How Long Does It Take to Purchase a Home?

Buying a house is an exciting and stressful journey. Closing on your dream home does not happen overnight. In fact, it takes an average of 44 days from mortgage application to closing. 

However, it could take longer if there are roadblocks along the way. Home buying milestones like the inspection and mortgage underwriting could derail your planned schedule.

Read on to find out how long does it take to purchase a home. Explore the variables that could either speed up or delay closing on your home.

Finding a Home and Placing an Offer

The first step in the home buying process is finding the right home. Some buyers are looking at existing homes, while others are looking at display homes for new construction. Either way, it takes time to find the right home for your family’s needs. 

In addition, there is a nationwide inventory shortage. The real estate market is surprisingly strong in the wake of a global coronavirus pandemic. Home prices are on the rise and the most appealing houses are selling extraordinarily fast.

Even after you find a suitable house, the seller needs to accept your offer. In this uber-competitive real estate market, it is not uncommon to be outbid on a great house.

Depending on your approach, this phase could take weeks or months. Flexible buyers with an aggressive offer are most likely to exit this phase first. 

Home Inspection

After a seller has accepted your offer, a home inspection needs to be performed. This milestone has the potential to delay your home purchase or end it altogether.

Here, a professional takes a fine-tooth comb to the property. If they do not find any major issues, you can expect an expedited closing. 

However, the schedule risk lies in the uncovering of a major issue. Perhaps the home inspector finds a toxic mold condition in the ventilation system or termites in the foundation.

Now, you will enter a discussion phase with the home seller. The question becomes whether they will remediate the issue or do both parties agree to terminate the agreement. 

Mortgage Application

The mortgage process is another thing that takes time. Obviously, a cash transaction is the fastest possible route.

The vast majority of homebuyers need a lender to help them make a purchase. However, this takes considerable time as the lender reviews your creditworthiness.

Lenders request a wide variety of documents including tax returns and income statements. They will also run your credit history. In many cases, they will send your mortgage package to a federal agency like the FHA for approval.

Home appraisals are another schedule driver during the mortgage process. This is when the lender sends out an appraisal professional to determine the value of the property. They do not want to lend out more than the house is worth.

How Long Does It Take to Purchase a Home?

As you can see, the answer depends on a number of factors. For planning purposes, you should expect to spend at least three months to find a house and close on it. 

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