If you’re considering purchasing your first home this spring, you may be wondering how long does it take to buy a home? Is this something that can happen by the end of the month? Or will you still be waiting at this time next year for the sale to go through?
A lot of first-time home buyers don’t realize that buying a luxury home in Philadelphia can be a process. Let’s break down the steps of the home buying process — from finding your ideal home until you receive the keys in your hand.
Step 1: Get Preapproved for a Loan
The first step in the home buying process is to know how much you are able to spend on your new home. The best way to accomplish this is to get preapproved for a mortgage.
Six months before even searching for a new home, you should begin saving money for a down payment, get your credit in order, and budget how much buying a new home will cost.
According to Fidelity Bank, some of the factors a mortgage lender will take into consideration when determining your loan include:
- Your debt-to-income ratio
- How much of a down payment you’ll be putting down
- Your credit history
- Proof of employment
Mortgage lenders will also be interested in the condition and value of the home you eventually chose to be your first.
You will usually receive loan estimate within three business days after applying. The loan estimate will also include the loan amount, the interest rate, and other important information. It may be in your best interest to shop around and make sure you get the best rate for your mortgage.
Step 2: Find Your New Luxury Home in Philadelphia
Now that you know what kind of budget you are working with, you can start searching for your new home in Philadelphia. This is where having the right luxury real estate company can help you with your search.
For example, Maxwell Realty has been in the business since 1970. As one of the top luxury real estate agents in the city, we know where you can get the best deals for your first home. From knowing the best neighborhoods in the city to find a home, to having the right contacts, we’ll get you into that home of your dreams.
The process of finding that home could take a few months. Remember to keep an eye on your credit spending at this time so it doesn’t affect your preapproved loan.
Step 3: Make an Offer
You found the home of your dreams and it’s everything you wanted and more. Now comes the tricky part — putting in an offer.
With Maxwell Realty’s help, you can make an offer that’s not only competitive but matches the true value of the home as compared to other home’s in the area. Remember, you will also need to include contingencies to protect you should you have to back out on the deal.
Something also to keep in mind: If you are able to make an all-cash offer (i.e. you’re able to pay for the home without a mortgage), then the closing process could go much faster since you won’t have to contend with the financial institution.
Step 4: Agree on a Contract and Put Down Money
If your offer is accepted by the seller, now comes the contract and exchanging of money. At this time, you will be expected to put down what is known as an earnest money deposit. This means you are putting down an amount of money “in good faith,” which tells the seller you are serious about purchasing the home.
On average, the contract process can take up to 4 and a half months to be completed. In addition, you and your luxury real estate agent may need to negotiate with the seller to make sure you get everything you need in the sale, such as repairs to the home. There will probably be multiple rounds of offers and counteroffers so you will need to be patient to get what you desire.
Step 5: Schedule a Home Inspection
During the time of negotiations, a home inspection should be scheduled within ten business days of signing the purchasing agreement. A home inspection is crucial for finding any issues there may be before the sale goes through.
If there are issues that need to be addressed, negotiations could drag on for even longer.
Step 6: Wait Out the Closing Process and Get the Keys
While you’re waiting for the closing process to complete, you should be preparing for the move. You want to keep in contact with your mortgage lender at this time to make sure nothing changes to the loan agreement as the details are finalized. You will also need to find a home insurance provider to protect your new investment.
Finally, you’ve reached the closing date after months of negotiations and planning. You will do a final walkthrough of your new home to make sure all issues have been resolved and to visually inspect the home. Once the walkthrough is complete, you will head over to the title company to sign the closing papers. Depending on whether you find issues with the home, this process could take a few hours.
But once all the waiting and negotiations and the inspections are completed, you will be handed the keys to your new luxury home in Philadelphia. And you will find that it was worth the wait.
Let Maxwell Realty Help You Find Your Dream Luxury Home
With more than 10,000 closed transactions and over $3 billion in real estate transactions, Philadelphia luxury real estate agent Nancy Alperin and our team of agents have been helping buyers connect with the right sellers. With extensive knowledge of the city, Maxwell Realty will make sure you will get the best deal for your new luxury home. Contact us today for more information.