Couple signing leasing agreement

Extended Stay Hotels vs. Short-Term Rentals: Is One Better?

If you’re between homes, traveling for work, or moving to a new city without a set living arrangement, you may need to look for temporary housing options. For many people, the most common options for temporary living arrangements are extended stay hotels and short-term rental agreements. Not sure which option is best for you? Consider these three factors when making your decision!

FLEXIBILITY

Couple with keys

Sometimes, plans change. Whether it’s because your builder finished your custom-built home early or your temporary work assignment concluded sooner than expected, you want the flexibility to leave without taking a major hit to your finances.

Since extended stay hotels are designed to see patrons come and go, you’ll have an easier time picking up and leaving when you no longer need a temporary space. If your need for temporary housing is due to travel or a home that’s not ready to be moved into, this is your best option to effectively end a “lease” on short notice. As you would with any rental, you’ll need to give notice to appropriately check out.

If you’ve lived in an apartment or rental home before, you know that breaking a lease early can be a hassle and a financial burden. In a few cases, you might have an opportunity to get out of your lease without breaking the bank. Some landlords or management companies allow tenants to break a lease if they can help them fill the space to pay out the remainder of the lease. Check out websites like leasebreak.com if you find yourself in this situation. Just remember that if you rent for three months, you should be prepared to stay the full length of the your lease to avoid any issues!

AMENITIES

Mom and son in kitchen

One of the tougher parts of being between homes or needing to temporarily relocate for work is that you feel as though you’ll lose some of things that truly “feel like home.” Keep these things in mind when looking for a temporary housing option.

Furnishings

If you’ve ever spent any extended amount of time in a hotel, you’ll know that they don’t require you to bring your own furniture! An extended stay hotel will come already furnished, which can make the room feel like home. The downside is that it’s furniture that has been used by other individuals who have stayed in the same room. You don’t have your own bed, couch, TV, or personal effects.

Depending on where you look, you will have options to rent a fully furnished short-term rental apartment or home. But in most cases, you’ll have an unfurnished apartment or home, which means you can use your own furniture instead of someone else’s! The downside of an unfurnished rental space is that you need to almost fully move into the space. For anyone traveling or living between homes for only a few months, moving in when you know you’ll move out in just a few months can be frustrating.

Cable, WiFi, & Other Utilities

The big advantage of an extended stay hotel is that most basic utilities (i.e., water, gas, electricity, trash) and even luxury utilities like cable and internet access are included in the price of the room. Unlike a short-term rental, which requires you to set up and pay for these utilities, this temporary housing arrangement is a great way to save a few bucks month-to-month.

There are some downsides to this, however. By staying in a hotel, you’re sharing WiFi with everyone else in the building, which can lead to slow download/upload speeds. Also, your cable is determined by the hotel, so if a channel you really enjoy isn’t offered, adding it to your list of available channels isn’t an option.

Kitchens

One of the most common questions that comes up with temporary housing options is “Is there a kitchen?” Extended stay hotels across the country offer fully-equipped kitchens with utensils and dishes. Some hotels will even offer a grocery delivery service, helping save you time and energy by having what you need brought to your room. You may also have access to complimentary breakfasts each morning. This can help you save money on going out to eat for breakfast on the way to work.

Like most long-term rentals, short-term rental apartments and homes come with fully-equipped kitchens. The major difference between a rental and an extended stay hotel is that you need to bring your own utensils and dishes. When you come across short-term apartment leases that say they offer a kitchen, be sure to ask what’s included in the kitchen so that you know you have what you need.

Pets

Most extended stay hotels will allow pets, but not without a few stipulations. They’ll ask that you disclose the animals you’re bringing, and in many cases they’ll restrict you to two pets with a certain size or weight limit. There may even be fees assessed that will cover cleaning. Places like Extended Stay America charge a set fee for the first month you and your pet stay with them, then they reduce the rate over the remaining time you stay. Be sure to check with the extended stay hotel regarding their pet policy first.

While you may not have the same luck finding a rental apartment or home that allows pets, you will have more room for your pets when you do find the right location. Since you’ll most likely have your own furniture in your rental home, your pet will feel more at home, minimizing the stress they feel. Keep in mind that apartments and houses for rent often have breed and weight restrictions, as well as one-time pet deposits and monthly pet fees.

COST

Couple budgeting

Budget is a big factor when trying to decide between short-term apartment rentals or extended stay hotels. Obviously, cost depends on your city and its market, so there’s not a concrete “best option” between the two. Below, we’ve compared extended stay hotels vs. short-term apartment rentals in three major cities to give you an idea of what you can expect. Average prices were determined based on monthly prices offered by Extended Stay America HotelsApartmentGuide.com, and ForRent.com.

New York, NY

Extended Stay America chains offer a variety of room sizes and options, but the most available option was their studio suite with one queen bed. In New York City, extended stay hotel rooms averaged out to $125.26 per day, which comes to $3,507.36 per month. It’s easy to assume that prices will be a little higher since it’s New York, but two-bedroom apartments with short-term lease options can be found around $3,279.38 per month. With prices so close, it’s important to remember that renting an apartment or home will cost more than this when you factor in the cost of utilities, which average upwards of $180 for heating, electric, sewage, and water and up to $60 for internet services.

Austin, TX

In Austin, Extended Stay America’s monthly price for a one-bed studio suite averages out to be just under $2,500 per month (or $89.08 per day). The price is far outmatched by both studio and one-bedroom apartments in the area, which average out to be $1,228.27 and $1,532.93 per month, respectively. The $1,000+ difference makes a short-term rental apartment the best Austin temporary housing option. Average costs for short-term leases may see up to an additional $220 with the cost of utilities.

Minneapolis, MN

In a growing market like Minneapolis, the choice between an extended stay hotel and a short-term lease seems fairly easy. At Extended Stay America, monthly costs come out to an average of $2,645.72, while two-bedroom apartments with short-term leasing options averaged around $1,584.89 with an around $230 in utility costs on top of rent. But remember to consider the market, too. If the city expands faster than it can build new apartments, you may run into difficulties with availability of short-term leases.

WHICH TEMPORARY HOUSING OPTION IS BETTER?

Man looking out hotel window

It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly which short-term housing option is best since there are so many unique factors to consider. Depending on your situation, one temporary housing option can be more convenient than another. Find your situation below to see which option is best for your particular needs!

Families Between Homes

Best Choice: Short-Term Rental

Families with children will find that a short-term rental—either a two to three-bedroom apartment or a rental home—is the better option. Extended stay hotels aren’t a bad option for families. Some hotel options like Extended Stay America allow children to stay for free, but usually the costs associated with larger or multiple rooms can sometimes cost more than what you would pay in rent. With a short-term rental, you can find homes that are listed as “For Rent by Owner” or apartments that offer short-term leases that are either month-to-month or three to six months. This option also allows families to stay closer to their kids’ schools, keep similar routines, and have more living space.

Individuals and Couples Moving into New Homes

Best Choice: Extended Stay Hotel or Short-Term Rental

The biggest consideration when deciding between a one or two-bedroom apartment or an extended stay hotel is length of stay. If your time between homes will only be a few days or weeks, then an extended stay hotel is your best bet, as you won’t be bound to a lease agreement. But if you know you have a few months between moves, then a short-term lease can work in your favor.

People Who Travel for Work

Best Choice: Extended Stay Hotel

Traveling for work is a great opportunity to see more of the world, but it has its drawbacks. Namely, some jobs that require travel can change arrangements with short notice. That makes extended stay hotels an attractive option. You and your company won’t have to worry about being locked in a lease or not finding an apartment close enough to where you’ll be working. With extended stay hotels, you have the space and amenities you need.

If you’re in a temporary home due to traveling for work, building a home, moving, or another major life transition, self storage may come in handy. Find a storage unit near you today with Extra Space Storage!

One thought on “Extended Stay Hotels vs. Short-Term Rentals: Is One Better?

  1. My wife and I have been thinking about going out to see her family for a while, and I think that if we could find an extended stay housing option for ourselves rather than staying with family, we’d enjoy it a lot more. I’m glad that you talked about looking into the furnishing of different options you’re looking into for an extended stay. I think that if we could be able to have a fully furnished housing option for us to stay in for a couple of weeks while we’re there, we’d be really comfortable!

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