We got pre approved first, but first figured out what we could afford, which ended up being a lot less than we got approved for. I think knowing what you can afford is the first step

Once you found a home..how long was the process to gain approval, close, inspection etc? About 2 months, but that was because it was totally rehabbed due to stolen pipes.  So we had to wait until the house was complete before we could close. It probably would have been less than 2 weeks had it not been being renovated

Post # 12
3518 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

Found my condo in a week–literally was the first one I saw, saw 5 others to compare, and went back and put in an offer that Friday.  Closed 2 weeks later.

Took Fi and I 4 months to find our house, which is PERFECT for us.  Closed in 6 weeks.

Post # 13
2560 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Start to finish … about 5 weeks, but we bought a house from a builder that was already built, and ready to move in. We looked at houses on a Saturday, decided which one we wanted over dinner that evening, met with the realtor, put in an offer which was accepted Sunday night (Monday morning another couple tried to put in an offer, so we were just in time), took possession like a month later, moved in 3 days after possession,

Post # 14
750 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

We got pre-approved this past February and started looking right away. We put offers on three short sales that went nowhere and then found a brand-new house that was a standard sale. We made the offer the last weekend in March and they picked us out of multiple offers. We closed in 22 days and got the keys last week. 

Post # 16
750 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

A conventional mortgage with no PMI requires 20% down. You can do conventional mortgages for less down but you pay a PMI percentage each month for at least the first two years. The more you put down, the lower the PMI percentage.

An FHA loan only requires 3.5% down but you will pay an upfront MIP as well as a monthly MIP for the first five years of the loan. I think right now it’s 1% down plus 0.85% each month.

I think you can do 0% down with a VA loan still.

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