So you have decided this is the year that you are going to buy your new home! The most common, and the hardest question to answer for any Realtor is "How long will it take to find my new home". Well this is difficult for a number of reasons, mainly because I have been looking for that crystal ball, but it has been impossible to find! There are some other factors that you have to figure in when you are figuring out how long it MAY take you.
Of course, if your a regular reader of my blog you know that you need your pre-approval before you go out to do serious looking for that new home. Some people do have the option of paying all cash, or putting a large amount down on their new home. In either case, you will normally be much more appealing to a seller and they will want to move quickly so they don't lose you. Making yourself appealing to a seller is always a great way to move along the process. For those first time buyers I will be writing another in depth blog about what happens after your offer is accepted, and what happens while your waiting to get to the closing table.
How Many People Need To Approve Your New Home?
Now if you are buying this new place with a partner than you obviously will not be the only one calling the shots, or making the final decision. You need to decide before you go out looking on what BOTH of your must haves are, this way one person doesn't fall in love with a home not realizing the other person would never be able to live there. Always be reasonable when you decide on these MUST HAVES jacuzzi tubs, specific appliances, pools, landscaping should never be on a must have list! These are things that can be changed, and if the right house comes along it might be worthwhile to go with a great deal!
The next thing I am going to say I am sure many of your family members are going to disagree with, but I am going to go ahead and say it. Your family is not going to be the one living in your new home, you are if you love it than go for it! I am the first to admit that my family does impact my decisions, and sometimes your families insight will be very helpful but not always. I've had couples go into a home love it, agreed it was priced right and where they were comfortable being only to have a "family member" dislike a rooms layout and watch them walk away only to later on regret it. Now if your father is an contractor and says he sees some structural issues that concern him than I would more than likely agree to be cautious and make sure if you really really wanted it to have a thorough home inspection. Either way at the end of the day I am not living there, your family is not living there, but you are and it is your choice.
Now those are things that you need to know and understand clearly before you start your new search. There are 3 factors that will determine how long it will take for you to find your new home. Market Condition, Your Needs, and Your Limitations.
1. Market Conditions
We are in a BUYERS MARKET which means prices are on your side, and you have a good selection of homes to choose from.
There are homes that are listed as a "great bargain" and have aggressive, and competitive buyers as if that home is having its very own Sellers Market! When you see that great bargain, don't hesitate move quickly and aggressively!
The best way to protect yourself from over-paying, or losing a home is to make sure you have a full understanding of the market that you are looking in. Take the time to speak with your Realtor about what the average sales price for those homes are selling for, and yes you might be able to spend up to $400,000 on a home but that doesn't mean you have to spend all of it.
2. Your Limits
Some clients decide before they even begin looking when they need to be moved into their new home. This sometimes happens to families who need to move because of their work, or perhaps they have school age children that will be switching schools. In that circumstance where time is of the essence I will usually recommend that I speak with the listing agents of homes they would like to see before we go and look at the home. Remember anyone who is selling a home is also a potential buyer for someone else, they will have their own new home to look for as well.
As a buyer you also have to decide what is absolutely out of the question for you, if you must stay within a certain school district normally finding your new home will take less time than someone who is open to 3 or 4 towns. The more of a selection you have to choose from, the longer you will find yourself looking for. I am not recommending that anyone limit their search to make the process go faster unless they must, which is only a decision you as a buyer can make.
3. Your Wants & Your Needs
This is another topic I approach quite often, because it is one of the most stressful parts of finding your new home. Your needs should reflect things about a home that you could not change if you bought it, your wants are all those extras!
Now lets say you find the perfect house, but it backs up to an industrial plant I honestly would probably tell you to keep looking, that is something you could never ever change. Same thing goes for railroads, turnpikes, highways, shopping malls or anything that you will not have control over.
I wish I could tell you an exact time frame on how long it will take to find your perfect home, but everyones circumstances are different. The best piece of advice I can give you to make the process of finding your new home quickly is to be organized, and be sure that their is a clear line of communication with all the important people that will be involved!