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Victoria Araj 8-minute read. May 16, Whether you're crammed into a home too small to meet your needs or living with your parents, you may daydream about owning your first, or next, home. The search for a new home may seem like a long and overwhelming journey — maybe so daunting that you find ways to avoid taking the first steps. The good news is, depending on your location and finances, you could be in a new home in 5 — 6 months. Better news still — you can take steps ahead of time to shorten that period.
Best news yet — you can do most of the work from your couch. There is plenty you can do to prepare yourself for house hunting to shorten the time it takes to own your next home. If you do need a mortgage, before you step foot in an open house, take a cold, hard look at your financial situation. Depending on how you manage your finances, you might sail through this step in a day or two.
While you're getting your financial history sorted out, figure out where you want to live. Consider your lifestyle and do your research. Your lender verifies your income and checks your credit history and current debt to determine how much home you can afford when you apply for a preapproval. Your preapproval letter helps you to strengthen your offer when you find the right home. Many lenders allow you to apply for a loan online in as little as an afternoon. We ask prospective borrowers for a verbal verification of income and assets and determine their DTI.
To make an offer, prospective home buyers will need Verified Approval, the next step in our Power Buying Process, where a home buyer submits documentation to get a Verified Approval Letter. This process can be completed within 24 hours. The longest part of the buying process is often the hunt for the right home. Expect to spend around 3 months finding the perfect property. The best way to fast-track your shopping process is to work with a real estate agent. Real estate agents are local professionals who are experts in the market and the home buying process.
A real estate agent can help you find homes in your budget and narrow down your search. They can also help you submit a strong offer and speed up negotiations. Keep your eyes open for red flags in the home that might cause time-consuming and expensive problems later. Some issues you should look for include:. An offer letter lays out the terms of the sale and includes details like the price, closing costs you want the sellers to pay and any repairs you need made before closing.
Your real estate agent will handle the job of writing your offer. When the sellers receive your offer letter, they have three different options to proceed:. As you might expect, these negotiations can go on for a while. Your agent may come back with some valuable information that allows you to tailor your offer and receive a faster acceptance. Get ready to close on your mortgage loan when you reach an agreement with your sellers. Your lender will schedule an appraisal and underwrite your loan during this time.
You should also order a home inspection before your close. An appraisal is a professional estimate of how much your home is worth. Mortgage companies require that you get an appraisal before you can get a loan. The appraiser who visits the home will always be an independent third party who can ensure a fair market assessment.
It might take some extra time to find an appraiser if you live in a very remote area. Your lender verifies your income, assets and debt to make sure that you qualify for a loan during the underwriting process. Once your lender finishes underwriting your loan, the underwriter can deny your loan or issue you your final mortgage agreement. Most of the underwriting process happens behind the scenes. Your lender will check your credit report and comb over your bank statements. You usually won't need to participate in the underwriting process if you've submitted all the correct documentation.
Your lender may contact you for more information or to submit more documentation. Respond to all inquiries quickly to ensure a timely closing. An appraisal only gives you a rough estimate of how much a home is worth.
An inspection gives you information about what needs to be repaired or replaced. You should still order an independent inspection on your own time. Look over your inspection for major issues. Most offer letters include clauses that allow you to modify your purchase agreement if the inspection unveils a large, hidden problem with the home.
You may need to return to the negotiation table with the seller if your inspection does reveal a major issue with the property. Your lender will first issue you a document called a Closing Disclosure. This document outlines the final terms of your loan, including your APR and what you must pay in closing costs. By law, your lender must give you at least 3 days to read your Closing Disclosure before the closing meeting. After the 3-day window passes, your lender will schedule a closing meeting.
You can ask any last-minute questions about your loan agreement. Most buyers can expect to spend around 6 months purchasing a home. It may take you between 1—2 months to negotiate an offer with the seller depending on your local real estate market. From there, it will take around a month for your lender to finalize your loan and another week to schedule a closing meeting. Remember, buying a home is a personal process that differs for everyone. Some people spend less than 6 months buying a home and others spend much more going through these steps.
Home Buying - 6-minute read. Hanna Kielar - September 17, A lot of factors go into determining whether or not you should buy a house. Home Buying - 4-minute read. Victoria Araj - September 17, Closing on a house typically takes 30 — 45 days, but common delays can lengthen the timeline. Get the statistics and learn how you can speed up your closing. Miranda Crace - September 10, Considering buying a house without a realtor? Take the first step toward the right mortgage. Apply online for expert recommendations with real interest rates and payments.
Before You Start Looking For Your Next Home There is plenty you can do to prepare yourself for house hunting to shorten the time it takes to own your next home. Organize Your Finances If you do need a mortgage, before you step foot in an open house, take a cold, hard look at your financial situation. Save for your down payment and closing costs. Avoid new debt, which will raise your debt-to-income ratio. Organize your paperwork. Save Time By Looking For Red Flags Keep your eyes open for red flags in the home that might cause time-consuming and expensive problems later.
These can be expensive issues to fix later. The earlier you know about them, the better. Carbon monoxide, lead paint and radon: Make sure you remember to ask your real estate agent for the of these three tests when you tour every home. If not, you can order them as part of your inspection. Spot this problem early to avoid a massive repair bill later.Looking for a good time my place
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