Typically when you lock a loan for the purchase of a home, the lender will usually do a 30 day lock. Simply put, the loan must fund (pay the seller) and close (ownership of home transfers to you) on or before that lock expires. Loan locks are available (depending on the lender) for time periods such as 7, 12, 15, 30, 60, 90 and quite frankly I can lock loans for up to 1 year. Now, the longer you lock, the higher the rate. So please keep in mind that certain type of loans may take all of 30 days to complete, such as VA Loans. These type of loans require quite a bit more documentation and verifications before the loan is clear to close.
Now here is something to keep in mind. Let’s say that the interest rates are ever changing, (like they are currently doing). It may benefit you to wait to lock your loan just day’s before the close date. CAUTION!!!! Your gamble may end up costing you a higher rate, but, if you have a Banker or Broker that you trust knows how to read the market (watch and analyze the bond markets and financial reports that are soon due in) they may be able to guide you in to the best available rate for your close date.