First Time Home Buyer Timelines

by Julian Michael Aguirre, Residential Realtor, John L. Scott, Bellevue Main Office

We want to assure your essential elements and every stage of your home buying process is on time. Your first time home buyer timelines are extremely important and we’ll be on top of it!

Here’s a scenario offering my professional advice to someone wanting to move before Labor Day weekend (first few days of September):

If you’re serious about moving before the Sept school year starts is to put together a timeline for yourself at least 90-days prior to Labor Day following the rationale below.

1 – Closing date, Speed bumps and Moving time

Think about the latest closing date you’d ideally want (let’s say Aug 30th for example, Weds prior to Labor Day weekend in 2017) then go backwards at least 45 days to when we’d need to get under contract: this would be July 19th. This allows a 30 to 35-day close (usually appraisal time sometimes holds up closing times a few days at the peak of summer months). This also allows a small buffer of time to move out of your current place and into your new home/storage, usually a couple weeks is preferred to coordinate moving trucks, cleaning up a rental, not being super rushed, and so forth.

2 – Home Search

In our market I advise my clients to plan for 4-to-6wks on average to find a home you’ll love and want to make at least one offer on, sometimes 2-3wks longer depending on how competitive the area is and if you have a travel schedule perhaps. Typically in our market we’re getting the second home for many clients on average, sometimes the first, sometimes the 3rd or 4th depending again on location, inventory, etc..

Begin: This puts you starting your home search June 7-10 or perhaps earlier, which for this example coincides with the end of the school year for those of you with kiddos. To be safe I’d aim to be ready to start your search the first day of June! Fact: There are many houses out there to purchase, it’s just that they don’t last long..thus, being ready 100% is essential.

3) Ducks in a Row: i.e. Financials, Pre-approval and Loan Application Set

Typically this is a 72-hour process if everything is accounted for, usually a business week is ideal to plan for if you’ve got all your paystubs, etc that your lender would ask for. We want your Pre-approval letter to be in your hands beforeyou start your home search though to avoid you losing that great home you might find without a pre-approval. In peak season everyone can get backlogged and it might take an extra day or two, which in our market can be the difference. So let’s say you’d want to be chatting with your lender in late May at very latest for this example to give yourself the best chance of bring prepared. Fact: Your pre-approval will last 90-days from when issued so you’re good there and typically a credit pull will last 120 days.

Hope that wasn’t too much but for anyone who’s a few months out that I work with I like to make sure they’re aware of the timelines and how they can sneak up on us. Consider me a resource for any questions you may have along the way and if/when you’d like to grab a coffee or chat I’m an on-the-go agent who will come to you. -JM