Where to Live Between Selling and Buying a House?

Where to Live Between Selling and Buying a House

Where to Live Between Selling and Buying a House on the Gold Coast? A period of renting could be used as a breathing space, allowing you to collect your thoughts, process everything calmly and ultimately buy where you really want to live. Other alternatives are Extended Stay Hotels, Holiday Rentals and with Family or Friends.

Where to Live Between Selling and Buying a House: Seamless Transition Strategies

When you’re caught in the transition between selling your current home and purchasing a new one, the question of where to live can be quite pressing. The gap can span a few days or even months, and making a suitable living arrangement during this period is essential.

This scenario may be challenging, but understanding your options can provide peace of mind during what is often a hectic time. Temporary housing solutions range from short-term rentals and extended-stay hotels to staying with friends or family.

Each option comes with its own set of benefits and drawbacks that you’ll need to consider based on your personal circumstances. Factors such as your budget, the size of your family, the amount of belongings you need to store, and your desired level of comfort will influence your decision.

If you’re looking for flexibility without the commitment of a traditional lease, serviced apartments or holiday homes offer furnished spaces for a variety of durations. Alternatively, if cost is a significant concern, you might find house-sitting or pet-sitting opportunities that can provide accommodation at little to no expense.

It’s important to weigh up the pros and cons to choose a solution that aligns with your needs during your property transaction.

Evaluating Short-Term Housing Options

When transitioning between selling and buying a house, you have various short-term accommodation options to consider. Each has its benefits and limitations depending on your specific situation.



  • Stability: A rental agreement offers a fixed address and privacy.
  • Amenity Access: Rentals often include full amenities, such as kitchens and laundry.


  • Lease Terms: Short-term leases can be challenging to find and may come at a premium cost.

Extended Stay Hotels


  • Flexibility: No long-term commitment is required, and stays can often be extended as needed.
  • Convenience: Services like housekeeping and amenities are typically included.


  • Cost: Rates may be higher than traditional rentals, particularly for luxury options.

Holiday Rentals


  • Variety: Options range from apartments to houses, offering diverse choices for comfort.
  • Homeliness: These properties are furnished, making your stay more home-like.


  • Availability: Popular locations can be booked out in advance, especially during peak seasons.

Staying with Family or Friends


  • Cost-Effective: You may be able to stay for free or contribute minimally towards expenses.
  • Support: Provides an opportunity for emotional support during a potentially stressful time.


  • Privacy: It can be challenging to maintain privacy and personal space over extended periods.
  • Boundaries: Prolonged stays can strain relationships if expectations are not managed.

Understanding the Financial Considerations

Before moving between homes, it’s vital to plan for the expenses associated with temporary housing and overlapping costs to avoid financial strain.

Budgeting for Temporary Accommodation

When you sell your home, you may need to stay in a temporary location before buying a new one.

Calculate the cost of short-term rentals, hotels, or serviced apartments, considering the length of your stay. Use the following table to compare potential costs:

Accommodation TypeWeekly Cost (AUD)Utilities Included?Furnished?
Short-term Rental$500 – $1,200No/YesNo/Yes
Hotel$700 – $1,500YesYes
Serviced Apartment$650 – $1,400YesYes

Remember to account for the security deposit
and any potential short-term lease premiums.

Managing Overlapping Costs

There may be a period where you’re responsible for both the sold property and the new purchase. Prepare for:

  1. Mortgage payments: You might have to pay two mortgages at once if the settlement dates don’t align.
  2. Utilities and insurance: Responsibility for both properties can mean double the bills.
  3. Moving and storage: If there’s a gap between sale and purchase, you’ll likely incur costs for moving and storing your belongings.

Ensure you have enough in your budget to cover these expenses by reviewing your finances and setting aside a contingency fund.

Navigating Timing and Logistics

In the transitional phase between selling your house and buying a new one, synchronising the move-out and move-in dates with the storage of your possessions is crucial.

Coordinating Move-Out and Move-In Dates

Securing a seamless transition involves aligning the date you need to vacate your current residence with the date you can move into your new home. If you’re selling your home first, negotiate a longer settlement or rent-back period to allow yourself extra time before you must vacate. Conversely, when buying first, seek early possession or negotiate a delayed settlement on the sale of your old home.

  • Key Actions:
    • Negotiate settlement dates with both parties involved
    • Have contingency plans in case of unexpected delays

Storage Solutions for Belongings

Finding secure and affordable storage solutions is imperative when you’re unable to move directly from your old house to the new one. Consider different storage options, such as:

  1. Self-Storage Units: Rent a unit based on the size and duration needed to store your belongings safely.
  2. Portable Storage Containers: Have a container delivered to your home, pack at your convenience, and then have it transported and stored securely.
  • Factors To Consider:
    • The volume of items needing storage
    • Duration of storage
    • Cost and accessibility of the storage facility
    • Safety and insurance for your items while in storage

Legal and Contractual Obligations

When moving between homes, it’s crucial for you to understand your legal and contractual obligations. This includes the intricacies of lease agreements if choosing to rent, and the policies of hotels or holiday rentals if you opt for a temporary stay.

Lease Agreements for Rentals

When entering a lease agreement, you are legally bound to the terms specified in the contract.

  • Deposit: You’re often required to pay a bond, which is held by the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority and is returnable at the end of the lease, provided the property is returned in good condition.
  • Term: Lease agreements typically have a fixed term, usually 6 or 12 months. Breaking the lease early can result in financial penalties.
  • Notice: You must give the agreed-upon notice if you decide to move out, which is usually one month.

Make sure to read your lease carefully and understand all the conditions before signing.

Hotel and Holiday Rental Policies

Hotel stays or holiday rentals offer more flexibility but come with policies that you must adhere to.

  • Cancellation: Look into the cancellation policy. Some accommodations offer free cancellation up to a certain point before your stay, while others may not provide refunds.
  • Duration: Unlike leases, hotels and holiday rentals can typically accommodate shorter stays, from one night to several weeks.
  • Payment: Full payment is often required upfront, especially for shorter stays.

Review the terms and conditions provided at the time of booking to avoid any unexpected fees or rules.

Pros and Cons of Various Options

When selling your house and transitioning to a new one, you’ll need to consider various temporary housing options. Your choice will depend on factors such as flexibility, cost, and desired living space.

Flexibility and Convenience


  • Staying with friends or family can offer immense flexibility, as you usually won’t be tied to a lease agreement.
  • Short-term rental services like Airbnb provide opportunities to move with relative ease should your plans change.


  • Friends or family may not always have the capacity or convenience to host you for an unknown period.
  • Short-term rentals might be unavailable during peak seasons or in certain locations.

Cost and Commitment


  • Extended Stay Hotels often include amenities and can be cost-effective for shorter periods without long-term commitment.
  • Renting a furnished apartment on a month-to-month lease can provide a balance between cost and flexibility.


  • Extended stay accommodations can become expensive over a longer period.
  • Month-to-month leases generally come with a higher monthly rent than traditional leases, impacting your budget.

Privacy and Space


  • Renting a self-storage unit for your belongings can give you the freedom to choose smaller, more affordable living spaces.
  • Subletting a property might offer a similar level of privacy and space as a traditional home.


  • Smaller temporary accommodations often trade-off living space and may feel cramped.
  • Sublets require due diligence to avoid scams and ensure the sublease aligns with your needs.

Emotional and Psychological Aspects

Transitioning between homes is a significant life event. Recognising and managing the emotional and psychological challenges is crucial to your well-being during this time.

Stress Management During Transition

The period between selling and buying a home is inherently stressful. To manage this, it’s vital that you foster resilience and find effective coping strategies. Here are some specific steps:

  • Prioritise self-care: Ensure adequate sleep, nutrition, and exercise.
  • Seek support: Lean on friends, family, or professionals for guidance.
  • Stay organised: Keep documents and schedules in order, reducing the cognitive load.

Maintaining Routine and Stability

Maintaining a sense of normalcy is key while transitioning between homes. Here’s how you can preserve your routine and stability:

  • Stick to daily rituals: Whether it’s morning coffee or your evening jog, keep these constants in your life.
  • Temporary housing: Choose accommodation that allows you to maintain your usual lifestyle as much as possible, such as short-term rental properties or serviced apartments.

Remember, recognising the emotional weight of this transition and taking steps to maintain your psychological health are as important as the logistical considerations of moving.

Long-Term Planning

When navigating the interstice between selling and buying a house, it’s imperative to understand the market you’re entering and to accurately time your transactions.

Investigating Future Housing Markets

Researching future housing markets is crucial for making informed decisions. To begin with, analyse the historical trends in property prices and sales volumes in areas of interest. This information can often be found in reports from real estate agencies or governmental housing departments. Additionally, review forecasted economic conditions such as interest rates, employment figures, and infrastructure developments, since these factors significantly impact housing demand and prices.

  • Real Estate Reports: Look for annual and quarterly reports that provide insights into market trends.
  • Economic Forecasts: Check reliable financial news sources for predictions on economic factors affecting the housing market.

Strategic Timing for Buying and Selling

Executing a well-planned strategy for the timing of your sale and subsequent purchase is essential. If you sell during a seller’s market—when demand exceeds supply—you can benefit from higher sale prices and reduced time on the market. Conversely, buying during a buyer’s market—where supply exceeds demand—can lead to greater choice and bargaining power on prices.

Your actions should be informed by:

  • Market Type: Determine whether it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market in your target area.
  • Seasonal Trends: Housing markets can fluctuate with the seasons, affecting availability and prices.

To maximise outcomes, align your selling and buying activities with these market dynamics.

Preparing for the Unexpected

When navigating the interim period between selling and buying a house, it’s crucial to anticipate potential obstacles and have a backup strategy in place.

Dealing with Delays

Delays can arise due to a range of reasons, from longer-than-expected closing processes to unexpected housing market shifts. To manage these:

  • Review Contracts: Check the settlement dates mentioned in your sale and purchase agreements.
  • Communication: Maintain open lines of communication with your real estate agent and solicitor to stay informed about any changes.

Contingency Plans

Having a contingency plan ensures you’re not left without a place to live if the timeline doesn’t align:

  • Short-term Rentals: Consider furnished apartments or extended-stay hotels.
  • Storage Solutions: Look into local storage options for your belongings, comparing costs and access flexibility.

Develop a well-thought-out plan that covers temporary housing and storage, should you need it.

Author – Craig Douglas

Please Note: The information contained in this document is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The laws and regulations governing the sale of property in Queensland are complex and constantly changing. It is important to seek the advice of a qualified property lawyer or conveyancer before making any decisions about the sale of your property. This document does not take into account your individual circumstances and may not apply to your situation. By reading this document you agree that you have not relied on the information contained herein and that you will seek independent legal advice before taking any action.

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