how to choose a short-term rental apartment

If you’re just in town for a few short weeks or months, or you’re in the midst of a big move but aren’t yet ready to lay down roots, there are more short-term living arrangements available than ever before. The Moveline team has worked with folks on both ends of the spectrum and everywhere in between, and we’ve got some insider tips on the best ways to stay in style in a place where you won’t be leaving too deep a footprint. If a hotel seems too clinical (or expensive, for that matter) and crashing on someone’s couch really isn’t an option, read on: plenty of options exist to help you enjoy your stay without breaking the bank.

Consider vacation rentals

Websites like airbnb and HomeAway have revolutionized the process of travel, allowing people to enjoy a more authentic local experience when they’re traveling to a new city and don’t want to stay in a hotel. They can be particularly effective if you’re trying to get a feel for a city you’re relocating to but aren’t quite ready to sign a lease, much less a mortgage. If you’re up for adventure, consider staying in several rentals in different neighborhoods, switching every few weeks to get a sense of what each one is really like, and ask each owner for tips on where to shop, eat and run errands while you’re there. There’s no truer way to figure out what it’s like to live somewhere than to actually live there, just like the locals do.

Look for short-term leases

Particularly in cities with major universities, student populations can make short-term leasing a breeze since there’s a seasonal influx and outflow of people going home for the summer, studying abroad and generally never staying in one place for too long. Check Craigslist and any local magazines, newspapers or alt weeklies with housing ads and follow your instincts when it comes to what feels legit and what doesn’t. Pro tip: save yourself the extra hassle of narrowing down your options in person by asking to Skype or FaceTime with current inhabitants of apartments or houses you’re considering moving into; do a gut check from afar before investing too much time in visiting every place that piques your interest. Save your energy for the handful of places (and potential roommates) that rise to the top of the heap.

Talk to corporate housing agencies

In many cases, companies that act as the go-between with corporations and traveling employers have long-standing contracts with multiple housing properties, and when those properties are sitting vacant, the housing agency isn’t making any money. It never hurts to Google those agencies in your city of choice and simply call or email them to ask if they have an empty apartment they’d consider renting out to you for however many weeks or months you need it. You might actually be doing them a favor — in fact, some agencies are used to renting portions of their rental spaces to individuals just like you in order to serve their own bottom lines — and after all, the worst they can tell you is “thanks but no thanks.” And here’s a no-brainer: even has a corporate housing and short-term lease search tool.

Oh, and when you’ve settled into more permanent digs, we’ve got some tips on how to save money in a new neighborhood, so be sure to bookmark them for a little light reading once you’ve printed off those new mailing labels and placed a welcome mat at your new front door. Until then, happy hunting!

Whether you’re moving for a relationshipmoving for work or just a change of scenery, Moveline can help. We simplify the process and ease your stress by helping you figure out your inventory; obtaining fair, accurate move quotes that won’t magically inflate themselves on moving day; and overseeing your move from start to finish to make sure you have the best experience possible. So don’t go it alone. Let Moveline help you #movebetter.