Solutions for Temporary Housing Between Closings

My last business trip had me at a well-appointed Hyatt House

We can’t break ground on our new home until our current home sale closes. Although everything is good with the sale, it was a contingency we wrote into the build in order to protect us.

The problem is that our buyers want keys surrendered at closing. They’re paying darn near asking price on the place so we aren’t going to say no. That leaves us temporarily without a home. It’s kind of a stressful thought, but there are temporary housing options for those between homes.

Here are the ones we considered:

Rent back from your buyer. When Brad and I bought our first house, we let the sellers rent back from us for two months while they found a new place. It worked out because we were in a lease with our apartment anyway. Unfortunately, we can’t do that.

Move in with family or friends. No adult really wants to move back in with mom and dad, but it’s usually a good option that will save a lot of money in a situation like ours. We did discuss moving in with Brad’s family as a last resort. They were welcoming and would be more than hospitable, but the location would put me 90 minutes from work, Brad about any hour (we’d carpool) and we’d be about 90 minutes from our new home so we couldn’t check on construction as often.

Sublet a place. This is the winning option for us because everything just worked out timing wise with a place we found on Craigslist. You can usually find short-term and sublet opportunities on Craigslist, but as always be careful. There’s also a website called Sublet.com that will help you find places, but most often you have to pay to be able to contact the sublet poster. It’s always good if you have a real-life connection with someone though.

Short-term lease or month-to-month. These are basically unicorns in the rental world. Most places require a 1-year lease for their own security. Although I get it, it’s annoying when you need a place. If you can find one, you’ll probably pay top dollar for it.

Vacation rentals. We looked into a couple of options listed more toward vacation rentals, including Air BnB and Vacation Rentals By Owner. Although resort-like in some situations, you may find yourself renting someone’s basement or running into holiday rates if you want to book for a longer period of time. This is also pricier than other options.

Extended stay hotels. Also a somewhat costly option, extended stay hotels are almost always available, conveniently located and offer extra amenities including housekeeping, gyms, kitchenettes, etc.

Camping. If you have access to an RV and a place to park it, this can also work for temporary housing, although we never considered it.

Less seriously, we considered just moving into our storage unit, my boss offered the attic of my office and our friend offered us a tent in their back yard as jokes.

We can live pretty much anywhere for a few months, we struggled most with having two cats that needed to stay with us. Most places will charge a heavy fee if they even permit pets. If you move in with friends or family who have pets, it can be difficult to introduce the animals for  a short period. In our situation, our cats have their claws but my in-laws’ cats are declawed and they were concerned that our cats could hurt their cats (not likely, but understood).

Location was another issue. We didn’t want to put ourselves incredibly far from work and our new home site if we didn’t have to. We also had the opportunity to live in the place that we rented near Brad’s parents when we first got married, but a lot of bad things really did happen while we lived there (I was diagnosed with diabetes and nearly died while living there and my dad passed away shortly before we moved out), so the idea of moving back really bothered us. Also, the house is up for sale, so if it were bought we would be back in the same situation.

Have you needed to find temporary housing between homes? What did you do?

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