For first time home buyers, how long does it take to buy a home? How early should I start looking for homes? Any suggestions?

Asked by thelabrat1, Irving, TX Wed Apr 25, 2012

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Don Groff’s answer
Don Groff, Agent, Austin, TX
Wed Apr 25, 2012
How long it takes to find the home depends on your market inventory and your personal preference. The average client of mine finds a home in as little as one week to 4 weeks. From that period when we find the home and go under contract you are looking at another 30 to 45 days to close in most cases.

Depending on your personal circumstances I would definitely give yourself some buffer room. Find an agent who can educate you on the market so you have a better understanding of the important things to make your purchase go smoothly. Knowledge is power!

Best of luck to you.

Don Groff
REALTOR® | Mortgage Broker
Keller Williams Realty | 360 Lending Group
o 512.669.5599 m 512.633.4157
1 vote
Jessica Bate…, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Wed Feb 8, 2017
That depends on several factors, if you mean how long does it take to close on a loan after you have an accepted contract on a home. According to The Lenders Network the average time it takes to close is 45 days. If you still need to find a home, then it could take a while depending on how picky you are.

If you do not have a realtor, get one. You will also need to get pre approved before you start the process. The Lenders Network can help you find a mortgage company, and can also refer you to a local real estate agent to help you in the process.
12 votes
Pat O'Reilly, Agent, Irving, TX
Wed Apr 25, 2012
It is never too early to start looking. Get with a Great Realtor that can set you up with the latest homes in your price range (talk to your lender today) and in the area you want to live in. Start looking at those homes on the internet. Most have pictures. Then drive the areas you like to see what the community looks like.
When you get 75 days out from your move in date, I would start actively touring the homes in the price range and area you like. In our area, if you start sooner those homes will be gone before you are ready to write a contract.
From writing a contract to possession it is 30 to 45 days.

It is never too early to sit down with a Realtor and discuss your options. I am here to help you and to explain how the process works. The more you understand, the less stressful the process will be.
4 votes
Bruce Lynn, Agent, Coppell, TX
Wed Apr 25, 2012
It can take as fast as a week, or on the longer end 35-60 days once you find the right house.
For most people I would suggest getting prequalified about six months in advance if possible. That gives you time to clean up any negatives on your credit report if any, pay down balances if you need to, save for a down payment if you need to, save for closing costs if you need to, and then start checking out general areas, drive times, neighborhoods, etc.

Then about 3months before you want to move, start looking inside homes, narrowing down what you want, don't want, can live with, can't live without, etc. You'll also start to get to know prices and quality and pick the deals from the not so good deals. This gives you a comfortable 30 days to pick the right house and up to 45-60 if you really need to look more. About 30days out from the day you want to move, you need to have locked down a place and be moving forward with contracts.

You can search for Irving homes at the link below.

Let us know if we can assist you in any way with your Irving home search.
1 vote
Karen Mashbu…, Agent, Dallas, TX
Wed Apr 25, 2012
Hello. If you a quick to decine on something, your search will go faster. If you are looking for a home with very specific requirements, it may take a little longer. Once you find a house, the loan process takes between 30 - 45 days. Most are taking closer to the 45 days right now.

As a first time Buyer, I would choose a Lender first, find out what you qualify for, and then start searching about 2 1/2 - 3 months before you want to be in your new home.

I would love to chance to speak with you and possibly assist you in your search. I have the Multiple Listing Service Listings link on my web site. It has the most accurate informaton if you are searching for a home,

972 816 1955 or
1 vote
Merryxmas57a, Home Buyer, Irving, TX
Wed Mar 1, 2017
My home has been up for sale 7 month. Is winter here have a buyer but no. Recent response from the realtor what is the problem the price was accepted by the buyer. No closing yet either why is it been this long?
0 votes
UpNest, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Tue Feb 21, 2017
It all depends on your local area and when the best time to buy is for that specific area. I would sign up for You can consult with realtors in the Irving, Texas area. Consult with realtors on UpNest for free and get the answers to your questions about when to buy and start looking.
0 votes
Esmeralda, Home Buyer, Los Angeles, CA
Tue Apr 28, 2015
I was approved by my lender and I have been looking at property's online but my real estate agent doesn't return my calls and when he does he never addresses the property's I am interested in. He works directly with my lender should I be concerned or am I being to inpatient? I would like to be at least looking at homes so we can find and move to our own home. (frustrated) It has been three weeks and nothing yet :(.
0 votes
Ereka Jones, Agent, Richardson, TX
Mon Apr 27, 2015
Hi There First Time Buyer!

Wow, what an exciting time in life to be buying a home. A time frame for getting started could vary from Buyer to Buyer. For those Buyers who have maybe done a little research on down payments, loans, know their credit, etc, typically can start about 6 months out.

If you have never looked into a home loan ,haven't started saving down payment money, etc, I would suggest to start this process just about a 6-9 months in advance, even possibly a year in advance if you need time to save money for down payments and closing costs.
0 votes
mdv, Home Buyer, Richmond, CA
Sat Dec 28, 2013
Allow 6 months from beginning to close.
0 votes
, ,
Wed Apr 25, 2012
I will let the realtors answer the question about how long it takes to find a home.
The loan takes less than 30 days.
Get pre-approved asap. That way you can deal with any issues now instead of last minute.

Tom Burris
Mortgage Banker
(214) 763-4629 cell/text/nights/weekends(Really!!)
Lending all across the entire Great State of Texas!!
NMLS# 335055
Search Dallas area MLS for FREE. No registration =>
0 votes
Tara Anthony, Agent, Plano, TX
Wed Apr 25, 2012
I definitely agree that getting pre-approved for a loan by talking to a Lender is your best first step. Then you can feel confident about your purchasing power and spend your time looking at homes that fit in your price range. A Real Estate Agent will help you with the next steps in the process. The New Option Team is based in Irving and Chris, Angie, and I would be excited to help you! I love assisting first time homebuyers and it would be our pleasure to guide you through the process! Check out our website below - you may even be eligible for a commission rebate after you close on the purchase of your home.

All the best!

Tara Anthony
Director of Real Estate Marketing
New Option Realty
0 votes
Liz Renfro, Agent, Dallas, TX
Wed Apr 25, 2012
I reccommend that you get both a lender & a Realtor first. A good Realtor is going to walk you through each step of the process of being a first time home buyer, all the way through closing. Most Realtors have lenders that they are familiar with that do a good job on your loan. You can close on a loan in as little as 3 weeks depending on scores, lender, etc. It is a really good time to start looking now with the rates so low. If you need my assistance, feel free to call me. I would be happy to help you, I work throughout the metroplex.

Liz Renfro
William Davis Realty
0 votes
Chris Menegay, , Irving, TX
Wed Apr 25, 2012
All great responses. Yes, the first step is to get pre-approved by a lender. Then start looking online to get an idea of what you like and drive around some neighborhoods. Then go find a real estate agent to show you properties. I recommend one with some sort of cash back program, as that will save you some money.

Let me know if I can be of any help.
Chris Menegay
New Option Realty
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0 votes
Roland Vinya…, Agent, Sprakers, NY
Wed Apr 25, 2012
There are many, many factors which can change expected times, all of them causing delays. So predictions are hard to make with accuracy. Many parts of the process are affected by folks who have no interest in seeing thing go smoothly - references, title searchers, underwriters.... And, of course, ;how fussy are you? How long does it take you to educate yourself about the right area to move to, and to recognize a good buy when you find it? Maybe there is extensive bargaining. Once the contract is signed, figure on 2 months until closing. I have seen this figure considerably less and, too often, longer. No one seems to worry much about YOUR deadline.
0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Wed Apr 25, 2012
1. You are required to be approved for a mortgage can take approx. 10 working days .
2. Priority to complete this which governs how a Realtor can work on your behalf based on lender guidelines AND how to structure the sales offer.
3. Allow 2 weeks to locate a property.
4. Execution of the sales agreement another 45 days to close.
5. Search approx. 60- 70 days prior to move in date.

NOTE: You can shorten the search by knowing what you like in a property . Many 1st time home buyers don't

I work with many 1st time buyers, happy to take you through entire step process without making it confusing.

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Credit Repair Advisor
0 votes
Tina Lam, Agent, San Jose, CA
Wed Apr 25, 2012
There are a number of elements to buying a home.

1) You need to get yourself financially ready to purchase. If you have saved up a downpayment, you should go get a pre-approval from a loan officer at a bank. This should take about 2-3 weeks. Until you know what you can get approved for, you won't have a realistic budget to work with.

2) Assess what you need in a home and get familiar with what's available. This is a highly variable period of time. Some people can narrow that down in a few weeks, while others may take 6 months.

3) Find a real estate broker who will educate you as well as protect your interests in the purchase process. If you have some good referrals, this should be pretty quick.

4) Visit prospective homes and make some offers. This is also a highly variable period. Lucky buyers can win deals in the first week and others can drop dozens of offers over a year before winning a deal. A good real estate broker can help limit the time needed with good guidance.

5) The actual close is pretty straightforward. A short sale will add about 2-3 months to the process. Once in escrow, it's about 30-45 days on average to close.

So, altogether, I've seen first-time home buyers I've worked with go from thinking about buying to getting the keys to their home sometimes in as quick as 3 months and others up to over 2 years (they're still looking for a "steal").
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