Engage a realtor. Hiring a realtor is one of the most important steps in the house buying process and it’s one of the first things you should do when thinking about buying a home. Jeff Wilson will ensure that you have the most up-to-date information available and help guide you through the entire home buying process.

From start (searching online) to finish (closing escrow), buying a home takes about 10 to 12 weeks. Once a home is selected an the offer is accepted, the average time to complete the escrow period on a home is 30 to 45 days (under normal market conditions). Though, well-prepared home buyers who pay cash have been known to purchase properties faster than that.

Market conditions are a major factor in how fast homes are sold. In hot markets with a lot of sales activity, buying a home may take a little longer than normal. That’s because several parties involved in the transaction get behind when business suddenly picks up. For example, a spike in home sales increases the demand for property appraisals and home inspections, yet there will be no increase in the number of appraisers and inspectors available to do the work. Lender turn-around times for loan underwriting can also slow down. If each party involved in a deal takes a day or two longer to get their work done, the entire process gets extended.

A seller’s market is simply a market that is positive for those looking to sell their home. This happens when there are more buyers trying to buy a home than there are sellers trying to sell a home. The demand for homes is up while the supply of homes is down. For sellers, this means buyers will most likely start a bidding war and you’ll get a price above what you listed.

A buyer’s market is a market that is positive for those looking to buy a home. This happens when there are an excess number of homes on the market and only a few buyers. A buyer’s market means the buyer will be able to negotiate a price lower than the listing price.

 It’s always better to have a higher credit score as more lenders will be willing to work with you but there are different types of loans that will allow you to mortgage a house even if your credit score is low. Some of these loans include:

Conventional Loan: Credit score of 650 or higher recommended

FHA Loan: Credit score of 580 or higher recommended

VA Loan: No credit score required, though it’s recommended to have at least a 580

USDA Loan: Credit Score of 640 recommended

 This will depend on what type of market you are currently in. In a buyer’s market, it’s best to keep your current home while you shop for a new one. Since inventory is high and there’s downward pressure on prices, it’s best to shop for a new home while you wait for the current one to sell. In a seller’s market, you should sell your home first and then move into a new one. Since inventory is low and there’s upward pressure on prices, you’ll be able to sell your home quickly for a great price. You should have a new home selected before doing this, however, or you will have to find temporary housing while you find your new home.

Yes, it’s always recommended that you request a home inspection before buying a home. A home inspection can reveal unknown safety issues and structural flaws, even if a home was just built. These inspections will NOT reveal every issue a home may have or could have. It reveals only the defects observed on the date of the inspection. If defects are found, you can have the seller repair them or negotiate a cheaper price.

A final walkthrough is NOT required by law. It is, however, recommended that any buyer completes a walkthrough. You want to make sure that everything is working as expected and nothing goes wrong due to the actions of the previous owner. If anything was supposed to be repaired before the sale, this gives you the opportunity to make sure.

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