Preparing to buy your first home? To help make the process less intimidating, it’s beneficial to break it down into manageable stages. Below, we provide a concise overview of the home buying journey and what you can anticipate.
First and foremost, it’s essential to recognize that the timeline from the initial stages to closing on your new home can vary widely, contingent upon market conditions and other various factors. Consequently, you should expect this process to span anywhere from as little as 15 weeks to potentially eight months or more.
One of your initial steps involves a thorough assessment of your financial situation. Are you considering applying for an FHA loan? How does your credit stand? Having answers to such questions from the beginning can facilitate securing the necessary funding and ensuring a solid start.
If you’re well-prepared—or if you’d like to delve deeper into financial aspects—reach out to a mortgage lender for pre-approval. In today’s seller-centric market, possessing a pre-approval letter has become crucial in demonstrating your suitability as a buyer. Additionally, a lender can help you establish your initial budget and identify any loose ends that need addressing to secure a favorable mortgage rate.
Once you’ve secured pre-approval and enlisted the aid of a real estate agent, you’re primed for property exploration. Whether you decide to peruse homes suggested by your realtor or explore listings online, it’s advisable to refine your search criteria by factors such as price range, location, and desired features. Maintaining realistic expectations can significantly streamline the overall process.
Upon identifying viable options, schedule property tours. While virtual tours offer convenience, nothing quite compares to personally assessing a property before making a commitment. When you’re prepared to submit an offer on a home, be prepared for potential competition. Your realtor may need to engage in negotiations with the sellers and fine-tune any contingencies to secure your desired property.
Upon acceptance of your offer, you’ll enter into a contractual agreement and commence the due diligence period. During this phase, you’ll need to arrange for a home inspection and appraisal. The timing of these steps can be adjusted based on your desire to expedite the process, but they should not be overlooked entirely.
Next, you’ll proceed to the underwriting phase, which may span a few days or weeks if your financial situation is complex. An underwriter will meticulously review and validate your financial standing as well as property details. Maintaining open and responsive communication with your lender and underwriter is pivotal to keeping the process on track.
Finally, the culmination of your journey is the closing stage. Once your loan is finalized, both parties review the agreement, conduct a final walkthrough of the property, and, if all checks out, complete the paperwork, transfer funds, and you’ll receive the keys to your new home!
For those seeking a more comprehensive understanding, refer to the following resource for a useful breakdown of the home buying timeline.
This is a guest post from The Sherry Riano Team.
Infographic provided by The Sherry Riano Team, FHA loan lender