Temporary Housing

ICFgreenNovember 13, 2011

After 211 days on the market, we finally got and accepted an offer on our house. Inspection is Wednesday, and if all goes well, the buyer would like to close Dec. 12 (1 month from yesterday).

We are building, and our new house should be done by Feb. 1. So now we're rushing to find a place to live for about 6 weeks. Our family are far away, so we don't have that option. Apartments want at least a 3 month commitment, but the rent goes up quick a bit for that short term, so that's a lot of money, without even including utilities. And it's a lot of hassle moving all thing twice since the apartments aren't furnished. Next, we've been looking at hotels (extended stay), but are having a hard time finding something with a full (ish) kitchen that isn't insanely expensive. My next idea was vacation rentals, which seems to be most reasonable, but I'm not sure which sites are best for legit rentals.

Any idea for vacation rental sites, or other options for short term rentals?

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I have used VRBO for many years. Never had a problem with a rental.

What State are you in? Do your state parks rent cabins?

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 7:20PM
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I agree that VRBO is good. I just read this week, however, to be sure NOT to pay in cash, Western Union, or money order. Lots of scamming going on lately. Credit card is the only SAFE way to go. Good luck. BTW we used Extended Stay for a weel once in a similar circumstance and it was fine. Not sure I'd want to do it for a month plus, tho.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 7:31PM
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Is your buyer getting a mortgage? Because if they are, there's a chance the closing will be delayed. My buyer and his bank (the loan officer actually wrote up the offer for him) asked me to close October 14. It was a little over a month from the time of the contract. They missed that date and they missed the second closing too. It's a month later and they are still not ready to close. It really messed me up because I had to plan--we had to be ready to get out and you know, that means packing and scheduling people, movers, horse haulers (we have a farm), all kinds of things. And then the bank wasn't ready and doesn't even seem concerned over the stress and inconvenience they caused us. I hope this doesn't happen to you but just a heads-up. You'd hate to rent something and then you don't need it.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 11:19PM
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Maybe offer your buyer a premium to close when you are ready. The premium may be cheaper than all the other options. Even if it is a bit more, it may still be worth it to not move twice.
It is at least worth a try.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 6:24AM
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I found an off-season vacation rental on Craigslist and also a month-month rental in a "visiting professor-like" section of college town the same way. Long shot, but I was looking at long shots because the furnished month-month rentals we could easily find were $1900/month and nothing special. Craigslist sometimes has sublets, too, but that is a particularly hassle-ish avenue to pursue.

It's worth noting that I also took the phone number of a management company from the yard signs of some vacation rentals, and the management company had no interest in working with me, even though it was off-season and the houses were empty. The Craigslist posters are usually more motivated.

There is a nationwide housing website specifically for visiting professors and the like. (sorry can't remember the name)

In a sub-metro area the local papers are sometimes helpful.

I also got a lead from a realtor. That seems to be a good way to find rentals.

All of our stuff is in storage, and has been since spring. Needless to say I don't like wearing shorts in November.
Don't do what I did.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 9:04AM
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Thanks, everyone! We still don't know where we're going, but we have many leads. The vacation rental route has been the best, and we've found a few houses available for the time we need. Apparently Cleveland is not the Christmas/New Year hot spot we thought it was! :-)

The short term furnished rental is more pricey than an apartment, but we think the convenience of not having to set up utilities, having the flexibility to move out on short notice, and having a full kitchen is worth it.

For those who might be in this position in the future, here are the options we are considering:

1. A 3 BR/2 BA house with full kitchen near DH's work. Rent is $2500, which includes all utilities, internet, cable, 2 garages and snow plowing service. Pros: Close to DH's work, so we'd save about $400 in gas, see him more, and avoid him driving far during the winter, has full kitchen and room for our toddler to play, also close to the Dutch pre-school our son will start once a week. Cons: Price, isolates me from our friends and our new house because it's 40 minutes away in good weather, and with my health I have driving restrictions.

Option 2: A house for sale 1/2 a block from some friends. The owner is willing to rent it to us for 6 weeks. Pros: Close to friends and the new house, cheaper. Cons: Long drive for DH in winter, no garage, would have to pay utilities (but not set up costs).

Option 3: Corporate townhouse. Pros: midway between DH's work and our new house, in an area I am somewhat familiar with, community accomodations (fitness center, pool, etc). Cons: price.

Once we know that there's no hiccups with the inspection and we're definitely moving, we'll check out all three and see where we end up.

Thanks again for all the quick responses.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 10:48AM
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Whatever you do, make sure you can stay there past February 1st. Our builder originally told us March and then because of the economy and the workers being more available thought he could get us in right after Christmas. Mother nature stepped in with freak blizzards and snow storms. We finally closed in February, but we got a snow storm the weekend we were supposed to move. We moved in March.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 11:14AM
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If the buyers don't have to move as soon as they close, your Realtor can negotiate a Seller's Temporary Lease-
the closing takes place without delay (every day you extend a closing is a day in which the buyers can encounter a problem), & you rent your house back from the new owners so you don't have to move twice.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 1:16PM
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Also, instead of moving twice, you might want to think about some Rent to Own furnitures. Found out that is what one of my frieds does when they go to AZ for the winter. they get a different apt in the same complex, each year so they rent what they need while down there. The take their bedding etc but it works for them

    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 2:13PM
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I agree with sylviatexas....try to get the buyers to rent it back to you for that short time. Good luck and I hope your sale goes through smoothly~

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 11:40AM
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Sylvia... good point!

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 8:58PM
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Another update. The 4-hour inspection was on Wednesday, and the only thing that the buyer asked us to do is clean the gutters before we go. (We haven't been able to get to them because we always have a showing when it's daylight and my hubby is home!) The well and septic both passed, and the appraisal and insect inspections are on Monday.

Tomorrow we're looking at 3 corporate rentals.

A few things we've learned:

1) The buyer has no interest in delaying his move in past the 7 days past closing he gave us in the offer. He wants to be in his new house by Christmas and I can't say I blame him.

2) Vacation rentals in Cleveland tend to be in pretty picturesque areas far from the highways, which is not very commute friendly in the winter.

3) The house we were considering that was close to our friends has a weird, steep drive which would make parking our cars challenging, would add 10 minutes to DH's commute (already 45 minutes) and the owner hasn't called us back.

4) In general, it seems that a short term lease (3 month or less) is twice the price of a longer lease at an apartment/townhome. If you go through a management company/corporate housing company, they will add a few hundred to that. If you can find out the name of the apartment complex, and call the manager directly, you can get the "double" price.

Based on all that, we've found 3 apartments, all fully furnished (we have no interest in moving twice!). We'll bring some clothes, bedding (not needed, but will help our son feel more at home), toys, and a few of my favorite pantry items. All 3 include a washer and dryer in the apartment, (If they only had hook ups, we would have had our new set delivered to the apartment), all utilities, (some include cable and internet), and at least one garage.

Hopefully tomorrow we'll have a better idea of where we're going.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 8:34PM
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The kitchen supplies will be pretty minimal. If you use something frequently, such as a special steamer or crockpot, ask whether the unit has one of the specific item.

Also, the knives are horrendous. If you chop veggies (or really much of anything else) bring a good knife. Also don't forget your own pillows and whatever "comfort afghans", etc make you feel cozy. The starkenss of these places is depressing.

Oh, and ask for extra lamps or bring your own. There won't be sufficient lighting, and the overhead they provide puts everything in a bad light.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2011 at 10:26AM
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We found a place! I'm so relieved. Of the three places we saw:

1) Place A was closest to our current house and new house (familiarity is good for me), and farthest for DH's commute. (but still 15 minutes closer than now). We could have had 2 garage stalls across the street from the apartment, which was pretty stark and sterile. I could have stayed there, but it would have been a little depressing.

2) Place B was scary. We didn't even tour the apartment.

3) Place C is owned by the same company as place A, but the apartments are about 15 years newer, and it definitely shoes. Still pretty dated, especially when you've been on GW and touring new homes and models, but definitely livable. It's the closest to DH's work, so he'll be home more and we'll save a good chunk on gas. My almost-3-year-old loves that we can see the playground from the living room.

We put a deposit on Place C.

Jamies, thanks for the ideas. I'll definitely bring my crockpot, knife and some bakeware: we'll be there for Christmas, New Years, and my 40th birthday.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2011 at 9:36PM
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I am so happy for you....blessings on your move :-)

    Bookmark   November 20, 2011 at 1:17PM
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