How long does it take to buy a condo? - Movement Mortgage Blog

You need to know what to expect on how long it will actually take you to buy a condo. From first hunt, to move-in: We have you covered. 

The Decision: Should I buy a condo or rent?

You like making money, right? When it comes to homeownership, your investment can immediately start building equity. Meaning: Your purchased home could gain value that you can cash in on down the road. With renting, you’re (almost) literally putting that money into someone else’s pocket. Rent ain’t doing anything for your financial profile 👀💸. Plus, when you buy a condo, you get a lot of the benefits of renting, like a close community, amenities and low maintenance. 

The Steps: How does buying a condo work?

Your condo buying checklist will include the following steps:

⃞    Get pre-approved

⃞    Select where you want to live

⃞    Find out if condo is approved to be financed

⃞    If not, see if condo team can get it approved

⃞    Condo approved

⃞    Finish mortgage process

⃞    Closing time

⃞    Plan condo-warming party 

The Pre-approval: How much can you afford?

Timeline: 6 hours – 2 weeks (dependent on lender)

This will vary from lender to lender, and honestly, the complexity of your situation. On average, most will be able to square this away in 1-3 days. If you’re with a lender that doesn’t have the most efficient of processes, or if you don’t have all your documentation upfront, it can take longer. At Movement Mortgage, it’s our goal to have your pre-approval decision in just 6 hours* of your completed application. 😎

The Hunt: How to find a condo to buy

Timeline: 3 days – 3 months

Yes, that is a big range of time. Depending on how particular your have-to-haves are for a condo, this could take a matter of days to a few weeks. However, because space horizontally can be limited in many busy areas, building up is the way to go for developers. Therefore, lots of apartments and condos are going up and likely available. Though if you’re having trouble nailing down the right one, try using a local real estate agent to help with the hunt. 

how long does it take to buy a condo

The Question: Is the condo approved to be financed?

Timeline: 1 day

Luckily, your lender’s condo team should be able to find the answer to this quickly. They’ll have access to lists from mortgage associations that will state whether it is or not. If it is, skip to “The Finale.” If not, let’s keep moving along!

The Team: See if the condo can be approved

Timeline: 3 days – 2 weeks

This is known as the pre-submit process. Condo teams will collect documents, and need the name of the project, its address and the project management company or HOA contact info. During this time, they’ll also collect items like answers for a required questionnaire, occupancy, condo appraisal and details from the insurance company.

The Clearing: Condo approval

Timeline: 1 day – 2 days

This is the easy part for internal condo teams. Once all documentation has been collected, they’ll be able to offer a decision in 24-48 hours. They’ll send your loan officer the decision on whether or not the condo can be financed, and you’ll know how you can proceed from there. 

The Finale: Finish the mortgage process

Timeline: 7 days – 2 weeks

With your appraisal already out of the way, the rest of the process should be a breeze. Especially if you already got that pre-approval we talked about 😉. Processing time may vary depending on your lender, though Movement aims to get you done here in just 7 days!* #HumbleBrag. 

The Crowning: Closing documents to retrieve the keys

Timeline: 1 day – 1 week

If you’ve made it through processing and gained your final approval, it’s time for closing! You used to have to worry about a full day of signing stacks of papers, though now you usually have the option to sign most of these online. You’ll still need to show up to a closing appointment to sign at least a few documents, and snatch those new, shiny keys!

The Celebration: Moving in and having your condo-warming

Timeline: 3 days – 1 week

Grab your stuff and some buddies to moonlight as movers, because it’s time to celebrate! Enjoy your new condo with all its fun benefits, and get the party started. 

Ready to start your condo buying timeline? Contact your local loan officer today!


About the Author:

Adam O'Daniel

Adam O'Daniel is Movement's Communications Director. He leads corporate communication and public relations efforts across the organization. Email him at