Our in between living and why we chose it

October 16, 2017

My friends...we are just days away from moving into our house! We are beyond excited to get into our new home!! I can barely stand it.

Many of you have asked our our "in between" status -- it's not been very glamorous but it's worked well for us. I figure some of you will be in the same situation at some point so I figured it may be helpful to share what we've done! (I'm throwing in random photos of our old house because you do NOT want to see our mess of a place right now!)

First things first -- in hindsight I wish we hadn't sold our home so quickly. Even though we had our buyers lined up, they had to sell their house and our (shared) realtor highly encouraged us to get it on the market during the summer. I am glad that we got the sales all done in plenty of time, but we didn't realize how much time we'd have to live in temporary housing. If we did it all over again I probably wouldn't have gotten the ball rolling quite as fast, but not worrying about the stress of selling/closing has been nice too.

When we got the sale process started our realtor mentioned some nearby apartment complexes that offered short-term stays. I didn't worry about contacting them until we had our closing scheduled but when I did start calling, I had a bit of a freak out. None of the complexes he recommended allowed stays shorter than six months. I started to panic a bit and kept calling places to be told the same thing over and over. Finally one very kind employee of one recommended that I call newer apartments as they typically offer short term because they aren't full yet. I think she could hear the panic in my voice. ;)

I finally found some complexes that did short term stays, but all did a minimum of three months. At the time we thought we'd only need about six weeks of housing so those were going to be crazy expensive for what we needed. This is the thing with a short term apartment situation -- we would have had to pay around $900 in fees just to move in. Most of that we would never see again. Some we'd get back if the apartment was left in good condition of course, but most (at least $600) we wouldn't get back. That was a tough pill to swallow.

Remember, at the time we thought it would only be a six week wait, so that extra month would have been an entire month we would pay for and not live there. We were also going to have to pay movers four times -- for our moves in and out of our houses as well as the apartment. AND they only allowed two animals, we have three. It simply wasn't an option for us to give one up for even that amount of time.

Soooo. It was discouraging. We started to think about other options. Friends suggested VRBO or other short term options but anything that allowed animals was insane expensive. Then someone mentioned a long term hotel situation and the more we looked into it the more we liked the idea.

Here's what we loved about moving into a hotel instead of an apartment:

  • We could set the exact dates of our stay. 
  • No movers -- all of the furniture was provided and ready to go
  • No limit on animals (they may have one but never asked how many we had!) 
  • One $100 animal fee at the start of our stay and that was it as far as fees
  • Free food! Yessss. Breakfast every morning and some kind of dinner or evening snack three nights a week. 
  • If you don't have animals you'd get "free" cleaning services as well! We have a dog who doesn't take too kindly to new people, so we've never had them in to clean. But man, that would have been awesome!
  • A stocked kitchenette (bowls, plates, some cookware and small appliances)
  • Hot tub and pool anytime you want it!
There are some downsides too -- mainly just the tight space. Six of us (three people and three animals) have shared less than 300 square feet for the past two months. At first it's sweet and cozy and we didn't mind it one bit. About four weeks in I started going a little stir crazy. :) Most of the time lately I spend the day out and about -- either running errands or sitting and working on my computer somewhere. And this time of year our evenings are always busy with marching band, basketball and fitness classes. 

I have learned one thing through this experience...I will NEVER be a tiny house person. It's just not in my blood. I need space! Windows! Doors! Furniture! All the things!! 

With all of the natural disasters and tragedies of late it's made me crave our home even more. I want to put roots down again, bake things, build something(s), organize stuff...my list is endless. I have a million recipes I want to try out, so many projects I'm ready to tackle and of course, I'm planning our Christmas decor. 😁

Obviously the hotel option isn't for everyone! But if you only need a couple months to cover in between houses it may be best for you. We're spending about the same (or less depending on where we would have ended up) than what we would have paid at an apartment. We would have been dangerously close to having to sign another three month lease with an apartment too, so overall we've been really happy with our decision to stay at a long term hotel. 

With all of that being said...I hope we never have to stay here ever again. God willing. Hotels have lost their luster for awhile. 😂 We are getting packed up, I'm cleaning the hotel room from top to bottom and then we are getting the heck out! Our new home awaits!:

Have you ever done the "in between" and what did you do? Did you enjoy it or go stir crazy like me?

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  1. We spent a month at an extended stay hotel a few years ago when we were in between homes. I agree, I hope I never have to do that again. Three family members and a yellow Lab who, coincidentally went into heat. Thank goodness for that multi colored industrial carpet lol
    Moving into our home never felt so good!

  2. No matter how you look at it, moving and all that it involves is never fun and rarely easy. Can't wait to see your new home with you all living in it!

  3. Your post comes with perfect timing for me and my family. We sold our home in June when the market was hot, hot, hot. We're having a new home built which is still another 4 months out. Our family of four and our large lab are all living in a 3 bdrm apt and it's not for the faint of heart. I know these are first world problems but I too am daydreaming of all the nesting things I want to do and the time seems to be slowly ticking by. I've been referring to this as our 'in between time' so I chuckled at your same reference. Excited for your family to get moved in soon and beyond thrilled for mine to as well. Only 139 days left but who's counting. ��

  4. We’re military. The in between is a way of life! Ha! Fortunately, we always have some other on base housing options...we did stay at a hotel a couple of times off base because it was just a bit cheaper per week than the base option. It was tight but we were only there two weeks. Lots of funny stories from the hotel!

  5. I went through a similar situation about 20 years ago. I lucked out and got a month to month lease at an apartment complex. Friends helped me move most of my things. While I liked the month to month, I absolutely detested living in an apartment, again. At the time, I hadn't lived in an apartment in over 10 years. The other hard part of that was needing to live but not really being able to unpack anything (didn't want to go through that hassle). I never even though of staying at a hotel.

  6. We went through a similar situation last year and after tons of research stayed in a hotel that sounds just like yours, for the entire summer. We were waiting to move to a new job out of state, and had sold our house and packed up our belongings in a PODS container. Our hotel suite had one bedroom and a living room and we have three kids and a cat. Like you, we had to pay $100 pet deposit and that was it. There were some frustrating things about being in such tight quarters for three months, but the price was good and it was the right decision for our family. At times we even have a little bit of nostalgia when we think back on the whole experience.

  7. We moved from ND to CT in 1999. The sale of my parents' house fell through and so we couldn't buy the house we were under contract for. We spent a month in a hotel. The hotel only had a few rooms that they allowed pets in. They had certain rooms booked in advance for shorter stays so we had to change rooms a couple times. We were happy to find a different house for cheaper and then sell our old house.

  8. Yes, yes! I remember I went through an "inbetween" when I was young. Our family stayed at a relative's place (she lived abroad at that time) and it was the biggest place I've ever lived in!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  9. My husband is in the Air Force so we did the extended stay hotel thing 10 times in 14 years. It is fun at first, almost freeing without all the “stuff” of life. But it gets old and, hey, I like my stuff. Glad you’re in the home stretch!

  10. My family is moving soon. I was wondering if you could mention the name of your short term stay hotel so I can see if there is one in the area we are moving to, as we have yet to find a house. There are reviews on the internet, but I trust your judgement more. Or maybe your readers have suggestions for some good short stay hotel chains.

  11. When we were relocating from California to New Jersey for my husband's job we ended up doing 1 month in an extended stay hotel with 2 kids under 3. Not my favorite time... My husband had already been out for a few months by himself by the time the kids and I got here. We had to sell our CA house in order to purchase our New Jersey house and the closing time in CA was expedited due to the market (like 15 days) where the expedited closing time in New Jersey was 45 days. We made it work and I'm definitely glad to be on the other side of it! We also had our cat living with us in the hotel and we had our dog flown out from CA later when we moved into the house.

  12. Ahhh yes! The in between stage! I remember it well, and it was 19 years ago for us!! We were lucky! This was before kids and our friends had a 5 bedroom house with full basement. We got to store all our stuff. They had two dogs & three cats.
    We split utilities and since my schedule allowed I cooked most evening meals. Then we'd hang out! It worked out well -we are still good friends to this day!
    However, I see a move in the next 2-5 years and I'm terrified to think about having inn-between time! Lol����

  13. We did the in-between thing when we were building our house in 2015. We had to sell our old house before we could start construction on the new house so we knew there would be a period of time where we'd have to live somewhere else! Luckily, we were able to sign an 8-month lease at an apartment complex, but the whole moving multiple times things is horrible. I hope we never have to do it again - but if we do, we're definitely hiring movers!

  14. Oh dear. This is scaring me to read all these stories of people moving across states and needing a rental situation. We are in a long term plan of moving from Georgia back to Michigan, and I am starting to feel like renting will be unavoidable. My husband and I lived in apartments for the first 5 years of our marriage and I swore never again! Haha he was quick to tell me, never say never! Oh dear, he may be right!

  15. We stayed in an apartment that allowed month to month rental while we were building our house. Due to a lot of set backs during the building process, our 6 month stay turned into a 15 month stay. It was miserable for my husband who is in a wheelchair as nothing was accessible. We had some questionable neighbors and spent as little time there as possible. It's hard to go that long living somewhere you truly do not feel at home. Again, I know, first world problems, but it really was a dark, stressful time for our family. My mom also passed away while we lived there, so I will always associated it with the negative.

  16. I used to be an apartment manager and we would rent out apartments to corporate housing companies. They would turn around and sublet them to people who needed short term housing. They furnished them too. This is mostly done in metro areas and not quite as much (if at all) in the suburbs. It's always worth a try to find a a corporate housing company if you find yourself in this situation!

  17. We will be moving from PA to MA next summer. Everything looks really expensive for a 4 - 6 week stay. I am curious, would you share what your per day cost was? Everything I am finding is in the $125 - $160 range and ouch!

  18. Oh yes! Our in between was three weeks with all our furniture from our apartment and the two of us (and a dog) squeezed into my parents' 1000 sq foot house. Looking back they were awfully good sports about it all.

  19. We gutted and renovated our house earlier this year. We had similar issues with temporary/rental/vacation housing - with 2 big dogs we either couldn't find anything or it was insanely expensive. So we rented a big RV and parked it in our driveway for a little over a month (no HOA to worry about, luckily) for the time the house would be without power and water. It was rough and I hope to NEVER do it again but it was the perfect solution for our situation. Plus, the kids loved it and I think our "driveway camping" adventure will be something they'll always remember.

  20. I did a 3 week stay in an extended stay hotel between houses. Still kicking myself for not getting a bigger one, shoving the litter box in the bathroom was far from ideal. Also, I never got to enjoy the free housecleaning, my cats became master escape artists everytime the door opened! It was totally worth it, but like you, I hope to NEVER do that again!

  21. We recently moved into our new home in Georgia after six weeks in an extended stay hotel while waIting for our household goods to arrive from Hawaii. We also needed our condo sale to close before we could close here. It’s just me and my husband so it wasn’t too awful. I can’t imagine doing it with kids and pets! Our stuff arrived before we could close but, thankfully, our shipper was able to store our container at no additional cost and they did not have to unload it. We were very fortunate that my husband’s employer covered all of our expenses. After five moves in 12 years, I hope we get to stay put for awhile! I think I’ve developed an allergy to cardboard!

  22. After my divorce, when I was 'in between' owning a home, I rented. The first apartment was cozy and I loved it, it was perfect for me and my daughters and furbabies. But after a year the landlord decided HE wanted to live in it. Whhaaattt? I had just gotten the place just the way I liked it! So, on to the rental search again....this time I insisted on a two year lease. But guess what...the landlord was an ASS and I couldn't wait to get out of there! I swore I would never rent again! I broke my lease early when I fell in love with my cozy house and finally got a closing date after FIVE long months. The landlord was such a jackass and was very mad about me breaking the lease, but when I called him out about his illegal septic he shut his mouth real quick! I am grateful every single day that I own my own home again, and that only my name is on the deed. It's an incredible sense of security to know I will never again have to give up my home because of a divorce....and even though I have a man in my life once again, we each have our own homes and we like it that way!

  23. I have never stayed, long-term, in a hotel... but that many people and animals in 300sf! Yowza! My Wee Abode is about 400sf, and there is just me. It would be comfortable for two, but not more for any length of time. Someday, the Lord may bless me with a bit of a larger Wee Abode... I would love to have more to decorate. But, until then, I'm having a wonderful time in my tiny place. :-)

  24. We sold our home in Oct 2015 and were "in between" until we bought again in the end of March 2017. It took us FOREVER to find the perfext place! Fortunately we were wanting to buy an RV any way for fun camping with our 2 small kids, so we went ahead and bought one. We parked it at an RV Resort on the lake. It was not bad! We did have to pay for a storage unit for all those months. But it wasn't too bad! The resort had a piil, waterslide, play ground, laundry, etc.

  25. I've done the in between twice! Once during first pregnancy and very sick at a week by week apartment. Second time pregnant but again at a hotel and ended up on bed rest. Both times others moved us until brand new house and I put the house together months later.

    When building while in bedrest hubby videotaped the cabinet choices, etc and I picked them out via video. When I finally walked into finished house it was a surprise to say the least!!

    1. Ever since then, I've lived with minimal "stuff" as I do not want to deal with it all again while sick!!


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