How long does it take to buy a home?

One of the questions I get asked a lot these days is how long is the whole process.  And the answer varies – but it's taking longer than it did a year ago!  Ellie Mae (a mortgage origination software program) keeps track of how long it typically takes to get a mortgage done.  The statistics are showing that it is taking 50 days to get a mortgage done (purchase or refinance) – that is 10 days longer than last year!  So when you are writing a purchase agreement, plan for a longer turn time! Currently I am getting several new purchase agreements that are closing the end of April, which is about 50 days.  

There are several reasons for this – one is simply the number of transactions that we are doing. It's busier now and that slows down everyone.  It takes longer to get an appraisal and even to get title work. Underwriting is taking longer. With the Federal law changes in October, lenders now have to get the closing disclosure out to the borrowers so it can be signed at least 3 business days before closing.  This has made it harder to do a rush closing.  

What can you do to help speed up the process?  The biggest help for us is to respond quickly when we ask you for something!  If you can get your lender your w2's, tax returns, paystubs and bank statements quickly, it helps!  When we send you documents to sign, return them quickly.  I know it seems like we call with a million requests – it's not just you – it's everyone!  We will look over your bank statements and see large deposits – now we will call you and ask for documentation on the large deposits (unless we can tell what it is from!).  So the more supporting documentation you can send, the better!

So when I am asked how long this will take, I will tell people to plan on at least 45 days.  Once you write your purchase agreement, you need time to negotiate with the seller, then you need time to get your inspection done.  Once that is complete, then I start my end of the process.  It can take any where from 1-3 weeks to get an appraisal back.  It's taking 6-8 business days to get the IRS 4506 back as the IRS is backed up.  Once we can submit the file to underwriting, you need another 2-3 days.  If you have any conditions from underwriting you will need another 1-2 days.  Then we can finally get the closing package out!  

We do understand that you may want to move sooner, but the mortgage process is defnitely slower than it was a year ago.  Help us to help you and we will do everything we can to get your mortgage closed!

Leslie Vanderwerf,  NMLS ID#335509, American Mortgage & Equity Consultants, Inc, An Equal Housing Lender, NMLS#150953 - Email - Website


Written By

Currently a Senior Loan Officer at Cross Country Mortgage LLC, it's hard to believe I have been in the mortgage business for more than 25 years and have worked with Sharlene since 2000! I love sharing mortgage insights here each week and helping people finance their homes. Listening helps me find the right program for you!

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