When shopping for a home, you have three options: choose an existing house, buy a tract home or build a custom property to your exact specifications. One of the ways these options differ is in how long the purchase process takes and time until move in. Depending on the option you choose, the time between making your decision and moving in can vary from a brief wait to a much longer period. So how long until you can move in? Here’s what you need to know.
Existing Home Move In Time
When you buy an existing home, the length of time between selection and moving in depends on the closing date you negotiate with the seller and how long it takes to obtain financing. Purchases of existing properties are financed with a mortgage loan, and the time it takes to arrange such financing depends on factors such as the results of the buyer’s property inspection and the buyer’s credit status. As a result, the date you can move into an existing home could be anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. If you choose to undertake a major renovation before moving in, the period will be longer.
New Tract Home Move In Time
Tract houses are often built in large subdivisions where builders buy lots from a developer. Multiple builders in a development may offer these homes, and each builder will have a set number of plans from which buyers choose.
The time until move in on a tract home depends on two factors: the time it takes the buyer to obtain financing and the length of the construction period. Just as with existing homes, the buyer of tract housing will have a defined time period in which to apply for a mortgage loan and obtain approval. Tract home builders often have one or two preferred lenders with whom they offer special terms, such as paying some of the buyer’s closing costs.
If construction goes smoothly, a tract home can be built in about four months. Builders of these homes offer a limited range of choices in the outer look of the house (called the elevation), as well as several options for countertops, cabinets, floors, plumbing fixtures and other aesthetic features.
In a hot real estate market, builders will sometimes build “on spec,” which means they construct a tract home before obtaining a buyer. A home like this will generally be ready for occupancy, so you can move in as soon as you arrange financing. If the house has been sitting unsold for a while, you might get a discount.
New Custom Home Move In Time
With custom building, you have more control over what your home looks like and the features it offers. You choose the floor plan, cabinets, counters, plumbing fixtures, doors, flooring, windows, paint colors and much more. A custom builder may offer several house plans or can build from plans that you provide. The home is built on a lot the buyer purchases in a subdivision or on acreage that hasn’t been subdivided.
As with tract housing, the time until you can move in depends on both the length of time it takes to obtain financing and how long it takes the builder to construct the home. A custom builder will use better craftsmanship, so construction will take a month or two longer than tract housing. On a custom build, buyers generally apply for a single mortgage loan to both purchase the lot and pay for construction. The length of time it will take to obtain financing depends on several factors but typically takes one to three months.
Some custom builders also offer homes built on spec. Buying one of these already-constructed homes obviously leads to quicker occupancy than will a house that is purchased at the planning stage.
Related – Choosing a Lot: It’s All About Location