How Long Does It Take to Buy a New House?

a home appraisal

How Long Does It Take to Buy a New House?

If you live in the US and you want to buy your own property, what sort of timeline can you expect to do it in? 

We explored how long it takes for you to buy a house, form start date to finish date. First time buyers are deflated because they do not know the process of buying a house. Learning how long it takes to invest in that first property can be all it takes to get your foot on the property ladder.

How long does it take to buy a house? Let us discuss timelines, factors, and decision making.

The Stages and timeline of Home Buying

We broke the homebuying process down into stages which you can assign a timeline to.

Stage 1 – Arranging your Financials

You cannot buy a home without the correct financial backing. To get financial backing, you can seek pre-approval for a mortgage in your state. This means shopping around and comparing mortgage deals that are available to you, then choosing one and applying for it. This preapproval is given to your agent so they can shop within your budget.

Timeline: 1 week without credit check difficulties

Stage 2 – Finding a Property Takes Time

The first step might be to get your finances in order ready to buy, but the second step is finding the correct property. You might want something fast, or even a property to flip, or you may be looking for your dream home. If you want the property, you will raise your children in, property hunting will take much longer.

Assess your expectations by making a list of the key features you feel are vital in your dream home. Pass this list to your realter and do not look at houses that do not match your desires. If your list is too lengthy, you will take a long time to find your dream home. Manage your expectations and be willing to make small compromises for best results.

Timeline: 1 week – 1 year to Find a perfect property

Stage 3 – Bid on the House

Making an offer is the third step. Once you have found a home you like and are happy with, you should contact the seller and express your interest in buying. You can offer the asking price, but it is customary to try to negotiate a better deal for yourself. We make a formal offer in writing after the verbal offer is accepted. You may go back and forth with the current owners on price. If they reject your offer, you can choose to make a counteroffer or you can return to stage 2 and find another property. 

Timeline: anything from a month upwards. 

Stage 4 – The Appraisal

Once both buyer and seller have agreed on a price, the contract is drawn up. The contract relies on the outcome of a home appraisal. This is where the lender visits the home to ensure that it has the correct value. This appraisal is good for the buyer since it will highlight any major flaws with the property before you are locked into a commitment to buy. If the appraiser does find flaws, you might still be able to negotiate a deal to fix the issues with the buyer. The lender should finish the inspection within ten days of the negotiations concluding, but more negotiations may arise from the results.

Timeline: Assuming smooth sailing, 10 days.

Stage 5 – Underwriting the Contract

Once you have completed the appraisal, the contract can be underwritten by your agents. This process ensures that the lenders are double checking their documentation and your credit reports. They will check details of your bank statements and put all the paperwork together for processing. They then send it to the underwriter, who can either approve or reject your application. You do not normally have to do anything yourself other than give them the paperwork, but if something is amiss in your paperwork it may end in rejection.

This stage may seem like it takes a long time, but the 45 days applies from the beginning of the accepted offer made. The 45 days should end by the time of the final house inspection.

Timeline: Anything up to 45 days.

Stage 6 – House Inspection

Technically part of the contracting process, the lender makes a final house inspection to go into greater detail over the things you must repair or replace to keep the property in good working order. This is similar to the appraisal stage but is more in depth. This inspection can give you costs and prices, uncover hidden issues, and can see you going back to renegotiate if other issues arise. If nothing goes wrong during all three appraisal stages, your contract is drawn up and you will be free to see the project through to completion.

Timeline: up to 45 days.

Stage 7 – Completion

Once everything is processed, your mortgage lender will send you a closing disclosure. This document goes into detail on what you own and what is wrong with it. The real estate agents need to give you a set time period to read the documents, so you do not get swindled. This period is three days. For this reason, you will not be able to close for at least those three days. After this, you sign the paperwork, and the house is yours.

Timeline: 3 days to a week.

What is the Average Time it Takes to Buy a House?

The average time it takes a US homeowner to buy their property is between 5 and 6 months. This includes every stage above. According to our timelines as given above, you could be in your new home in as little as 15 weeks’ time. If you do not experience problems along the way, the process of homebuying could be even faster for you. 

You Could Be At Home Sooner than you Think

All this proves that you could be in a new home much faster than you previously thought. Buying – even for the first time – is not as difficult a process as the lawyers makes it out to be. Enjoy shopping for houses, take your time if you can, and be sure of your decision. There are a lot of homes out there to choose from. Good luck!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here