How Long Does the Home Buying Process Take on Average?

Are you a hopeful first-time home buyer that’s feeling confused and overwhelmed by the home buying process? The number one question you are probably asking yourself is: “how long does the home buying process take?”

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed, especially when you’ve been dreaming of the perfect house for a long time. All of the logistics and complications can make you want to keep renting that tiny apartment forever, but we want to encourage you not to give up on your dream house.

In this guide, we’re going to break down how long buying a house typically takes from start to finish. Hopefully, our home buying timeline offers you a little clarity, patience, and perseverance. Let’s get started.

How Long Does the Home Buying Process Take, Really?

When all of the stars are aligned, buying a house can take just a few months. However, there are some parts of the process that can get delayed. 

The first step to buying a home is to get approved for a mortgage. Knowing your budget from the beginning will narrow your search and save you a ton of time.

To get preapproved for a mortgage, or this type of loan, you need to know your credit score and provide proof of income. Overall, this process takes about a week.

Once you’re preapproved, you can start shopping for a home. But first, you need to decide what kind of home you want. Do you want a house with a fenced-in yard in the suburbs, or are you looking for a chic townhome in the city? 

Save time by researching the neighborhoods and deciding where you want to live beforehand. Think about your lifestyle, the school districts, neighborhood amenities, proximity to your favorite places, and other factors that are important to you.

In general, shopping for a home usually takes around three months. When you have your search narrowed down, we recommend visiting the home several times to make sure you see all the features and flaws.

Making an Offer and Closing on a Home

Once you’ve fallen in love with a home, you can make an offer. If the seller is trying to move quickly, this process can go very fast. However, sometimes negotiations can take two or three months.

Once the offer is accepted, it takes a month or so to close on the house before you can move in. During this time your mortgage will get finalized and your home will be appraised by your lender.

We also recommend getting your new home professionally inspected before you close on it. If there are any deal-breaking details that the previous owner doesn’t disclose, you can still back out of the purchase or renegotiate your offer.

Final Thoughts on Buying a Home

So, how long does the home buying process take? The answer to that varies on several factors, but you can expect it to take at least six months. The important thing to remember is that it will all be worth it when you finally get to move into your dream home.

For more home buying resources, check out our other blogs.