What You Should Expect When Buying a House

Buying a home can be simultaneously the most satisfying and the most stressful thing you do in your lifetime. An easy way to alleviate this stress and focus on the positive is to educate yourself on what to expect. The process of buying a home does not vary greatly from situation to situation, so you can prepare yourself for how everything typically plays out.

Finding a Home You Love

Before you even start looking at homes, you want to get preapproved for a loan. This is the smartest course of action for letting you know what price range you’re looking in as well as making you more eligible as a buyer. However, preapproval isn’t a guarantee, so how many days before closing do you get mortgage approval? Closing is the final step of the mortgage process, so how long does it take to close on a house once you find the home of your dreams?

Starting the Countdown

The first eight to 12 days after you find the house you love will involve a handful of actions, plus an additional one to two weeks for an appraisal. The moment you decide you want to buy a home, let your realtors know so they can place an offer on the house for you. From there they will have to negotiate with the sellers, and you may even have to submit a letter introducing yourself and explaining why you want to buy their home. This is because many sellers receive more than just your offer on their homes.

If you are the lucky chosen one, then you will start the mortgage application process. You will sign a sales agreement, tentatively locking in the price of your home, and then a mortgage advisor will create your loan application. This will include disclosures that you will want to make sure to review closely before signing and submitting. Despite having placed an offer and being preapproved, your loan is not guaranteed until this application is approved.

Included in these eight to 12 days will be your home inspection and final negotiations. An inspector will look over your potential new home and then provide you with a detailed report of what was found. This report will determine whether you want to request the current owners make repairs before you move in. After the completion of repairs is when you would move forward with an appraisal. The amount of time an appraisal can take varies on the type of home and current workload of the appraiser. It is recommended to be flexible because of this.

Reviewing the Final Details

Nothing is official until the appraisal and additional loan conditions are reevaluated and added to the original loan application. Once that is completed, you are able to review and approve the terms. You will be provided with all of the final details. This will typically take about five days, which then kicks off the mandatory three-day cooling-off period for you to review everything. If you’re still happy, the actual closing of your new home takes about two days, resulting in a total overall loan timeline of 30 days.

Understanding the basic steps of home-buying helps the process go more smoothly. Once your mortgage is approved, you are most of the way to moving into your dream house.