How Long Will It Take To Close On My First Home?

by BlueWater Realty of Pine Island, Inc 11/25/2018

Do you ever wish that they taught a class in high school called, “Things You’ll Actually Need to Know In Life?” You’d learn how to prepare your taxes, what investing is, and how to buy a home.

Unfortunately, all of these important life lessons tend to be self-taught; you pick them up along the way and learn from your mistakes.

However, it needn’t be that way. Our goal today is to give you an accurate idea of what to expect when you’re buying your first home. We’ll go over a typically home buying timeline and discuss how long each step can take. This will give you a better idea of how long it will take to close on your first home.

Step 1: Build credit and save for a down payment

Estimated time: 2+ years

The first step of buying a home is to make sure you’re financially secure enough to do so. While there are ways to purchase a home with low or no down payments (See FHA, USDA, and VA loans), generally it’s wiser to wait until you have a sizable down payment saved. This will save you money in interest and mortgage insurance in the long run.

Next, you’ll need to start working on your credit. If your credit score took some hits due to late payments when you were younger, now is the time to start fixing those mistakes by making on-time payments and paying off outstanding balances.

Step 2: Have a plan for the next phase of your life

Estimated time 6+ months

One of the most important, and least talked about, parts of buying a home is understanding what it means to own a home. If you have a spouse, partner, or family, you’ll need to be in agreement that you’re prepared to stay in one place for the next 5 or more years.

Buying a home is expensive and you won’t want to go through the process of closing on a home if you aren’t sure you’ll stay. This means making sure your career won’t bring you elsewhere in the near future.

Step 3: Get prequalified and preapproved

Estimated time 1-3 days (depending on how much initiative you take)

Getting prequalified for a mortgage takes minutes. You simply fill out an online form and the lender will give you an idea of the type and size loan you could qualify for. Be forewarned: they’ll also use this information to call and bother you about getting a mortgage from them.

Once you’re prequalified, it’s just a matter of working with the lender to provide the correct documentation for pre-approval.

Getting preapproved takes a bit longer (1-3 days), since it requires a credit check and some work on your part--namely, gathering and sending income verification.

Once you’re preapproved, you can safely start shopping for homes without worrying that you’re wasting time looking at homes that are overbudget.

Step 4: House Hunting

Estimated time: 30+ days

It’s a seller’s market. So, if you’re buying a home right now there is competition out there. You’ll need to dedicate a substantial amount of time to researching homes online, contacting sellers’ agents, and following up on calls. Like before, the amount of effort you put into this process determines how quickly and smoothly you’ll get through it.

Step 5: Making an offer and closing

Estimated time: ~50 days

Average closing times for buying a home has grown to 50 days according to a recent study. However, by securing financing ahead of time and acting quickly, you can drastically cut down the time of these process to as little as two weeks.

About the Author
Author

BlueWater Realty of Pine Island, Inc

Phil Gilles Direct: 239-425-5423 Email: [email protected] Donna Gilles Direct: 239-425-5426 Email: [email protected] Donna and Phil Gilles are two of the most respected Pine Island Florida Real Estate Agents. Their dependability, honesty and integrity are truly a "cut above” in the real estate profession. Having vacationed in Southwest Florida for several years and owning on Pine Island for eleven years, Donna and Phil could no longer resist the magnetism of Pine Island and moved to the island in 1998. Donna and Phil started BlueWater Realty of Pine Island on September 11, 2002, realizing Pine Island was in need of a real estate family that was a step above the mass marketers that dominate the real estate profession. Donna and Phil are both members of the Realtor Association of Fort Myers and the Beach, the Florida Association of Realtors, the National Association of Realtors, the Multiple Listing Service, and the Pine Island Chamber of Commerce. Donna and Phil’s in depth real estate training include investment management, brokerage, marketing high-end homes, real estate law, ethics and practice. Both Donna and Phil achieved the Graduate Realtor Institute designation in 2006. If your immediate future requires counseling in the purchase or sale of real estate, please contact Donna or Phil. They are professionals who will work hard for you to help achieve your real estate goals. The professional GRI (Graduate Realtor® Institute) designated real estate team at BlueWater Realty of Pine Island specializes in assisting prospective Pine Island residents in locating and purchasing their "piece of paradise” in Bokeelia, Pineland, St. James City and Matlacha. BlueWater Realty of Pine Island also provides a "no hassle, no cost” listing service for customers who wish to sell their Pine Island properties. Let the team at BlueWater Realty of Pine Island provide you with the best professional assistance available when selling or buying Pine Island real estate. Contact us at 239-283-7500 for more details. Pine Island, Florida is a short distance from Cape Coral and Fort Myers, Florida, however, our lifestyles and quality of life are worlds apart. Our four-way stop at Pine Island Center is an invitation to turn north toward Bokeelia and Pineland or south to St. James City. Whichever direction you turn, you will experience an atmosphere that exists in few Florida communities. Instead of high rises, asphalt and concrete, you will find low density development with the accent being on preservation and nature – not development. Residents of Pine Island revel in the extraordinary wildlife that inhabits our island, including sea birds of all varieties and colors, manatees, dolphin and other wildlife of all species. Pine Island offers some of the best fishing and boating in Florida. Boat to a secluded beach on Cayo Costa or island hop to the many eateries offering abundant seafood varieties. Fishing opportunities are endless. Inshore fisheries include snook, redfish, trout and world-class tarpon fishing, which has made our waters famous. Offshore fishing for grouper and snapper are excellent with many natural and artificial reefs. There is no better time than right now to purchase your "piece of paradise” on Pine Island. Interest rates are near an all-time low and prices are approximately 40% lower than they were just five years ago. The GRI (Graduate Realtor® Institute) designated Realtors® at BlueWater Realty of Pine Island can make a difference. When you see the letters GRI after an agent’s name, you can count on receiving the knowledge and guidance to ensure a smooth real estate transaction. In short, you can count on getting the best service available from a real estate professional. We want to be your Pine Island Realtor®. Call 239-283-7500 today. When it comes to finding a peaceful community in southwest Florida, Pine Island stands out as a leading place to find a second home, vacation spot or quiet place to retire to after long days in the Florida sun. Although Pine Island is actually the largest island on the Gulf Coast, it is a casual and laid-back place and the perfect spot for secondary homes. If you ever decide Pine Island is the right place for you, you have four beautiful neighborhoods to choose from. Whether you are looking for a gorgeous beachfront home, or a location inland, you will find everything you are looking for and more on this island, including a close-knit community, still active during the day before letting the night drift in and close down the island. Getting to and from the island is simple and the island itself is only an hour away from the Southwest Florida International Airport. Better yet, because the economy of Pine Island thrives on local fishing, it is a great spot for anglers to spend the day fishing or newcomers to begin fishing and develop a new passion. The island is also the ideal spot for relaxing activities like kayaking, hiking, and boating, among others. Visitors and residents alike will quickly find the island is a quiet community where the nightlife dies down by the end of the evening. You will be able to have fun without having to worry about noisy visitors keeping you up all night. Rest and relaxation comes at a premium these days, but Pine Island affords residents the opportunity to comfortably enjoy life. The residents here are just as diverse as the activities you can take part in. Artists, musicians, business professionals, retired attorneys, teachers and snowbirds all call Pine Island home. Even raising a family provides you an opportunity to raise children in a diverse environment with culture and life thriving around them. Still, this tiny part of Florida brings something unique to Pine Island livinganyone who visits it. As Pine Island was described in an article in Coastal Living Magazine, "A slice of Old Florida ‘country’ still thrives on this lush, green isle.” These are just a few of the perks of living on Pine Island. We hope to continually update our blog with community news, real estate updates and information regarding Southwest Florida and Pine Island, as well