Looking for an Alternative to Extended Stay Hotels?

July 05, 2022

It never seems that we have the luxury of a leisurely search for housing. Many times the decision is made for us. With property values rising quickly and sharply, some landlords are looking to sell their properties. With rising home values come increased property tax and insurance costs. Like many other basics associated with inflation, rent is rising quickly. Unfortunately, this puts renters in a difficult situation when looking for affordable housing. If you need housing fast, extended stay hotels could look like a logical option. But these properties often make you pay more for the convenience of a quick fix in one of your more desperate moments. Extended stay hotels are one option among many. Let’s explore the other, more unique possibilities you could choose when you’re in a pinch and looking for an alternative to an Atlanta extended-stay hotel. 

Tightening Up

If you live in the Atlanta Metro area you are probably feeling the pinch of rising rent. Rent in Atlanta has increased 31% over the previous five years, and it doesn’t seem that this increase is slowing down. Prices of practically everything have jumped over the last year, and affordable housing is no exception. Landlords are getting hit with increased tax bills on their rental properties and therefore increased insurance rates. These increases are passed along to you, the renter as soon as lease-signing time rolls around again. If these increases catch you by surprise, you might be forced to make a snap decision. Do you stay, or do you go? 

In 2022, the Consumer Price Index rose 7.9%, but American companies only budgeted a 3.4% increase for wages. You need a place to live, but more Americans are looking at unique alternatives for ways to stretch their dollars further as their wallets seem to grow skinnier. You may be working multiple jobs or adding gig work to your already tight schedule. When are you going to find time to search for a new, more affordable place to live? What are the alternatives?     

RV Living

RV living can be an affordable housing option!
RV living can be an affordable housing option!

One unique idea that has gained popularity over the last few years is RV living. The grass is certainly green when considering moving into an RV. And why not? The opportunity to move or change locations on a whim certainly has some appeal. On the surface, this option of no mortgage or rent, no utilities, and the freedom of flexibility in location can seem like the perfect option. If you work from home, you could move anywhere in your RV and travel to the places you’ve always wanted to visit. Cost-wise, living in an RV could seem far cheaper than renting and living in a home. But keep in mind some compromises have to be made. In an RV you give up space, and as gas prices rise, you may feel the squeeze in your pocket as you attempt to keep your gas-guzzling home topped off. Also, just like with your car, you will be responsible for repairs and factor maintenance into your monthly budget. This could also be a major inconvenience if your home is also your transportation to work. You will probably also need to reallocate funds for your food budget as your kitchen will be small, and you will need to eat out a few more meals per week.  

Craigslist

When evaluating your options, you may be tempted to explore Craigslist for a quick change of housing. While once a viable place to find a rental, Craigslist has become a strange mix of scammers and a dumping ground of generic advertisements for used car lots. You’ll have to dedicate a significant amount of time to due diligence as you sift the scams from the genuine possibilities for places to live.  

Airbnb/VRBO

Extended stay options with Airbnb and VRBO.
Extended stay options with Airbnb and VRBO.

During the pandemic, Airbnb inadvertently transitioned from short, overnight or weekly hotel competition to a new source of extended-stay properties. Over 80% of hosts on the platform are now offering long-term options for stays. Know that some hosts may be in violation of neighborhood homeowners association rules and that in some cities, hosts need to have a special license through their local municipality to rent out their home through these platforms. If the host has skipped these steps, it could put you in an uncomfortable situation with neighbors. 

Couchsurfing and Crashing with friends

This could be the quickest fix for your short-term rental needs, but this solution comes with its unique challenges. Did you clean your dishes? Do your new roommates have a cleaning plan? How are you splitting up the rent? Also, keep in mind the health of your back and the importance of sleep. If your buddy likes to game on the couch (your bed) until late at night but you have an early workday, you’re going to get worn out on this temporary solution very quickly.  

House Sitting

This is arguably the most temporary of possibilities on the list. If you are in a pinch to find a new space, house sitting could be a temporary possibility for finding a place to stay. The pros of this situation are that house sitting can often be a paid gig in addition to giving you a place to stay rent-free. The cons, of course, are that you will not be staying in this house long enough to make it a home. You won’t be hanging any pictures on the walls and you may encounter house rules that could cramp your living situation further. Make sure that you and the homeowner or primary renter iron out any expectations for your time in the home before you move in. Are guests allowed? Are any rooms off-limits? These basic questions can save a lot of potential trouble. 

PadSplit 

Extended stays with PadSplit offer privacy and affordability.
Extended stays with PadSplit offer privacy and affordability.

PadSplit is not a traditional rental platform, but it can be an excellent option for finding a room to rent for a fixed weekly payment. PadSplit is a membership-based room rental program. This means that there is a basic, one-time membership application for both landlords and renters, taking much of the guesswork and vetting out of the process of quickly finding your next place to live.

For a fixed, weekly payment, Members get private, furnished rooms. All of these rooms meet quality standards and are hosted by the property owners, not an absentee property management group. Even better, the weekly payment includes utilities, internet, basic furnishings, and laundry facilities. These fixed payments allow you to budget effectively, possibly helping you save money and build your credit in the process. Signing up is quick and the one-time application saves you from having to submit rental applications and pay stubs and credit checks each time you explore a new home. Among the many benefits, PadSplit even manages all the paperwork and processing, taking this complication out of the relationship between you and your new landlord.

If you find yourself needing a new place to live quickly, you can choose from many unique options. From RVs to couch surfing, the options come with their benefits and challenges. There are also modern, functional options available in the form of safe, affordable room rental services. These are excellent alternatives to Atlanta extended-stay hotels and provide the possibility of a long-term option that can also build your financial stability and credit. When looking for a new place to stay, consider your convenience, your budget, and your back by avoiding the couch and finding a safe and comfortable room rental.

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