First-time buyers, here is your buying a house timeline

Timing is crucial when buying a house. Getting it wrong could mean paying on a mortgage when you still owe rent—or living out of a hotel if your closing runs longer than your lease. Here’s a timeline for what to expect from your home-buying journey so that you can get it right.

How long does it take to buy a house?

The buying a house timeline can be tricky to predict. It typically takes anywhere from four weeks at the low end to six months (or more) to shop for and close on a house. But it can be quicker if you make a strong offer right away in a fast-moving market or slower if you have a hard time finding just the right place or keep getting outbid.​ The shopping step is one of the biggest house-buying timeline variables. According to Zillow research, about half of buyers searched for

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‘Climate change risk’ may be spurring home buyers to steer clear of coastal Florida markets, study says


Brian Blanco/Getty Images

Fewer Americans are scooping up coastal real-estate these days — and the risk of rising sea levels appears to be driving the trend.

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Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania studied the dynamics of coastal real-estate markets in Florida, where as many as one million homes are expected to be at risk of chronic flooding due to rising sea levels by the year 2100. Comparing homes in areas with more exposure to rising sea levels with those that are less at risk, the study found that today’s home buyers have far less interest in the more at-risk properties.

Before 2013, transaction volumes across these two sections of the market moved in tandem. But since then, they have diverged. The number of homes sold in the markets with the highest risk of “chronic inundation,” as some call it, fell between 16% and 20% from 2013 to

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Desperate buyers forgo inspections, appraisals as Boise-area home prices push even higher

Looking to buy a home in Ada County? Good luck.

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Out-of-state buyers flush with cash are outmaneuvering Idahoans who need a bank loan. By offering cash, they cut down the time it takes to close a deal from a month to one week. Some buyers are dispensing with inspections and appraisals to speed up the process, and they’re coughing up nonrefundable deposits to win over sellers.

Meanwhile, the number of houses listed for sale is still dwindling.

There were a record-low 470 houses listed for sale in September — 288 new homes and 182 existing homes. A month earlier, there were 589 homes available, also a record low since the Intermountain Multiple Listing Service began tracking the numbers in 2006.

“With fewer than 500 homes listed for sale in a county where there’s demand for 1,200 home sales per month, that creates a crisis,” Boise real estate agent

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Only 54% of Buyers Think Now’s a Good Time to Buy a Home, Says Fannie Mae

A For Sale sign in front of a sunny green lawn and white two-story home.

Image source: Getty Images

When mortgage rates dropped to record lows back in July, it seemed like a prime opportunity for buyers. Then, in September, rates got even lower. In fact, for several months, it’s been a great time to buy a home from an interest rate perspective. But only 54% of buyers think now’s a good time to move forward with a home purchase, according to a new Fannie Mae survey. The question is: Are buyers being overly pessimistic, or might they indeed be better off waiting?

Why now’s not the best time to buy

The housing market has been grappling with limited inventory this year, and that’s meant supply is lower than demand. The result? Homes are far more expensive now than they were a year ago. In fact, home values are up 6% from the previous year, according to data firm CoreLogic, and many buyers face bidding

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For buyers in search of a seaside Shangri-la, one’s just come up for sale in Lower Chelsea | Real Estate

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The Tech Solutions Buyers Barely Know They Expect From New Homes

To Wall Street and many home builders, their business is moving units, turning inventory, generating margins of return on invested capital. To a strong, deep, and seemingly enduring stream of buyers, those teeming transactions are something else: home, livability, well-being, a place to prosper.

New home buyers are ante-ing up in droves to solve a three-part life riddle right now. Pandemic, economic, social, and political turmoil continue to wreak unrelenting havoc on the zeitgeist, spread fear, and dim the horizon. The problem buyers are so keen to solve draws off three classic coordinates: Price. Product. Location. Maybe or maybe not in that order. New home builders, as it turns out, do price, product, and location like it’s nobody else’s business. It’s their stock and trade, and they’re doing it at capacity and velocity levels they’ve hardly even tried to achieve in 15 years.

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South Florida’s luxury market is rebounding. The majority of buyers are paying cash

Lockdown paralysis ended with a roar as luxury home buyers fled taxes elsewhere, creating a third-quarter surge in South Florida.

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After a whopping 55.6% drop in year-over-year luxury sales in the second quarter, third-quarter sales of existing homes skyrocketed by 65.2% for single-family houses and by 18.2% for condos when compared with the same period in 2020, according to the latest Keyes Luxury South Florida Market report. The firm based its findings on data from the Multiple Listing Service for residential sales priced over $1 million across Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Martin counties.

“The opening after the shutdown created a surge of pent-up demand that exploded the luxury market. What happened is that the shutdown accelerated the decision-making of everyone that was thinking that they wanted a bigger home or a Florida home. When they were given the chance, they jumped on it,” said Mike Pappas, the

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S.F. homes for sale at 15-year high as listings outpace buyers

San Francisco’s residential real estate market saw brisk activity from July through September with a steep increase in both sales and inventory, as a significant jump in buyers was not enough to keep up with the deluge of new condos and homes flooding the marketplace, according to a new report from the brokerage Compass.



a large body of water with a city in the background


© Nick Otto / Special To The Chronicle


The number of sales rose 30.2% compared to the third quarter last year, climbing from 1,151 to 1,499 transactions. But the number of listings is at a 15-year high, with a 10-month inventory for condos in some neighborhoods. Comparing September to the same month last year, the number of price reductions was up 172% for houses and condos combined. Of the price reductions, 80% were of condos.

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“The issue the inventory is increasing so much faster than the sales rate,” said Patrick Carlisle, chief market analyst

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Home Prices Jumped 5.9% in August, Which Explains Why Buyers Are Struggling

A mom, dad, and their daughter standing outside with their arms around each other and looking at their new home.

Image source: Getty Images

Mortgage rates have been remarkably low since the summer, and for that reason alone, many prospective buyers have clamored to purchase homes. They’re being tripped up, however, by soaring prices.

Home prices increased 5.9% nationally in August 2020, according to the CoreLogic Home Price Index, compared to a year prior. We have limited inventory to thank for that. The supply of available homes in August decreased by 17% from the previous year, leading to an uptick in demand and creating a housing market loaded with bidding wars as eager buyers compete to win contracts on the limited inventory.

The result? Many buyers are struggling to find homes, so they may not get to take advantage of the phenomenally low mortgage rates.

Is it worth it to buy a home today?

Locking in a mortgage at a low rate could result in a world of savings —

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Waiting For The Return Of Foreign Real Estate Buyers

The coronavirus pandemic has dramatically affected the Cypriot real estate market. The sector has traditionally been highly dependent on foreign buyers, especially in recent years due to the impact of the ‘golden passports’ investment program.

As shown in the semi-annual report of Pandora Investments Public, sales during the pandemic amounted to approximately $41 million, compared to $62.4 million in 2019. Pandora is a part of Leptos Group, one of the largest land developers in Cyprus.

Similarly, the gross sales of Aristo Developers Ltd, declined by 69% between January-June 2020, compared to the same period in 2019. The decline was “primarily due to the worldwide travel restrictions imposed following the COVID-19 pandemic which made it impossible

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