The home buying process timeline looks pretty similar for everyone no matter if you’re purchasing your starter home or retirement home. However, there are steps of buying a house you can take to make the entire purchase easier on yourself.
We’ve collected a few items in the home buying process timeline that can help you avoid headaches or mistakes. You’ll also learn what you can do to get the right home insurance coverage to protect your investment.
Get in shape to buy a home
It sounds obvious, but organizing finances is a crucial step in the home buying process timeline. You can collect your current bank statements and other documents for your mortgage lender and call it a day. However, to put yourself in a stronger position to buy you can also:
- Pay down debt to decrease your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio
- Follow expert tips to increase your credit score
- Ask family to consider loaning or giving you money for a down payment
Talk to your mortgage lender for more information about shaping up your finances and credit to reach your ideal home buying position. Tip: Make sure you disclose any financial gifts you receive to your lender.
Understand the current market where you’re shopping
Working with a local real estate agent can put you in a great position to reduce your home buying process timeline. A great agent will:
- Listen to your must-have list and help you find properties that fit your needs
- Take your budget seriously and only show you homes you can afford
- Give you insight on current market trends
- Help you make a strong offer
With help from a real estate agent, you can get an understanding of the types of offers that will stand out from the competition. For example, you may need to be willing to pay above asking price or pay closing costs for the seller.
Your agent can also share the level of competitiveness in the area you’re shopping. For example, a highly sought-after subdivision may be experiencing higher competition because it’s in a great school district and right now your agent is noticing dozens of offers for homes in that area.
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Hire a good home inspector and other inspectors where applicable
After you’ve found a great home and the seller accepts your offer, one of the next steps of buying a house is a home inspection. A licensed home inspector will check walls, flooring, HVAC systems, electrical work and more to give a thorough analysis of the house condition. A great home inspector will provide a detailed report and answer questions throughout the inspection if you decide to be present for it.
However, contrary to popular belief, home inspectors do not check every nook and cranny in each home they inspect. Consider hiring additional professionals to help you understand the condition of the following areas:
A home inspector will turn the pumps on but will not check the integrity of other pool components. A swimming pool inspection can give you peace of mind.
An inspector will not climb on the roof if it’s raining or the roof is too steep. Hire a roof inspector to assess your roof for missing or broken shingles.
Unless your home inspector is trained to perform well water and septic system tests, you can expect to hire a septic system contractor to test your water and the entire system.
Fireplace or chimneys
A chimney sweep will perform a more thorough inspection of your fireplace and chimney than the average home inspector because they’ll search for buildup and structural damage. According to Realtor.com, a home inspector will typically look up the chimney to search for obstructions like leaves or a birds nest.
Talk to your home inspector to find out where you may need to purchase additional services or hire another inspector.
Outline your house closing process
It typically takes between 30 and 45 days to close on a house, according to Rocket Mortgage. On your closing day, you can expect to spend a few hours signing the final paperwork. The seller will be out of the home by the close date in most cases. However, you and the seller may come to a rent-back agreement where the seller can rent the home from you for a short time while they work on moving to their next home. Closing day discussions between the buyer and seller are essential to make sure everyone is on the same page about the house closing process.
Part of the home buying process timeline includes choosing home insurance before your close date. With help from an Integrity independent agent, you can get quality coverage you need to protect what matters most to you. Your agent will help you find the best coverage for your specific needs and any discounts you qualify for. Talk to an Integrity agent today to learn more.
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