How Long Does It Take To Buy A Home In 2022?
February 21, 2022
As we rapidly approach the home buying season in 2022, you’ve probably been on the fence on whether to jump into the market or not. It’s a daunting task that can take ages—far longer than you may be prepared to engage in. The fact of the matter is: finding your home doesn’t have to take forever, and can actually happen faster than you expect! With the current trends and speed at which the housing market is currently moving, you’d be surprised to find that buying a home doesn’t have to take forever. Consider the following when trying to determine how long buying a home in 2022 actually takes.
So, How Long Does It Really Take?
With the way the market is currently performing around the country, you should anticipate spending roughly a year finding and securing your next home. With that said, the majority of your time will actually go towards finding the right home. Due to limited inventory throughout the housing market, competing with other prospective buyers will make finding the perfect home the most difficult portion of securing a home.
With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic back in 2020, several experts anticipated the market to cool down, making it the perfect buyers market. The reality is the complete opposite occurred, with the market skyrocketing beyond belief. Many homeowners stayed in their homes, causing inventory to dwindle. Thus, the few homes that were available were purchased immediately and for above what their asking price would be in a pre-pandemic market. Most areas see aggressive bidding wars between buyers trying to secure a home. While housing market experts suggest a market cooling is on the way, it’s impossible to accurately predict that will be the case with 100% certainty. That said, each stage of the home buying process can be predictable in the way it goes and the length of time it takes.
Before You Buy…
Before you jump straight into the housing market, there are some vital steps to ensure you’re ready to purchase a home mentally and financially.
Ensure Your Financials Are In Order
When it comes to buying a home, unorganized financials will stop you right in your tracks. It’s critical that you make sure you have everything in order before you ever step foot in an open house, otherwise you might find yourself disappointed when it comes time to put pen to paper on a deal. Some of the key financial aspects you should consider having prepared include:
- Your credit score
- Enough saved for the down payment and closing costs
- Your debt to income ratio
- Any paperwork required (W-2, bank statements, etc.)
Know The Area You Want To Live In
Before you engage in the housing market, you should familiarize yourself with the areas you want to live in. Having too wide of a range can make the search far too expansive & overwhelming, and too narrow can limit and impact you from finding some incredible properties. Be aware of your lifestyle and that of your family so you can align it with the right area. By having a properly focused area to search within, you’ll find the home buying process is significantly faster.
The first step to securing the home of your dreams is to secure a mortgage for it (unless planning on an all-cash bid for the home). While traditionally you’d have to wait to get your mortgage until you had a deal in place on the home, you can now speed up the process significantly with a preapproval. The preapproval will allow mortgage lenders to verify your current financial situation and determine how much house you afford. This stage typically takes 1-3 days to complete, but will save you time in the long run.
Keep in mind that there is a significant difference between being “prequalified” and “preapproved”. A prequalification is merely a guesstimate for how much you’d be approved for, with either little or no research done to verify your financial situation, whereas preapproval means you are actually preapproved for X amount.
Preapproval gives home sellers and agents the trust to ensure you’ll have no problem securing the necessary amount when it comes time to strike a deal.
Actually Shop Around For A Home
This portion of the home buying process entirely boils down to you, your tastes, and the availability of homes on the market. With a market as hot as this one, you could find yourself waiting months (or in some cases years) before you find the right home. We strongly suggest being patient, rather than trying to rush into a home, should your situation permit it. Purchasing the first home you find might lead you to feeling unfulfilled and unhappy. You’re searching for a home you could see you and your family living in the long term, so it’s important that it checks all or almost every check box you have. Securing a real estate agent can help streamline the home search process for you, as they’re able to spot prospective homes before you do. Once you’ve found the right home, it’s time to make an offer! Your real estate agent will help you draft up your offer letter to the seller to help streamline this process.
Preparing For The Closing Stage
With the purchase agreement signed off by you and the seller, you’ll move into the closing stage. This includes final checks to vet the house you’ve chosen and agreed to. This stage will take anywhere between 1 to 2 months with it averaging at around 1.5 months, or 45 days. This gives the lender enough time to finalize your loan and ensure the home meets your loan’s minimum requirements. During this period, your home will be appraised by the lender, and will begin underwriting your loan.
Once your home passes the appraisal process and your loan passes through the underwriting team, it’s time to close! Before this, your lender will provide you with a Closing Disclosure document which outlines the final terms of your loan, your APR, and what you’ll pay in closing costs. By law, your lender has to provide you with 3 days to read over your Closing Disclosure before having a closing meeting. After the 3 days pass, your lender will schedule a closing meeting where you’ll sign your loan documents and pay off the down payment and closing costs. From there, you’re handed the keys and the property is yours!
Before embarking on the lengthy home buying journey, contact ABSM today to get preapproval! Simply fill out our Preapproval Form on our website and take the first steps towards becoming a homeowner today.