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How long does it typicly take to find and purchase a home?

I know the general area I want to be in and I am currently renting. (This would be the first home purchase.) But my lease is up in 2 months! Do you think I should wait on buying a home?
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April 10 2012 - Dallas
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Answers (24)

I usually can help a buyer get an accepted offer in a few weeks and It takes between 30-45 days to close from there.
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June 26 2012
You could find a house on your first day or it could take a month or more.  Not to repeat others, but get prequalified and find a GOOD Realtor who knows your area. Don't just use someone because they're your sister's friend or someone you know from church... find a professional who can help you. You're making the biggest buying decision of your life... get someone who is an expert. Be loyal to them and they'll be loyal to you.


Good luck!
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June 14 2012
No, don't wait!
Contact a local lender, get a pre-qualification letter and start looking!
Your pre-qual letter will let you know what price home you qualify for.  That is your first step.  Then, with your lender's help, decide what what your monthly payment would be and what price is affordable.  Now that you have your price range, contact a local Realtor and have them search for area homes that match your needs, ie # of bdrms, lot size, price, etc.
Now the fun begins......go out with your Realtor and "tour" your chosen homes!  If you would like me to refer you to a reputable Realtor in the Dallas area, please contact me and I'll send you a couple names to choose from.  Have fun and good luck!
Tami Coughlin
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June 13 2012

There has literally never been a better time to buy a home. You will have to get started ASAP. I've been in your shoes before, and my advice is to selet a good realtor who has the time, connections, and knowledge to walk you through every step.  If you haven't found that person yet, contact me through my profile and I would be more than happy to help you achieve your goal.  Zillow doen't allow me to post my info directly.

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June 07 2012
Many landlords will allow you to go month to month at the end of your lease. With that said, interest rates are historically low and now could be the best time to purchase a home. If you are thinking of purchasing a home, I would suggest you start looking now.

It is hard to say how long it will take for you to purchase a home. I know a couple that started looking for a house in January, and still have not closed. I know another guy that started looking, offered and closed the transaction within 3 weeks. Every transaction and every buyer is different. A bank owned property can close quickly once an offer is accepted, but a short sale, which requires approval of the seller's lender, could take months to even receive a response.

Best of luck!!
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June 07 2012
Generally speaking approx. 3 months.  You can always ask your landlord to go month to month after the lease expires.  If you rush, you may end up making a mistake.  Low interest rates and low housing prices, these 2 do not usually happen at the same time.  It is now, so this is the best time to purchase.  your monthly payments may be less than your rent plus you get the tax write off.  Looking back in the rear view mirror 5 years from now, you would be glad you did.
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May 27 2012
With interest rates still near all time lows, it is an excellent time to buy your first home.  Your first step should be getting pre-approved by a local lender to see if you are financially ready to buy.  If you are, then definitely start looking.  If you find something right away, a 45 to 60 day settlement is very normal and reasonable.  If it takes a little longer to find your new home, have a talk with your landlord.  They may be open to accepting a 30 day notice from you on a month to month basis if you are honest about the situation.  In this market, there is no shortage of renters, and your landlord should feel comfortable that they could find new tenants in a relatively short amount of time.
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May 25 2012
My opinion would be start now. You never know how long it will take in todays market. If you find a house you like that is a short sale then it could take at least 2 months. I have clients that start 4-6 months looking.
Wish you the best in your house hunting! 
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May 14 2012
If you are first time buyer suggest starting right way.   May take you some time to get handle of what areas are available.   What each can offer your budget.  Depends also on the type of home you are looking to buy.   Traditional sales once under contract take 30 - 45 days to close.   Short sales the process for getting offer accepted can be months.  New builds can be 4 to 7 months for completions.
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May 14 2012
Buying a home is one of, if not, the biggest investment you will make. If you are choosing a particular home just so you can make your lease "deadline", then you should wait. Alot of landlords are willing to extend a lease on a monthly basis for a short term in order for you to purchase your home. Pre Approval is a good first step. Then,interview a couple of agents to find one you think you can work with, and then go house hunting! The last thing you want is to be stuck in a house you rushed to get and end up hating it. Good Luck!
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May 10 2012
That truly depends on many things. Are you preapproved for a loan or do you have cash? I have seen homes purchased in 3 days with Cash and take over 6-7 weeks with bank loans.

Find a good Realtor and get preapproved with a good lender and start shopping now. You could definately have a home under contract and closed before your lease is up.

Good Luck!
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May 07 2012
That answer depends upon your local market and your price point. Understanding supply and demand at the time you want to buy is key to estimating the time you'll need.

In our market for instance, there is less than one month's supply in the entry-level market. However, there is close to a normal supply at the higher end. So you would have many choices and less competition on a higher end home. At the lower end, you could be competing with more buyers who may have stronger financing or be willing to pay more. When a buyer has lost multiple bids and needs to move NOW, they are more likely to submit a higher bid than someone making their very first offer.

A local agent can educate you on the conditions you can expect in your preferred market location.
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May 07 2012
My clients generally go out 3-4 times to look at homes (max) and another 30 days to go through the process of having the home inspected and the loan put through. 
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May 06 2012
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In today's hyper-cautious lending environment, it is highly unlikely that you will be able to close within 60 days of making an offer. Possible, but unlikely.
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May 05 2012
I see you are in Dallas, I am not familiar with the Dallas market, but here in California, the market activity has really picked up. There is an undersupply of properties and multiple offers. In that scenario home values increase. This is a great time for first time homebuyers, I would not hesitate to move to your first purchase before the values price you out of the market.
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May 05 2012
I agree with most of the other professionals here . A first time homebuying experience is hard enough without having to negotiate these waters . Take your time, get with a patient and knowledgable agent , do your homework and only then will you know you are making the right move .
Those mortgage payments seem to go on forever , by taking your time you can avoid buyers remorse .. Don't let the" time frame" dictate the buy !
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May 02 2012
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If your lease ends in 2 months, you can start looking for a house now. It will take time to get your offer accepted, inspections done and usually about another 30 days to close escrow.

Read your lease to see what type of notice you have to give. If you are looking to buy soon, you might want to see if your landlord will offer a month to month, a shorter term lease like 6 months or an option to "buy out" of your lease early with 30 days notice for one month's rent. It is worth asking before you sign a new lease.
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May 02 2012
Ask your landlord if they will do month to month and be a tenant at will for a bit while you figure it out.
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May 02 2012
There has never been a better time to purchase a home then now. The interest rates are historically low. The prices of homes are as low as they could be. There are many homes to look at and find the perfect one. There are a lot of first time home buyer loans and programs out there.

You should talk to an agent today and a loan officer as soon as possible. Both of these things will cost you no money and will let you know what is available to you and what you can afford.
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May 01 2012
If the property is a short sale it may take longer to close the transaction. Sometimes things happen in escrow that are beyond your control so do not count on it closing in 30 days.
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April 22 2012
Be sure and begin talking to your landlord now and finding out how they feel about letting you go to a month to month lease when your lease expires. Be sure and let them know that you will be willing to keep your current home spotless and ready to show to prospective tenants. The reason I say this is it could take you a while to find the perfect home, and the last thing you want to do is "just buy something" when you will be living there for a minimum of 7 to 10 Years (I assume). You don't want to be pressed to make a decision because your lease if up, or add any pressure to an already somewhat stressful live event.

Here are a few good things to read. They may give you some additional things to think about. Honestly, every new homebuyer should read every link on this page:
Buying a Home

And some additional questions many first time buyers have:
FAQ's for First Time Homebuyers

I am currently searching for a new home myself. And the process has fascinated me so much I have decided to become a real estate agent. Good luck!
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April 11 2012
It takes about 30 days from the moment you identify the home you want to buy to the day you get the keys, so now is indeed the time to start looking.

It looks like you've already done some homework and decided on which neighborhood or general area you want to be in so kudos to you.

Once you choose a Realtor to work with, get your financing in place (your Realtor can help you with that), it makes you a stronger buyer when you are ready to make an offer.

Good luck,

Naima

p.s.  Make sure you read your lease carefully and see how long of a notice you need to give, also find out if the lease amount goes up if you go month to month, in case you have to wait for the perfect home to come around.
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April 11 2012
You may be a bit late already.  First find a good realtor who can put in touch with a few lenders.  Lenders usually require 6 weeks from purchase and sale to closing.  So as you can see you need to start the process immediately.  Good luck! 
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April 10 2012
No. You need to start now. Once you find something and write the contract, it will take 30 to 45 days for the lender to get their paperwork together. Start now and you will not be stressed.
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April 10 2012
 
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