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.