Home Buying in 55422>Question Details

Jamie BrownS…, Home Buyer in Minneapolis, MN

my rental lease is up 2/29/12, when is the best time to start the housing process and looking? Thanks!

Asked by Jamie BrownSugar Rayford, Minneapolis, MN Sun Jul 10, 2011

Help the community by answering this question:


Right now. Maybe last month.

Let's work backwards. Your lease is up February 29. That means you'd want to move into your home by February 29. Most closings take 45-60 days. Let's say 60 days, then build in 30 days as a cushion. (Things can go wrong.) That means you should have a ratified contract in hand November 29. (Recognize, too, that you're going to be running into Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, and Martin Luther King's birthday--all holidays that are going to slow the process down.

So we're back to November 29. Allow at least 30 days to look at homes, make offers, and go through the negotiation process. (That may seem like a lot, but that's only 4 weekends.) Now we're back to October 29.

You'll need to get preapproved. That shouldn't take long so if your credit is OK. Let's say October 15.

Now let's consider your finances. Your credit may be fine. It may not be. You need to allow enough time to fix any (minor) problems on your credit. Big problems could take years. But let's say it's just a few items of inaccurate information. And maybe you've got high balances on a credit card or two that you should pay off. Allow 90 days or more to find out the problems, make the fixes, and allow time for those fixes to ripple through to the various credit bureaus. To allow those 90 days, we're back to July 15.

Looks like you really ought to begin this week.

Hope that helps.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 10, 2011
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
Hello Jamie,
Good morning.
Are you still in the market to buy a home? If so, I would love to see if we can help you out. We work with 1st time home buyers all the time. Do you have a realtor yet? If not we have preferred ones we can get you in contact with. I would like to see if I can help you out with a home mortgage. I will try and make this a very easy process. Please let me know how to help out.
Thanks much.
Josh Lund
MN District Branch Manager
NMLS # 387408
Gold Star Financial Group
Mobile: 612.802.3265
Office: 952.884.5442
eFax: 877.666.0007
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 9, 2015
I'd get started at least 60 days before your required "notice period" in your lease. If your lease goes to a month-to-month lease automatically - you may have more flexibility. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 12, 2012
You should start looking now, if you have not started already. I see this post was from July, 2011. You may be able to find a short sale. If not, home prices and mortage rates are both very low right now. Make sure you have an agent that is helping you look and representing you.
Web Reference: http://www.cathyabboud.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 16, 2011
Since you have time on your side, you have the opportunity to grab one of the short-sale properties that are on the market. I say this because, typically a short-sale will take between 3 and 6 months to get approved by the bank who'll be taking the loss. Then you have 30-60 days from approval to closing. Some short sales take less time, but I've seen some take even longer. That's why the most common reason for short sale purchases falling through is buyers getting tired of waiting and withdrawing their offer.

I encourage you to at least keep your eye on the market. Setting up a search for short sale properties for this early in the game isn't a bad idea. You'll also probably want to at least get a loan pre-approval done, so that if you find one you can't pass up, you're ready to make an offer and be taken seriously.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 7, 2011
Don Tepper's answer is excellent. I would like to add one other comment. Try to have a backup plan, especially if you are trying to buy a foreclosure or short sale. You don't want to end up homeless. See if your landlord will allow a month-to-month option just in case.

Start by checking out the neighborhoods and interviewing agents. And start right now. There are quite a few options in the Crystal, Robbinsdale, Golden Valley area, but there can be BIG differences between neighborhoods.

You might want to start by checking out this handy lifestyle search tool: http://www.exitrealty.com/lifestyle_search.aspx

And it would be a good idea to review the Minnesota Attorney General's Home Buyer Handbook

Good luck and Happy House Hunting.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 18, 2011
The first answer from Don is right on. If you work on the process of financial qualification and education now, you will be in the best shape to start looking for an actual home in November or December.

There is a great flowchart on the broker website below, if you want t graphical representation of the process.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 10, 2011
Don is right again, the first thing to do after you start considering that home ownership would be something you'd want to do is look further into it. If you haven't much of an idea what is all involved, I recommend you attend a first time homebuyer education course which you can find all over Minneapolis, most are free.

Afterwards, if you aren't going to be buying the home outright with cash, you'll want to look into getting pre approved for a mortgage. This doesn't mean you have to buy right away, you can always extend the pre-approval.

Link to homebuyer education courses: http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm?webListAction…
Link to the pre-approval process: http://www.trulia.com/blog/shanethemortgageman/2011/05/the_m…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 10, 2011
Hi Jamie:

I agree with both answers below. It is never too early to start looking for a house nor is it ever too early to start educating yourself so that you can make the best decisions when the time comes. I encourage you to start talking to real estate agents and lenders to find ones you are comfortable with. In fact I recently wrote a blog post about exactly this subject. The link is below.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 10, 2011
Jamie you should star right now, set up a meeting with a local and trusted mortgage broker to get prequalified. You need to know if you can get a loan now and if not what you will need to do so you can get a loan. You then could start looking for houses In Oct/Nov 2011 proababily would be best. You may want to preview neighborhoods now so you knwo where you want to be or dont want to be
Web Reference: http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 10, 2011
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