Where to Live Between Selling and Buying a House

Find the perfect interim home between selling and buying. Explore options that balance comfort and convenience during the transition.

Real Estate
February 6, 2024
Where to Live Between Selling and Buying a House

Are you ready to make the big move to a new home, but need a place to lay your head between old and new? The real estate market can be notoriously difficult to navigate, and you're not alone. 

Sellers often find themselves faced with buyers who want to move in earlier than they can easily move out, or the sale of the old house closing before they’ve landed their next home. 

If this feels familiar, worry not—there are plenty of arrangements that won’t throw a wrench into your negotiating power as a seller or buyer. Navigating how to find temporary housing doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Let’s take a look at nine solutions for where to live between selling and buying and find your best mix of comfort, price, and convenience.

Short-Term Rental Options

We’ll begin with the classic choice of a short-term rental. The top three types today are: 

#1 Extended-Stay Hotel

An extended-stay hotel is the original week-to-week or month-to-month option to keep costs lower than nightly hotel prices. They’re designed with the additional space and practical features that travelers look for when they need to settle in for more than a night or two and aren’t looking for a luxury experience. 

In addition to an ensuite bathroom, you’ll typically find: 

  • A kitchenette fitted out with basic cooking and dining accessories
  • Seated dining space 
  • Living room or lounge zone separated from bedroom or sleeping area

You can also find extended-stay hotels that: 

  • Allow pets
  • Provide laundry facilities
  • Have working areas, business services, and meeting rooms
  • Offer pools, hot tubs, and gyms with weights
  • Provide in-room filtered drinking water

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#2 Vacation Rentals

Although they may seem like an unconventional choice, vacation rentals can be some of the best places to consider for temporary housing —especially for large-group units. You can easily find whole houses that are fully furnished to maximize the number of sleeping spaces. 

Plus, vacation rentals often include: 

  • Bedding, furniture, toiletries
  • Cooking spaces including kitchen supplies 
  • Separate rooms for entertainment or work 

When you’re shopping on Airbnb or Vrbo, or less famous sites like Sonder, Vacasa, FlipKey, or Plum Guide, be sure to evaluate total costs rather than nightly rates. These types of rentals often include hefty cleaning and other fees that pile high in addition to advertised rates.1

#3 Rental Unit

While most rental properties are targeted at a one-year lease, you can find month-to-month units with landlords who’ll welcome short-term tenants. Simply filter for month-to-month or short-term rental contracts when you search on popular sites such as Rent.com, ForRent.com, Zumper, or Apartment.com. 

Alternative Housing Solutions

What short-term rentals have in common is the bill—you can shop around and save, but you’re almost certainly looking at a four-figure bill for a month’s lodging.1,2, For more flexible options, consider these other alternatives to temporary housing: 

#1 Opt for a Sale-Leaseback

A residential sale-leaseback is one of the top solutions that come to mind when figuring out where to live between selling and buying a house. 

With a sale-leaseback, you can sell your house and still live in it as a renter for a minimum of 6 months. It’s a way for homeowners to convert all their home equity to cash without having to move right away. This allows them to navigate the challenging real estate market with cash in-hand and without the added time pressure or stress of living in temporary housing. For homeowners planning on buying a new home in a competitive buyer’s market, a sale-leaseback can help them use home equity to buy another house with a cash offer. Other homeowners use sale-leasebacks to fund new construction without having to move to temporary housing. 

For those needing interim housing, it’s the perfect solution to avoid a “double move” and take the time you need to find the perfect home,  pack, and plan.

#2 Stay with Friends or Family

Top of the list for a reason—if you have someone in your circle with the room to accommodate your family at their residence or vacation home, you could avoid a sizable bill for the cost of interim housing. Consider who has the room, patience, and habits that your family could most easily settle in with. 

#3 Travel

You could take advantage of interim time to plan a trip. If you have vacation time accrued or the ability to work remotely, consider: 

  • A family road trip to a new city, beach, or national park
  • Taking one of Amtrak’s train tours across America
  • A traditional or freighter cruise 

#4 Rent an RV

You can rent a recreational vehicle ranging from a small pop-up trailer with sleeping spaces to a bus-sized drivable RV with full kitchen and bathroom facilities. There are three ways to seek an RV rental: 

  1. A large national company such as Cruise America with standardized vehicles
  2. A sharing-economy site like RV-share where you can find private owners to rent from
  3. A friend or acquaintance with an RV you can borrow or rent

You’ll need to plan where to park or travel with your RV. Find out the costs in each of the three rental scenarios for: 

  • Mileage and generator fees
  • Fuel
  • Insurance
  • Cookware, bedding, and other amenities
  • Cleaning, administrative, and other fees
  • Campground or RV park fees
  • Dump station fees if you plan on boondocking away from an RV or camping site

#5 Lease a Home for Sale

While it may be a challenge to arrange, inhabiting a for-sale home with owners who’ve already vacated it can be a win-win situation. The homeowners won’t have to worry about the potential crime and maintenance hazards of an untenanted property—while earning rental income to help cover dual-household expenses—and you’ll have a cozy place with enough room for your family. 

Check with real estate agents—yours and anyone else you have in your network—to ask if they know of anyone looking for a short-term renter. You’ll need to: 

  • Keep the place in pristine condition when showing to potential buyers 
  • Be ready to vacate with little notice for open houses 
  • Bring some of your furnishings and belongings to outfit an empty home

Financial Considerations

If it’s just you and your significant other moving, then you’ll have an easier time figuring out where to live between selling and buying a home. On the other end of the spectrum, a household that includes five children, three dogs, and two grandparents will need more help to find interim housing without emptying your wallet. 

In budgeting for interim housing and comparing different types, consider: 

  • Commute and parking expenses
  • Meal expenses with varying levels of cooking facilities
  • Pet deposits and fees
  • Expected duration and flexibility of your stay
  • Functional space needs (work vs. play, quiet vs. children, bathroom sharing, etc.)
  • Included amenities such as pools vs. separate costs for family entertainment

Storage Solutions for Belongings

Once you’ve figured out where you’ll be staying, make sure your belongings are under a roof as well. You can use: 

  • A rented storage unit
  • A mover that stores belongings between locations
  • Friends and family basements, garages, or outbuildings
  • A temporary storage structure on an owned or borrowed property

Legal and Insurance Implications

When you have a gap between leaving one home and moving into another, it’s critical to figure out what your insurance policy does and doesn’t cover. Some policies extend to personal property stored off-site and certain types of damage incurred during a move, but the coverage may be limited if it exists. 

Ask about property and liability coverage: 

  • If you store belongings on another’s property 
  • Specific to renting a self-storage unit
  • For belongings with you in a short-term rental or other planned lodging
  • During transit

Contact your insurance agent to figure out exactly how your current policy will extend to your interim situation, and what solutions they offer to cover the gap. As with any insurance purchase, compare prices from other providers before you sign anything—especially if you’re offered insurance directly from a moving or storage company. 

You may need to acquire: 

  • Moving insurance beyond the very limited released-value protection from movers3
  • Storage unit insurance (some storage companies require it)
  • Renters insurance if required by the landlord

Sale-Leasebacks for Seamless Transition

Ready to skip the hassle of home-hopping and simplify your home selling process? Truehold's sale-leaseback pairs the sale of your home with a lease that allows you to remain as a renter at an agreed upon rate. 

In addition to taking care of your short-term housing needs, a sale-leaseback allows you to avoid the cost and work that goes into updating and preparing a property for a traditional listing sale. In fact, it allows you to skip directly to scheduling a closing date at your convenience. 

After closing, you’ll no longer be responsible for property tax, homeowners insurance, or major repairs and maintenance. Instead, you can focus your attention entirely on how to find your dream home

When you’re ready to learn more, give us a call and one of our advisors will reach out to answer your questions and see if Truehold's sale-leaseback option is the right fit for you.


  1. NerdWallet. Airbnb Pricing Statistics: 2023. https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/travel/airbnb-pricing-statistics
  2. UponArriving. How Much Are Extended Stay Hotels Per Month? (Prices & Rates) [2023]. https://www.uponarriving.com/how-much-extended-stay-hotels-per-month/
  3. MarketWatch. Guide to Moving Insurance (2024). https://www.marketwatch.com/guides/moving-services/do-i-need-moving-insurance/

Lucas Grohn headshot
Written by
Lucas Grohn
Senior Manager of Sales at Truehold - A Thought-Leader in Real Estate
Lucas Grohn brings over a decade of real estate expertise to his role, where he guides a team dedicated to innovative sales strategies. Known for his thought leadership and diverse experience, from managing brokerage operations to training agents at top firms, Lucas covers a broad span of real estate content for Truehold.
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Truehold's blog is committed to delivering timely and pertinent insights in real estate and finance, purely for educational and informational purposes. Crafted by experts, our content is thoroughly reviewed to guarantee its accuracy and dependability. Although designed to enlighten and engage, our articles are not intended as financial advice and should not be the sole basis for financial decisions. Our stringent editorial practices ensure the integrity of our content, empowering our readers with valuable knowledge.

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