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How long does it take to buy a house?

Posted: February 10, 2021 at 6:26 pm

Buying a house is one of the most exciting experiences of your life. To finally own a property that is entirely yours is a rewarding feeling unlike any other. But the road to home-ownership isn’t an easy one, and just like all good things in life you have to be patient.

So, how long does it take to buy a house in the UK? There is no quick and simple answer that we can give you here because it truly depends on the situation.

Here, we can give you all the information you need to understand the buying process and why time periods tend to vary.

How Long Does it Take?

It’s only fair to answer this before we go through the whole timeline of events. In short, buying a house can take anywhere from three months to six months, and this is just the average. In some cases, it takes a lot longer, and there are those who have completed in shorter periods of time.

All of this is dependant on the timeline, the process of buying your home. There are six stages to the purchasing process, each of which has its own factors that can impact the amount of time you spend waiting.

Finding a Home

First, you actually need to find a property. This is the part that will impact purchase time the most since you need to find, view, and decide on which home you would like to be yours for the foreseeable future.

Of course, you can’t even estimate how long this will take. For some, the ideal home is found in the first one they see. For others, it could take over a year before they are happy with their decision. Despite this, it does remain the most important step.

Getting a Mortgage

The process of being preliminarily approved for a mortgage takes about 24 hours, but after that, you have all the paperwork and legal hassle. So, you are looking at more like 3-6 weeks for everything to be finalised. Plus, it all has to go through your mortgage broker.

The Conveyancing

This part requires a solicitor that is both reputable and experienced to handle the conveyancing process. It just makes it a lot easier and leaves you with less stress. Not to mention, the professionals cut the time down.

Your local estate agent will normally have a list of reliable conveyancing solicitors that you can go through if you are feeling unsure, and the process takes between two and three months.

Survey Time

It is very rare that a property will not need a survey, and even new builds should have one done so that you can be sure. After all, the financial implications if one is not carried out can be devastating. It takes two or three weeks depending on the type of survey you choose to have.

Exchanging Contracts

This isn’t done over the dinner table as you might hope. It happens once all the above has been done and approved, and this is where your solicitors will go over the final details together to ensure everything is correct. The exchange process can take 14-28 days, it really depends.


The best part, the part where everything is done and your home is, well, yours. All that is left is for you to move in and enjoy your new home. This takes 24 hours, maybe a few days, depending on how much you have to move and your preferred pace.

To Conclude

It can be stressful, heartbreaking, but ultimately buying your home is always worth the wait. As soon as you arrive at your property you just know it’s worth it. Hopefully, this timescale will help you to plan the process and start making your own series of events so that you are full prepared for anything that comes your way.

Read more about the Van Sizes Guide and Moving House Tips.


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