Whether moving by choice or because your company requires you to do so, temporary housing is often necessary to bridge the gap between arrival in a new community and finding a permanent residence. This interval can extend from a few days to several months, so any short-term move needs to be planned accordingly.
For individuals and families seeking temporary housing, there are three main options: regular hotels, extended stay hotels, and rental homes/apartments.
- Regular Hotels: Regular hotels are good options when you need temporary housing for just a few days. They offer full-service amenities such as restaurants and daily housekeeping. Although convenient for shorter stays, the costs associated with those amenities can take their toll on your relocation budget.
- Extended Stay Hotels: Extended stay hotels should be considered when you require a longer timeframe for your stay. Extended stay lodging provides a more home-like environment by offering full kitchens and on-site laundry facilities. There are no leases to sign, no utilities to establish, and studios come fully furnished.
- Rental Homes and Apartments: Depending on family size and budget, rental homes and apartments are viable options for those who need to stay a month or longer and don’t mind signing a lease or arranging for utilities, telephone and cable TV service.
Whether researching temporary housing on your own, working with a reputable real estate company, or considering the advice of a relocation service, you’ll need to answer several questions:
- What type of temporary housing best suits your needs? Are you single and only require a studio, or do you have a family and require multiple bedrooms?
- What price are you willing to pay?
- What would be a suitable location? If children are coming along, should a school be located nearby?
- What amenities will be required? Would you like a pool? An exercise room?
- Do you need services such as daycare or housekeeping?
- Is the company paying for your move and, if so, what are the relocation benefits and covered costs?
Tight housing markets, such as in New York City and San Francisco, can present an especially difficult challenge when you are looking for temporary housing. In large metropolitan areas where your options are limited and prices are at a premium, extended stay hotels are a real value. However, if your situation requires that you look for a rental property, it may be prudent to seek out newer properties whose owners, sitting on mortgages and in need of cash flow, might be willing to negotiate a short-term lease. Negotiating is part of the game and it never hurts to throw out a price before you rush to the dotted line.
Also, expand your options by considering different neighborhoods, increasing the likelihood of finding a suitable property at a price you can afford. Covering your bases with research, advice and other people’s opinions can only help to ensure that your first experience will be a good one.
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