Home Buying in Vancouver>Question Details

Ron Peterson, Home Buyer in Vancouver, WA

How long does it take to buy a house?

Asked by Ron Peterson, Vancouver, WA Mon Apr 6, 2009

I am planning on moving to Vancouver, WA after I sell my house, but am concerned about the logistics of making the move of 2,000 miles. Would I be better off renting a place to give myself search time, inspections, and other delays?

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Ron--

I've had relocating clients do it both ways. You can get a sale on your house there and then take a trip and find your new home with the help of an experienced, full-time real estate agent, who can narrow down the areas you would be comfortable in. Will you already have a job here when you relocate, or are you retired? If not, you will likely have to rent for a while in order to get qualified for a loan to purchase here. That is especially true if you are changing careers, as the more restrictive qualification standards these days usually require that you have worked in your field for 2 years.

If you have job relocation benefits, it's an advantage to you to be able to move only once, although some companies do provide an allowance for temporary housing while you look and before you close on your new home.

Finally, although people did it frequently when the market was hot, I don't recommend taking out either a bridge loan or a home equity line of credit to finance your new home before your old one is sold. It's pretty expensive, and it can take a while to get your house sold right now!

On the positive side, prices are great here right now, interest rates are low, and inventory is high. So it can be a big advantage to price your "old" house aggressively to sell quickly, so that you will be able to take advantage of the low prices on the buying end.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 6, 2009
The question is "How long does it take to buy a house". The answer is from zero days to infinity. A person can purchase a home sight unseen, write the offer by email, negotiate, close and never set foot in the property. While this would not be my recommendation, in my opinion it would take the average person relocating into a new market approxiately five day to locate the property, two days to negotiate the terms, and from two weeks to thirty days to close. Very important to ascertain your credit rating and obtain a preapproval letter from your lender. You can do this online ; most banks now have web offerings. Hope this helps.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 6, 2009
Hello Ron,

I have worked with many clients who have chosen to relocate here, and each have chosen to do things a little differently depending much on comfort levels, time and reserve dollars.

One might choose to fly out for a buying trip, and do a similtaneious close. If your home is not yet sold, an early occupancy lease, with committmet to close on your sale can be worked out.

I have placed clients in month to month (suitable for executives even), until they were sure they had found the home of their dreams..

and I have had clients communicate to me their desires and purchased "sight unseen", but with the use of maps, video, pictures and much trust.

I would encourage you to form a relationship with a realtor you feel comfortable with,( talk to several) and explore your options with this realtor. They will guide you "in the way you want to go", representing your particular interests, goals and resources.

I would of course be delighted to be one of the realtors you interview, much the same as you might interview any professional, cpa, attorney, etc. Additionally I encourage you to view my website where there are copies of "what others say about me", as they appear on "linked-in".

Time to close after a home selection can be as little as 20 days, (provided lending is pre-approved and arranged....but 30 is more common.

Lots of options, Let me know how I can help

Gloria Gomez Matthews
Jensen White Real Estate

website below:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 6, 2009
Hi Ron,

Bill is right. I would recommend that course of action especially if you are not familiar with this area. The timeframe depends on many factors, but usually about 30 days from when you get an accepted offer. This may chnage due to lender issues, the home readiness issues, whether it's a 'short sale' or not mas well as others. Please let me know if I can answer any more questions about the area or the processes involved... I'll be glad to help...
Web Reference: http://www.DukeHayes.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 6, 2009

Your safest route is to find a month-to-month rental for a period of time prior to purchasing. This will allow you time to get to know the area and understand your options before committing.

God luck
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 6, 2009
HI again, Ron--

Glad you got some helpful answers! Before selling to your neighbor in Wisconsin, PLEASE be sure to get a market analysis from an agent you trust. If you don't know one already, ask your friends for recommendations. If you don't already have an agent, it's a great idea to have 3 different agents do a market analysis for you, and make sure they show you lots of information on the comparable properties they used to come up with a price. Don't just choose the highest price or the lowest commission, either. What you want is the agent who is the most truthful, and has a grab bag full of ways to promote your home to other agents and buyers. Using this kind of agent will get you the highest NET price for your home--which is what you really want! Also, talking to agents before you are finished cleaning up may save you money--a good agent will tell you the things that will and won't make a difference.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 6, 2009
Thanks everybody for your comments.

My spouse and I are retired, so renting in Vancouver looks like the best solution. It would work much better than renting in Wisconsin and doing remote shopping.

We should finish the cleanup of our house (painting & throwing out junk) in the next couple of months. Although the market is slow, a neighbor has already expressed an interest in our house and was happy to know that we are going to be selling.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 6, 2009
Oops, I did not see you are relocating to Vancouver, WA. The answer I gave is most likely pertinent in that market as well as in Pensacola, Fl. where I work. Having worked in Maryland, Virginia, California and Florida, I have found that most markets work essentially the same.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 6, 2009
Hi Ron,

Given the current state of pricing (record lows) in Vancouver, WA and the fact that interest rates are still as low as they are I'd suggest trying to do a simultaneous close. Meaning, close on your home in Wisconsin (Go Pack Go), have the proceeds from that sale wired to the local title company here in Vancouver and then close on the home here.

As a full time real estate team we've handled lots of such sales. It does take more coordination but certainly isn't out of the realm of reality. We can begin sending via email properties that meet your criteria and we can also visit prospective homes & take video to send you. Of course, you'd want to make a trip out to actually walk through the homes before making an offer. Once this happens, the inspections and appraisal all would be handled by us and you'd stay in the information loop via email and phone. If you'd like I can get you testimonials from many happy Vancouver homeowners who did the exact thing you are asking about.

Take care,

Dale Chumbley
360-260-3253 (feel free to call if you'd like to discuss this at greater length)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 6, 2009
I do recommend getting to know the area before commiting yourself as Vancouver is fairly large and has several outlying communities depending on your taste or you might even like us across the river here in Portland :) Either way I am sure you will love us here in the Great NW!

Once you decide on a home you can expect about 30 days to close with no hitches. Best of Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 6, 2009

Lot's of variables in your question, but legitimate concerns.

The market in WA is probably a little different than WI.

To buy a home can take as little as, "less than 30 days", all the way up to months & months! We had one take 8 months due to it being a "Short Sale" property, title issues, liens, etc.

The "Rent vs. Own" scenario is one to definitely discuss with a qualified realtor. Use Trulia to search the area you are moving to and contact one of the agents.

Realtors are diversified to also handle "leasing" properties. We have access to lots of available properties for lease/rent. The agent would be able to narrow down the areas that would be best to accomodate your needs.

Best of luck and continue to use Trulia for your RE questions. Great place to find qualified Real Estate Agents in all areas!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 6, 2009
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2016 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer