How Long Does It Take to Close on a House?
If you’re at the beginning of the home buying process, you’re probably asking questions like “How long does it take to buy a house?” Or “How long does it take to refinance a house?” However, in both situations, what you’re really asking is “How long to close on a house?” The process takes different amounts of time depending on the person and situation, but I’ve compiled a couple of quick tips to help you make the closing process as smooth and painless as possible.
What Do I Need to Buy a House?
The mortgage process may seem complicated and long, but here at Low VA Rates, we want to make it as simple as possible for you. Most loans can be secured in a matter of five simple steps, and the process can generally be completed within 30 to 45 days.
- VA home loan qualification: For the most part, this step requires you to fill out some simple online forms and submit them to us. We will then contact you with options for moving forward. After you get approved for a VA loan, your lender will help you apply for a Certificate of Eligibility from the Department of Veteran Affairs. This certificate ensures that the borrower will be able to finance the home with a VA home loan.
- Pre-approval: This step ensures that you are financially stable enough to secure and pay back a loan.
- Finding a house and making an offer: You can work with a real-estate agent or find your home independently. Once you’ve found the perfect place for you, you can make an offer. Part of making an offer might be deciding who pays closing costs. Sometimes the seller will cover all closing costs depending on the rest of your offer.
- VA appraisal and closing: Before you can close, your new home needs to be appraised by the VA. In order to have your home funded by a VA loan, the house needs to be move-in ready and functioning properly. After the VA approves the property, your loan will go to an underwriter for approval. Your loan officer will help you calculate closing costs and a closing date can be set. Typical closing costs for a VA home loan include escrow, survey fees, and the VA funding fee. Signing the paperwork at closing finalizes your loan, and the new house is officially yours.
Home Closing Process
There are some parts of the mortgage closing process that just take time and patience. However, there are some things you can control to help speed up the process.
- Speeding up the pre-approval process: In order to pass this process quickly, organize the needed documents in one place and have them all clearly marked. It’s much faster and easier to hand over one file than to be held up because vital forms are missing. These necessary documents usually include pay stubs, tax returns and W2 forms, employment history, and bank statements. These documents help prove that you are financially stable enough to get a loan and pay it back over time.
- Communicating with your seller: It’s important to know when the seller wants to move out and to let the seller know when you want to move in. In order to curb any misunderstandings, stay in contact with your seller and make sure you are both clear on each other’s timelines.
- Passing the VA appraisal: A home has to pass the VA appraisal in order to move on to closing. Once you apply for the VA to appraise the house, it can take up to 10 days to complete the process, and there’s not much you can do to speed that along. However, repairs cause the most holdup. Fixer-uppers can be fun, but if you want to move into your home sooner, try to choose a home in good condition. Once the house passes the VA appraisal, you can move in and make all the renovations your heart desires.
- Underwriting: Underwriting is another one of those steps you really can’t control. However, this step doesn’t have to be headache-inducing either. To make the underwriting process as smooth and stress-free as possible, make sure all the information on the loan forms are correct, and choose an experienced loan officer who knows how to get everything done accurately and in a timely manner.