It is important to be personally prepared to buy your property and understand your motivations in moving. Are you relocating for work to a new area? Are you retiring? Did your family grow and you need a larger home? Do you need to move to be closer to family? Are you investing? Do you know the neighborhood you want to live in or are you new to the area? All of these factors are influenced by your personal comfort level and goals.

You should have a time frame for purchase and an idea of the type of property you would like to buy. The general escrow time frame is 30 to 45 days from a mutually accepted offer to purchase using a conventional, FHA or VA loan. This time frame has increased over the past 2 years due to new government regulations, a USDA loan may take even longer; check with your lender for details and allow about 60 days for closing. Add the lender time frame to the time it will take to find the right home and the process can take 3-6 months. There are things you can do to reduce the purchase time, such as getting a loan pre-approved so you know how much you can spend before you look. Also, try researching neighborhoods and schools on line to narrow your options. If you are in town, drive by potential listings before setting up appointments to go inside; this will give you a feel for the area.

There are still distressed, foreclosed or overburdened properties currently on the market. These properties need a lot of due-diligence before purchasing because there are no seller records available on the condition of the property. There may be repairs necessary in order to obtain financing or repairs needed after closing that will have to be incorporated into your budget. Short Sales (selling at a price below what is owed on a mortgage), have a 3-6 month time frame to close and involve a third party in the transaction. See the tab on Distressed Property Info for more detail.

If you need to sell a current property before purchasing there are additional time factors to consider. Is your home currently listed but not in escrow?  It is important to know the value of homes in the area and it will help you understand the value of your own property. You should have a couple of homes in mind that you like in case yours sells, or have a backup plan to rent or live with someone until you find the right home. Writing an offer contingent on the sale of your property is an option but it is up to the seller to accept. If your home has an accepted offer and the property you are moving to has accepted your offer there is the possibility of having a consecutive closing. This means that your home would close escrow; any funds you are using from the sale would be held in escrow and transferred to the closing of your new home a few days later.

Working with a Realtor® will help you reach your goals if you share your motivation with them. There are many options for all circumstances and working with a professional will help guide you in achieving your goals.


Oregon Bay Properties, LLC does not give legal or financial advice.  Information provided is not a warranty of any kind and all information should be verified. 

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