How to survive transition between homes. Timing the closing of your new home purchase with the end of your lease agreement or sale of your existing home is tricky, to say the least. Rarely does it work out that you move directly from one home to another on a perfect schedule. During the transition, you need a place to live and stash your stuff. In addition, you need the flexibility to move at a moment’s notice — all while living, working, attending school, or running a business. Here are a few tips that might smooth the transition.
Take Care of Your Mail:
As soon as you know that there will be a break between leaving one home and moving into the other, move as many bills, bank statements and important communications to online bill pay as possible. Don’t risk having your important mail delivered to an empty house. For those items not receivable online, and especially if you receive business mail at home consider changing your address to that of a trusted family member. If that’s not possible, rent a mailbox. Both the US Postal Service and private mailbox providers like the UPS Store offer personal and business mailboxes along with other services. Private mailbox services can sign for deliveries and notify you when you receive packages. If your transition period is short, the USPS will hold your mail for several weeks.
Pack with Transition in Mind:
Usually when you move, you pack up the whole house, then load the moving van like a Jenga game—filling every inch of open space—expecting to unload the whole thing within a day or so at your new home. When you have a transition, however, you need to pack items to store, leaving out the things you’ll need to use during those days, weeks, or even months between one place and another. Of course, you can’t plan for every contingency—weather changes, a child’s school project, an unplanned business trip—but you can mitigate some of the inconvenience by keeping some items accessible. One option is to rent a storage unit, placing furniture and other large items in the back, but keeping dressers or storage boxes with seasonal clothing, school and craft supplies, and travel items within reach of the doorway.
Temporarily Suspend Services:
Take the time to contact service providers such as Internet, cable or satellite, electricity and natural gas, newspaper, and landline phones to see if they offer options for suspending services until you transfer them to your new home. Some offer moving suspensions, while others have vacation holds for a small monthly fee.
Where to Live?
If your transition will last just a few weeks, you might consider accepting the hospitality of family or friends. If you work from home, have children, or just require your own space and privacy, however, there are other options.
- Residential and extended-stay hotels offer weekly and monthly rental options. Most have kitchens complete with dishes and cookware, apartment-sized refrigerators, access to laundry facilities, and weekly cleaning and linen services. Many also offer full hotel services as well. Many extended-stay hotels accommodate pets.
- Corporate housing or corporate apartments refer to apartment complexes offering short-term leases. Similar to residential hotels, but typically larger — with as many as three bedrooms — corporate housing caters to business people and families needing more space than a hotel room provides.
- Families with children might consider a more adventuresome stay at a nearby resort or campground that offers cabins, vacation cottages or lodges. A move in the off-season may make this option both affordable and fun. Be sure to factor in the extra drive time to work or school, but take advantage of nearby sightseeing and holiday amenities for some extra fun during your transition.
- Borrow or rent an RV. Whether your move is across town, across the state or across the country, consider renting a recreational vehicle. With many RV parks located inside or near city limits, temporarily living in an RV park has many of the same advantages as a hotel. If you are moving some distance and can take vacation time during your transition, a one-way RV rental could be the solution for you. Similar to a one-way moving van rental, you pick up the RV near your current location, and when done, deliver it to a location near your final destination.
As with all your transition needs, your professional real estate agent can provide you with relocation options and ideas to make your move as smooth as possible.