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How Long Does Buying A Home Take?

How Long Does Buying A Home Take?

Buying a home can take as little time as a two weeks or as much time as a year or more. There is no surefire way to predict the amount of time it will take because there are many different and often complicated factors which come into play when buying a home. Some of these factors are financial in respect to income, debt, mortgage qualification and other financial obligations. Even more factors consist of a personal nature such as what someone wants in their dream home, where they want to live and what their expectations are for the future. Impulsive people with their ducks in a row and buying an existing home can move in within a few weeks but in most cases it will take a month or two assuming everything goes well.

Getting Your Financial House In Order

The prospect of finding a home you can move into is often exciting and takes a significant portion of someone's time. What is not fun is dealing with numerous financial requirements in terms of mortgage pre-qualification and debt management. If a person or couple has perfect credit and a significant down payment then it means only providing various pieces of financial documentation to the mortgage company approving the loan. Tax returns, pay stubs, credit checks and bank account statements are the basic requirements to qualify for a mortgage. What normally increases the time required are various financial obstacles such as excessive credit card debt or spotty employment. If the home buyer has black marks on a credit report or not a large enough down payment then it could take upwards of six months to a year just to get their financial house in order to qualify financially for a mortgage.

A Personal Journey Takes Time

If all aspects concerning financial requirements are sound and ready to move forward there is still the issue of personal taste with regards to home requirements. Finding your dream home may actually be substantially more difficult than saving a down payment or eliminating credit card debt. Finding the perfect house for some people can be like finding a soul mate. All of their friends and family tell them it isn't going to happen but they are unwilling to accept less and will wait as long as it takes until their stringent requirements are met. Needless to say, some people will go 5 to 10 years before even getting remotely close to finding and "acceptable" home.

In most normal situations however, a moderate list of specific requirements will be provided to a buyers agent who will do their best to find homes which are likely to satisfy the home buyers needs. These requirements often include location relative to work, schools and entertainment as well as transportation infrastructure and neighborhood quality. Home specific requirements may include a pool, basement, three car garage, radiant floor heating and other amenities deemed essential. There is normally enough home inventory on the market, both pre-existing and new, to fulfill even the most stringent requirements. If a home buyer is so picky that nothing fills the bill then they are not serious and there are other issues at work.


How long buying a home takes will depend primarily on the home buyer and whether or not they are prepared financially and emotionally. Financial requirements such as having a low debt to income ratio or saving enough money for a down payment are temporary setbacks which are often resolved in a fairly short period of time. Personal requirements however are normally the largest stumbling block but if home buyers can keep their expectations realistic then they will often successfully find what they're looking for in a place to call home.

Image by: Photo Dean