What to do if your sale completes before you’ve found a new house

What to do if your sale completes before you’ve found a new house

author: Dan Griffiths

By Dan Griffiths


Moving home is undoubtedly stressful, but that doesn’t mean you should rush into buying a house that you’re not fully happy with.

After all, home really is where the heart is, so it makes perfect sense to wait until you’ve found a property that ticks all your boxes.

That’s why, even if you’re close to finalising a sale on your current home, it’s important to weigh up your options before committing to buying a new one.   

Consider temporary places to stay

If you’ve received a good offer on your home, it’s understandable that you’ll want to accept this and complete the process. However, you should be prepared that for a while – at least until you find a home you want to buy – you could find yourself technically homeless. To prevent this from happening, it’s wise to have a backup plan, and temporary accommodation could be it.

The most obvious route to go down is to rent a property while you continue searching for a new home to buy. This can be costly if you end up staying there for longer than you anticipate. You could use some of the funds from selling your old home to keep you afloat, but be careful not to dip into this too much as you’ll need it to put towards buying your new home when the time does come.

If you’re able to do so, you could consider living with relatives temporarily. This might be more appropriate if you’ve had interest in your property and you’re confident it will sell relatively soon, so you don’t have to worry about inconveniencing a family member for too long. You could always consider offering a bit of cash for your upkeep, or in exchange for some help around the house with cleaning or DIY jobs or something similar.

But if you feel uncomfortable about staying with friends or family, you could see if there’s anywhere you could move in as a lodger. This might be cheaper than renting a whole property.


Do you need to look for storage?

Should you find yourself renting or living with family, you’ll probably be limited for space – and you may not want to pack and unpack everything if you’re only there for a few weeks or so. In this case, it’s a good idea to look at storage options for your bulkier items.

There are many companies that offer storage, packing materials and even moving vans for you to keep your belongings safe and secure temporarily. Self-storage warehouses specialise in these kind of cases, and usually have varying sized lockers that can be ideal if you’ve got bulky furniture that you need stowing away for a while. Although prices are generally quite reasonable, remember you’ll still have to budget for this and the costs will rise the longer you’re living in temporary accommodation.

Alternatively, you could see if there’s anyone you know willing to let you store some of your stuff in their garage or loft until you’re in your new place. This could save you money, and shouldn’t be too much of an inconvenience if they have the space available.

Widen your search

Now you’ve sorted somewhere to stay and stashed away your belongings, your priority should be to ramp up your search for a new home. Every penny that you spend on rent is money that could go towards buying a new home, so it’s a good idea to limit your time in rented accommodation. If you’re not already, you should really be scouting out listings on property websites and booking viewings with any houses that pique your interest.

The sooner you find the right property, the quicker you and your family will be able to settle in and start enjoying your new home. 

Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.

author: Dan Griffiths

By Dan Griffiths

What to do if your sale completes before you’ve found a new house What to do if your sale completes before you’ve found a new house