How Long Does It Take to Buy a House?

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Tags: First Time Home Buying, Mastering Mortgages

When discussing the real estate market and home purchase process, the answer to a lot of the most common questions is “it depends.” And figuring out how long does it take to buy a house is no exception. Whether it be the time of year, your financial situation or difficulty locating your dream home, the amount of time it takes when buying a house varies. 

There are several key steps to buying a house, including: 

Financial Preparation 

First things first: buying a house is one of the biggest financial decisions you will make, so financial preparation is paramount. Obtaining mortgage financing for your home loan by calling a mortgage consultant should be the first call you make. Getting a mortgage pre-approval will show you just how much home you can afford. Working with the right mortgage company for your financing is also important when buying a house, as it will ensure you get a speedy pre-approval letter, so you can start looking for your dream home right away. 

We encourage you to look at online mortgage lenders when checking out current mortgage rates. Getting your finances in order will ensure you are well on your way to homeownership sooner rather than later. 

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Homebuying Timeline 

Six Months Before Buying a Home 

Buying a house starts with saving for a down payment. The bigger your down payment, the smaller your loan will be, which can lower your monthly payment and can eliminate mortgage insurance. 

The length of the homebuying process also depends on your credit. Most credit improvements require time and patience, so it is important to analyze and improve your credit as soon as you can. 

Determining the size and price of your home is also very important. This is based on your individual situation. However, when you know the home type, size and price you want and can afford, it will make shopping for homes quicker. 

Two to Three Months Before Buying a Home 

With two to three months before buying a home, it is time to work with a lender, as well as become familiar with the area in which you are looking to purchase a home. 

Once you receive your pre-approval letter, you are encouraged to start a more serious home search. This may include familiarizing yourself with specific parts of town or streets that interest you. 

When you are ready to view a home, partner with a local real estate agent to schedule a showing. While you may not find your dream home on the first showing, once you do, you should already be prepared to put in an offer. It may get accepted right away or it may go back and forth a few times for price changes – or the addition of a contingency before solidifying. 

One to Two Months Before Buying a Home 

While it’s an exciting time to have your offer accepted, you're not quite to the finish line yet – but you’re getting close. The escrow process typically takes 30 to 45 days, which leaves you with little time to tie up loose ends and prepare to move. 

When escrow closes, your real estate agent will contact you and schedule a final walk-through of the property to confirm its right standing. After the walkthrough, you will sign the final paperwork to complete the purchase. To make this process faster, consider eClosings, which can be done anytime, anywhere. Last but surely not least, you get the keys. 

So, how long does it take to buy a house? If all goes well, you can have it done in six months. We encourage you to work with a mortgage company to ensure you get competitive rates and customer care. Check out our mortgage calculator with taxes to have a better understanding of how much your dream home will cost.

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Maggie Solomon
By: Maggie Solomon


Written by Wyndham Capital Mortgage professional content writers — Content reviewed by WCM's Content Strategist, Maggie Solomon.

Maggie joined the Wyndham Capital Mortgage team in November 2020 as a Content Strategist. She has more than five years of content creation experience, which includes launching WBTV’s digital brand Queen City Weekend (now QC Life) and garnering more than 1.1 million page views across her articles. With a love of storytelling, she hopes to bring that passion to WCM and the many families it serves. She resides in Charlotte, North Carolina, and can often be found at a coffee shop, latte in hand.