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Pros & Cons of Temporary Housing Options

Whether you’re moving, building a new home, or remodeling your current home, finding short-term housing can be a bit of a challenge. In this post, we provide some temporary housing ideas along with their pros and cons.

Extended Stay Hotels

Hotel room

Extended stay hotels—also referred to as apartment hotels—provide simple-to-find, furnished temporary housing while between living situations, making them a popular short-term option.


  • Extended stay hotels are simpler to find than other short-term living options.
  • Extended stay hotels are flexible. You can stay for a week, months, or longer.
  • Weekly and monthly rates are often available with discounted rates for long-term guests.
  • It’s perfect if you need furnished short-term housing.
  • Many extended stay hotels include kitchen appliances, kitchen utensils, dishes, and more.
  • There’s access to amenities like pools, gyms, and continental breakfast at some hotels.
  • Pet-friendly rooms are available at certain extended-stay hotels.
  • You don’t have to worry about utility bills!


  • Neighbors will come and go regularly, making this an unpredictable part of hotel living.
  • For families and those with pets, a hotel room can feel cramped pretty quickly.
  • You don’t have a permanent mailing address.
  • You can’t sleep in your own bed or have many of your own belongings around.

All things considered, extended stay hotels are a great choice for many in-between scenarios. Both those with and without families can consider this as a legitimate temporary housing option.

One thing to note is that cost will vary depending on where you live. In some areas, extended stay hotels will be relatively inexpensive and might even be less expensive than the cost of a short-term apartment lease. In other areas, however, this is not the case and extended stay hotels will be much more expensive than other options.

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Short-Term Lease & Month-to-Month Rentals

Apartment Building

If you’ll need temporary housing for at least a few months, it might be worth looking into a short-term lease or an apartment that offers month-to-month leases.


  • A short-term rental will feel a bit more like home than an extended stay hotel or similar options. You’ll have the ability to bring your own furniture and sleep in your own bed (unless you rent a furnished, short-term lease apartment). You can also bring decorations and things that remind you of home.
  • Though an option like an extended stay hotel will usually have a kitchen or kitchenette, an apartment will provide a complete kitchen, including adequate space to store food. This is something hotel apartments usually do not offer. Not only does a kitchen allow you to stay closer to your normal home routines, but it could also end up saving you money by making it easier to cook at home.
  • Three and six-month leases are typically available, making this a convenient option if you know exactly how long you’ll need a temporary housing solution.


  • Though three and six-month leases aren’t hard to find, month-to-month rentals might be a different story. If you’re uncertain how long you’ll be staying or you prefer more flexibility, your short-term apartment options might be very limited.
  • When searching for short-term rentals, the majority of results are for apartments. For families or anyone hoping to find a short-term house rental, these opportunities might be hard to find. You could always reach out to someone listing a home for a 12-month lease and try to negotiate, but there’s no guarantee that they’d be willing to accommodate you.
  • Though you might be able to enjoy some of the comforts of you own home, short-term leases also includes packing and unpacking multiple times during a short time span.


Apartment living room

If you’re looking for a more traditional short-term housing option, finding a sublet is a good choice. When you can’t find a short-term lease and don’t want to live in an extended stay hotel, the sublet route does provide some of the same benefits, along with some unique advantages. It unfortunately has its own disadvantages, as well.


  • Though not always the case, you might be able find a sublet apartment at a lower cost than what a 12-month lease, or even a month-to-month lease, would cost due to a tenant hoping to cover some of their costs while they’re away temporarily.
  • There are both rooms for rent and entire apartments or homes for rent in sublet scenarios, providing versatility depending on what type of temporary housing you need.


  • Finding a sublet opportunity you feel comfortable with can be a challenge.
  • Although the sublet you’ve found might be a temporary option for only a couple of months, you still have to put your name on the lease.
  • Finding sublet opportunities isn’t as refined or easy of a process as most other short-term housing options. Your best bet is to search on Craigslist, but it can be difficult and time-consuming to sort through listings and identify which ones might be potential fits.
  • Costs may be higher on subleases if you don’t account for paying utilities on top of rent due each month.
  • You have to be careful of tenants trying to sublease their apartment illegally.

With modern sublet options like Airbnb available, traditional sublease apartments are likely not as popular as they once were. But that doesn’t mean that they aren’t still around and that people don’t use them when in need of temporary housing. Especially in areas where finding housing is really competitive, subleases are alive and well.


Apartment bedroom

Though Airbnb is mostly known as a hotel alternative while traveling, it’s also a great temporary housing option for those with a bit longer-term needs. Airbnb Sublets are great for anyone who wants to feel like they’re at home, while having the flexibility that something like an extended stay hotel provides.


  • With no long-term commitments, Airbnb provides the flexibility many desire.
  • Airbnb sublets are simpler to find than traditional sublets.
  • Airbnb’s review system provides assurance that traditional sublets don’t.
  • Airbnb has both rooms for rent and entire homes for rent.
  • Most properties on Airbnb are more spacious and homey than something offered by extended stay hotels.
  • Things like appliances and kitchenware may often be included.
  • You can find pet-friendly Airbnb listings.


  • The cost, especially for renting an entire home, is higher than other options.
  • If you do choose to rent a room, you’ll have roommates and less privacy.
  • Sometimes, hosts are unresponsive, so you’ll have to start your search over.
  • You run the unlikely risk that the property doesn’t match the description/photos.

Airbnb can be a very versatile short-term housing option. With rooms for rent, singles or couples can live with the property owner and save some money. And families can rent an entire apartment or home and have the space they need to live comfortably, though at a higher cost.

Living With Friends or Family

Two friends living together

If you need a temporary place to stay, and you have friends or family with available space nearby, living with them for a short period of time is always an option to consider. And while being a house guest isn’t always the most preferred option, it does have at least one major benefit that the rest of these short-term housing options don’t have: no cost!


  • Often, friends or family will allow you to live with them for free.
  • You know your roommates. With some other temporary housing options, this won’t be the case.
  • You can always leave and choose another option if it isn’t working out without breaking a lease.


  • You might feel like you’re invading someone’s space or inconveniencing them.
  • You still have roommates, meaning less privacy than some other options.
  • You have to somewhat adopt someone else’s living style and habits.
  • You likely will not be able to bring your own bed or many additional belongings.
  • You run the risk of damaging relationships if things don’t go well.

Living with friends and family can absolutely work, and it’s an incredible way to save money instead of seeking out other temporary housing solutions. One thing to note is that when someone offers their home to you, it’s essential to go above and beyond to be an exceptional house guest. In order to make this type of arrangement work, you have to do your part.

Living in an RV or Travel Trailer

RV parked on beach

This temporary housing option definitely isn’t for everyone, but living in an RV or trailer while between homes does have some notable benefits. Of course, there are negatives that come with this option as well.


  • Affordability. You might already own an RV or trailer, but if you have to buy one, you can either keep it at your home at the end, put it in self storage, or sell it for the price you bought it for (or near to it), making it far more cost-effective than renting.
  • For those living in an RV while building a home, there’s a possibility that you’ll be able to live on your land while the home is being built, allowing you to monitor the building process.
  • If you don’t live on your land, RV parks are still very affordable compared to other options like month-to-month leases at an apartment.


  • The biggest disadvantage of living in an RV or trailer as a short-term housing option is lack of space. You’ll have very minimal space for every day things like cooking, eating, and sleeping, and it definitely can wear on you over time.
  • Along the same lines as having minimal space, there’s very little privacy. If you’re living with someone else in the RV and need your own space now and again, you’re going to have to leave in order to get it.

As described here, RV living as a short-term housing option is a major sacrifice, but it can be an effective way to help you reach your long-term goals. Namely, by saving you a lot of money from Point A to Point B, if you can handle the negatives of cramped space.

If you’re in need of short-term housing, there are plenty of options out there to choose from. Now, it’s time for you to decide which will work best for you and start looking! It’s also likely that during your time between homes, you’ll need a place to keep at least some of your belongings. Self storage is perfect for these exact scenarios. Rent storage space near you today with Extra Space Storage!