Housing Options to Consider When Relocating
Updated: Dec 10, 2021
Finding temporary housing when moving to a new city can be challenging. How do you figure out which neighborhoods would be best for you to focus on? Which school systems should you consider for your children? What does it cost to rent in each of your areas of interest?
Choosing a real estate agent to help you find a rental is a great place to start your search. Realtor's have the ability to access rental listings through the MLS system while also matching you to specific areas of town that will suit your needs. Agents know which apartment complexes will allow long term versus short term rentals, what their rental rates are, and who to talk to at the different apartment complexes or housing developments. Sometimes property managers pay agents for their services when the agent places you in an apartment or private home rental. Even when property managers refuse to pay agent referral fees, some Realtors will work with you anyway. Real estate is all about building relationships. People will typically remember an agent who went the extra mile to help them when they moved.After first running things down with a real estate agent, which won't cost you a penny, you can also check the following resources on your own.
Vacation rentals: Sites like Airbnb, HomeAway, and Owner Direct connect property owners who are trying to rent a room, guest house, private basement space, or an entire home for a short period of time. However, many of the property owners who advertise on these sites will also consider longer rental periods. When my son got an internship in Washington D.C. last summer, these websites were the first place I checked for rentals. He only needed to rent for three months and to make things easy, we needed something furnished. Not only did we find a couple willing to rent their entire basement with washer and dryer in Capitol Hill out for that period of time, but we later found out that the wife graduated from Samford University right here in Birmingham and her husband used to work with my brother in law.
Short term rentals: These rental properties, which are typically private homes or apartments, are available with variable lease terms. Generally speaking, the shorter the lease term, the higher your monthly rental bill will be. I have had very good luck placing people in short term rentals, but typically these are high end apartment rentals that not everyone can afford. Very few apartment complexes in the Birmingham area offer short term rentals.
Extended stay hotels: Extended stay hotels are designed to accommodate guests who need to stay in a hotel for longer than a few days. These hotels have suites with any number of bedrooms, a den and a full kitchen. Some extended stay chains offer happy hour and food in the evenings. Call around to find the best rates.
Sub-lets: If someone has signed a yearlong lease and they want to get out of their lease early, sometimes their contracts will allow them to sub-let their home or apartment. Subletting means taking over an existing tenant’s lease for a set duration of time. This typically requires approval for the tenant’s landlord. Sub-lets can be found on various websites online but be careful! A friend of mine found photos of her own home that someone pulled off of a website when her house was listed for sale and they used those photos to advertise her home as a rental home. Do your due diligence and never pay anyone any money until you sign a lease and receive the keys.
Corporate Housing: Corporate housing provides temporary lodging for traveling business professionals. Short-term housing during a relocation is the most popular reason people seek out this type of rental. Corporate housing is typically the most expensive option, but not always. Premier living suites and AHI Corporate Housing are two companies you can check with regarding corporate housing in Birmingham.
Finding a temporary housing rental when moving to a new city requires a good real estate agent, a lot of research and a bit of luck, but eventually, you will end up with a great place to call home. The right place is out there, you just have to find it.