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How Long Does It Take To Buy Your First Home?

There are a lot of steps to buying a house, and any of them could drag out the timeline, especially if you're not prepared. Here's the home-buying timeline, broken down step-by-step, so you can be in control.

  1. Doing Research: Planning for your home and realizing what you want can take some serious research which typically takes at least a week maybe two. Begin by discussing your prices range and what area of town you are looking in.
  2. Finding an agent: Make sure you have someone that will represent you and the needs you have. Don’t just settle on the first agent that comes along. Ask, your mortgage Loan Officer if they have any recommendations.  Finding an agent could take up to one week.
  3. Getting Pre-Approved: This usually takes about a week but check out the AFN Snap app on afncorp.com and it will make your application so easy. Getting pre-approved for a loan signals you're a serious buyer. Most agents recommend you have a pre-approval in hand before you make an offer.
  4. Shopping Around: So this can vary from person to person and can be anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Here are so many variables. If you're set on a particular neighborhood where the inventory is low, it could take longer… or you could discover "the one" on day one. It all depends on what you're seeking and what's available. But the typical buyer actively searches for 10 to 12 weeks and looks at a median of 10 homes. Don’t let that discourage you!
  5. Offer, Negotiate, and Sign: Work with your agent to help negotiate price range and what paperwork needs to be filled out. This will probably take up to seven days.
  6. Final Mortgage Approval: Getting pre-approved for a mortgage doesn't automatically mean you get a loan on the home you have under contract. A few more financial records may be needed to see your current financial standing. Typically, this may take up to two weeks but Team AFN works hard to get you a quick turnaround time.
  7. Home Inspection: While the inspection itself will only take a few hours at most it could take a couple of days to get the inspection booked.
  8. Home Appraisal:  The appraisal is key to getting a mortgage. If the home fails to appraise for the mortgage amount, you may have to put more down or renegotiate the contract. That's why you want to line up an appraiser as soon as you have a house under contract. And unlike the home inspection, this report goes to the lender instead of you and takes longer because the appraiser has to do additional research on what homes are selling for in the area. It could take up to five days to schedule then 5 days to report to the lender.
  9. Homeowners Insurance: It’s important to get insurance to protect yourself and your home. This could take anywhere from one to two weeks.
  10. Closing On Your House: s on average; 1-2 hours to actually sign the paperwork. Each step after you've got a contract on a home is part of the closing process. And that process which includes getting the loan, inspection, appraisal, title, insurance, etc. takes the average home buyer about six weeks.