Managing the property chain between selling your old place and moving into a new home can call for creative thinking.
In an ideal world, your current home would settle on the same day as your new place, leaving you free to move seamlessly between properties. The trouble is, life’s not always that simple.
There is almost always a timing difference between the sale/purchase of properties, and let’s face it, there could be a period when you’re between homes.
Okay, it may mean you’re homeless. Just for a short while of course, but it’s a lot better than the scenario where you’ve purchased a home without selling your current place. So rather than moving into your moving boxes, let’s take a look at the accommodation options available.
Rent your own home
The easiest option may be to approach the buyer of your home and ask if they’ll rent the place back to you. If they agree, consider drafting a contract that states the rent you’ll pay, lease start and end dates and who will pay for utilities like power and gas during the rental period.
There is no obligation on the new owners to go along with this idea though if they do be sure to check local market rents so that you’re not left wildly out of pocket. That said, you will save on storage costs and it means moving your furniture once – not twice.
Couch surfing – very budget friendly
If you have no option but to move out, one possibility at the budget end of the spectrum is couch surfing. Family and friends can be good sources of cheap accommodation, and the key to making the arrangement work is to be the ideal housemate. Offer to cook meals, do some housework and be tolerant of the individual habits of your new household. If you’re really pressed for free accommodation, try advertising on websites like Gumtree – it has an entire category devoted to couch surfing.
If you value your privacy and your budget allows it, there is a whole spectrum of more formal accommodation options. Backpacker hostels can be cheap and cheerful at around $30 per night per person, or think about a caravan park – many offer self-contained cabins priced from $70 per night. Serviced apartments can set you back upwards of $150 per night depending on location.
It’s easy to compare accommodation costs online and in many cases the longer you stay, the lower the tariff. However be sure to book early especially if you’re moving in a period of peak demand like school holidays.
Short term rentals
If there’s a reasonable delay between moving out of your old home and settling on the new property, think about a short term rental. Yes, it may mean moving twice but you can save on furniture storage, and as landlords are eager to see their investment earn an income, short term rents are often cheaper than 6-month tenancies. Enquire at local real estate agencies to see what’s available.
The period between homes can be frustrating, inconvenient and yes, it can hurt your hip pocket. Nonetheless it’s worth the wait. It won’t be long before you’re in a place you can truly call home.