Jonv. Joseph, Home Buyer in Los Angeles, CA

Average time to move in after buying a house ?

Asked by Jonv. Joseph, Los Angeles, CA Mon Mar 25, 2013


I'm moving from France to L.A with my wife in august 2013, and as advised in my previous question, we're planning to move in a "vacation rental" house during the process of finding our dream house. However, I'd like to know what's the average time before we could actually move into the house we'll buy ?

We need this information in order to arrange an average time of staying with the "vacation rental" owner (1 month ? More ?)

I hope my question is clear enough,
Thanks for your help,


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Alyssa Valen…, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Mon Mar 25, 2013
Hi JJ,

Once you have located your dream house and have an accepted offer, the average time before you can move in is around 35 days, if you are financing. If you are buying with cash, you can shorten that time frame by 10 to 15 days. The hardest aspect to account for is how long it will take to find your home, especially in this competitive market.

To move the buying process along fastest, your best bet is to work with agent who does a lot of business in the neighborhoods you are interested in since they will have relationships with other local agents.

Good luck with your search!
0 votes
Meredith McK…, Agent, Pasadena, CA
Mon Mar 25, 2013
Dear Joseph:

I recommend that you lease your 'vacation rental' for at least 6 months while you are househunting. While it is true that the typical escrow period from contract to possession of your new home is 45 days, the Greater Los Angeles area is experiencing a very heated real estate market right now, meaning that most properties for sale are receiving multiple offers.

This means that you may end up writing offers on more than one property before you will be able to finalize a deal. Thus, having a minimum 6 month lease will give you enough time to get the lay of the land here, shop for a home and close the transaction/move-in without unnecessary stress.

Since I am assuming that you are a French national, I also recommend that you start exploring financing options now. Real estate financing for foreign nationals is a bit more complex and usually requires extensive documentation of financial assets and liabilities. Even if you are an all cash buyer, it is important that your assets are traceable and located in reputable financial institutions.

Welcome to Southern California! Please feel free to call on me if I can be of further assistance.


Meredith McKenzie
Broker Associate #01142186

Podley Properties
1 vote
Hi and thanks for your answer,
The house will be paid cash which should ease the process. The money will be traceable. As for finding a house, i've been scanning for houses I might like for the past 3 months and plan to continue doing so. The stock, even tight, seems to be good enough for what I'm looking for !
Flag Mon Mar 25, 2013
Staci Siegel, Agent, Santa Monica, CA
Mon Mar 25, 2013
Hi JJ,

It takes an average of 45 days from the day your offer is accepted until the time you close. There are variables that might make the time shorter or longer. For example if you are paying cash for the house you could own the house in ten days. The loan is what always takes the longest.

One thing to note is that inventory is really tight right now and it is not easy to find a house to buy. Finding the home will most likely take longer than the purchase process.

In what city are you looking? I could help you if you're looking in my areas. And I might suggest you rent a place for at least six months because it could take that long for you to find something.

Good luck and welcome to Los Angeles!

Kindest regards,
1 vote
Hi and thanks for your answer,

The house will be paid cash which should ease the process. 10 days is indeed really fast and convenient. As for finding a house, i've been scanning for houses I might like for the past 3 months and plan to continue doing so. The stock, even tight, seems to be good enough for what I'm looking for !

I will ask for help finding a house approximately a month before our arrival on this forum :-)
Flag Mon Mar 25, 2013
Marcio Wilges, Home Owner, Boca Raton, FL
Mon Jul 27, 2015
Thanks to the contributors who helped to answer the question here in this discussion. Another thing that you would like to take note of is also the preparations you need to do after securing your dream house. You need an appropriate amount of time for organizing, packing, loading, and removal of those items to the new place. Plan your schedule ahead and you will be safe.
0 votes
Kawain Payne, Agent, Seal Beach, CA
Mon Mar 25, 2013
Hello JJ,

Welcome to the U.S.!!!

Once you buy a home and the sale is final (escrow closes), you will have the keys to the home within three days of the closing date.

Much Success to You!

Kawain Payne, Realtor
0 votes
Sona Gallatin, Agent, Santa Clarita, CA
Mon Mar 25, 2013
The length will depend on so many things, like financing if at all and the terms of sale of the home you end up making an offer on. I would recommend that you move into temporary rental on month to month and be ready financially with securing a home of your choice. Once you enter into an accepted offer it can be anywhere from one months to 4 months or more if it's a short sale or a foreclosure that needs e tensile repairs before you can move in.

Search for properties now at and work with an agent who knows the LA area very well.
0 votes
carlos parra…, Other Pro, Monrovia, CA
Mon Mar 25, 2013
Everything is negotiable. If you need to move in before the Title has transferred in your name, you could make whatever time you need a part of your offer and contract. Many Sellers will not allow this. Most people move in the day after they close and Title has transferred. After Title transfer to you, you can take as long as you want to move in.
0 votes
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Mon Mar 25, 2013
At the time your Offer is accepted, an ESCROW will be opened.
The length of the Escrow can vary, a lot; if you buy an Foreclosure, it can be 45-60 days.
But you will know the CLOSING date; normally, you will be able to move in the following day.
0 votes
Kathleen Bec…, Agent, Santa Monica, CA
Mon Mar 25, 2013
Hi JJ:

Once you close escrow, you can move right in...assuming that it is in good condition...if it needs work, then depending upon what you will do to the property, that would be the delay.

Escrow periods range from 30 to 60 days or is what ever is stipulated and agreed upon in the purchase contract.

Feel free to give me a call if you require further clarification or if you have any questions.

All the best,

Kat Becker, Realtor
Prudential California Realty
(323) 819-4760
0 votes
allan erps,A…, Agent, Pearl River, NY
Mon Mar 25, 2013
Just to add, in my area it would usually take at least that amount of time for conventional loan and extra for FHA & VA types.
0 votes
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