A Place To Call Home
Finding the Best Temporary Housing Solution
by Wendy Dunham
Relocating to a new city is always exciting, but there’s a lot to think about, organize, prioritize and plan, not the least of which is where you’re going to live. Possibly, your move comes with little advance warning, and your family will join you later. You’ll need to find a place to stay during this transition. Finding temporary accommodation until you buy a house or until your new home is ready is key.
So where do you start? If your company is moving you, or if you’ve been hired by a company in Atlanta, your employer will probably be able to help. Following their advice is always a good idea, as they’ve done this before and have built good business-to-business relationships with preferred service providers in the area. These relocation specialists know all the pitfalls and all the best tips for making your move as seamless as possible. Individuals moving without the assistance of an employer can use them, too.
"When a corporation transfers an employee to a new city, it is investing time and money into the venture," says Kathy Connelly, senior vice president for corporate services for Prudential Georgia Realty. "In order to maximize that investment, they need their employees to have the least stressful transition possible, with the least distractions to the job and the family. It makes sense, therefore, to use a relocation agent who is a specialist in the field."
One option Connelly and her team offer is corporate lodgings: fully furnished apartments that come with all the basics, including linens, kitchenware and washer-dryers. Utilities are included in the lease price, and most have swimming pools, spas, fitness centers and business centers, as well.
TP Corporate Lodging, based in Lawrenceville, also has plenty to offer the business professional. But president Tim Miller says his accommodations are also popular with home buyers who need short-term placement, temporarily misplaced families, project workers, those seeking medical treatment, single people who don’t want to furnish an apartment, and families who are on the move.
"We provide everything that our customers need," says Miller. "We provide a fully furnished apartment home, fully decorated, with a full-size kitchen and full-size appliances, and the biggest draw is a washer and dryer in the apartment—it’s not down the hall or on another floor. You’re also getting more square footage and living space than you would in a hotel. If you’re in a four-wall hotel for four weeks or longer, those walls start closing in on you."
TP Corporate Lodging also offers clients a choice in furniture arrangements. Customers can also choose from options that include maid service, premium movie channels, a larger TV, a VCR, DVD player, stereo and more. But one of the most important considerations when choosing a temporary home is its location. "I am very picky when it comes to finding property," Miller says. "People who lease from us will not find themselves next to a Dumpster or in a bad neighborhood."
Such accommodations can actually mean a savings over the cost of staying in a hotel. "You get all this extra space, and it costs less than the daily rate of a hotel," Miller says, noting that his company’s typical daily rate averages between $59 and $85, compared to between $65 and $149 or more for a hotel.
Additional savings can be had by using your own kitchen to prepare meals as opposed to dining out or ordering room service. TP Corporate Lodging offers free, unlimited local calls, as well. But what if you’re relocating on your own, without the help of an employer? Hiring a specialist is a possibility. Another choice is to move into an extended-stay hotel. These look like hotels or motels and usually offer small, furnished suites where everything is done for you, except cooking. There will also usually be access to a pool, a spa, a gym and an office for faxing, copying, printing, etc. Some extended-stay hotels, such as the Marriott TownePlace Suites, even let you accrue loyalty points during your stay.
A one-bedroom suite in Atlanta, for one person, in a chain like ExtendedStay America, Homestead Studio Suites, or ExtendedStay Deluxe, can begin as low as $39.99 per night. Prices vary according to location, and you might qualify for discounts depending on your employer.
If you have three children and two dogs, you may wish to consider renting a house. This will have to be organized well ahead of your move, but there are a lot of options to choose from, and in the current economy, rental prices are down.
The best way to find a rental property is to go to a website such as Rentals.com. Just plug in everything you want, including the area you’d like and your price range. Renters can search the comprehensive database of thousands of properties for free until they find just what they need, even down to things like a fenced-in yard for their dog or a two-car garage.
Contacting a Realtor is another option. The National Association of Realtors website lists a wide range of rental properties, and many real estate companies have sites that offer rental properties as well. Note that the average Realtor will be able to share their market knowledge but may not have an exhaustive knowledge of rental properties on the market beyond those listed with their own company and information available to the general public. They should be able to direct you to resources but most likely will not tour properties with you as they would if they were helping you buy a house.
Whichever way you go, remember that figuring out where you’re going to live is often the hardest part of a transition. Once you’ve accomplished that, everything else should fall right into place.
Prudential Georgia Realty
TP Corporate Lodging
Marriott TownePlace Suites
Extended Stay Hotels
National Association of Realtors