Getaway Compass

How to Find an Affordable Furnished Monthly Rental

Hideaway Beach

Are you looking to move somewhere for a few months to experience a new place while working remote? There is no reason to move all your furniture and belongings with you if you are only going to be somewhere temporarily. This guide will walk you through how to find an affordable, furnished, monthly rental. There are several websites where you can find furnished short-term rentals at an affordable price. Being able to find an affordable, furnished, monthly rental depends on the location you are looking to temporarily move to, as some places have more options than others.

Know Your Budget

First, decide on your budget. Short-term rentals are always going to be more expensive than a one year lease. How much are you willing to spend? If you are moving from a cheaper location to a more expensive location but you are not getting paid more to live in the new place, make sure to take to consider the higher cost of living. You might be able to afford a 1-bedroom instead of a 2-bedroom and lower your standard of living but get the opportunity to live in a new, exciting place.

Airbnb Joshua Tree Outside
Airbnb in Joshua Tree

Decide on a Location

There are several factors to consider when deciding on a location for a monthly rental beyond the cost of living. You are more likely to find affordable monthly rentals in a location during off-season versus peak season. Some areas in cities aren’t allowed to rent for under 30 days so there are more affordable monthly options. Consider how far the new location is and if you are able to drive there or if you would have to fly. If you have to fly would you need to put your car in storage as well or would you want to ship your car? The further you move the more expensive it typically gets.

The Ridge Trail
Sedona, Arizona

Find an Affordable, Furnished, Monthly Rental

Hotpads

Hotpads has many rental options including furnished rentals. It is easy to focus on finding a rental in the right location on Hotpads with its map feature. The best way to find furnished short-term rentals is to select “Furnished” under Filters. This filter isn’t always perfect but it does restrict the list significantly. When you are searching on Hotpads you can also select a price range, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and amenities such as A/C, heating, and dishwasher. If the photos you are seeing are not showing a furnished place it is most likely not furnished. Many of the furnished options typically offer month-to-month options but you will need to read the description and contact the owner to confirm.

Hotpads Search Filter
Hotpads.com Filter

Furnished Finder

Furnished Finder was originally created for traveling nurses but is now open to all traveling professionals. There are furnished listing options with leases starting from one month and varying minimum length requirements. The prices are very affordable but some places are only looking to rent to healthcare professionals, so make sure to check with the owner if they are open to renting to all working professionals. When you open the listing you can see when the unit is available and any other fees such as cleaning fees and security deposit that you will be responsible for in addition to the monthly rent. The website does warn you of the risk of fake listings, so make sure to speak with the person on the phone or ask for a video call so you can see the place before and make sure it is legitimate. Always make sure to sign a standard lease agreement and fully read the lease.

Furnished Finder Search Window

Zillow

You usually think of Zillow for purchasing a house, but you can also find rentals on Zillow. After you search you have the option to restrict to certain amenities under “more” but there is no specific “furnished” option as an amenity. You can put “furnished” as a keyword on the bottom of the “more” options but unfortunately this doesn’t work very well. Instead, I recommend looking for listings that have pictures with furniture in them and then further reading the description to check if they are furnished. If you find a furnished option it will most likely offer short-term leases. You can also find apartments on Zillow managed by a company that offer month-to-month options and then rent furniture from a company like Cort.

Zillow Search
Zillow "More" Filters

Airbnb

Airbnb is a great website for renting for a few days to a week. If you try to look for an Airbnb to rent for a month or more, the price that you are seeing is usually the standard $100+ crazy nightly price across 31 days. Sometimes you can find Airbnbs with monthly discounts of 10% or more which can help lower the price. Another option is that you can contact the Airbnb host by clicking the button at the very bottom of the listing that says “Contact Host” and ask if they will be willing to offer a lower price if you are staying for a couple months or more. The host can send you a deal directly through Airbnb that you can then accept and book. If you are looking to sign a lease outside of Airbnb, you can try to get in touch with them outside the application. However, Airbnb hides phone numbers and email addresses before you book so you will have to get creative to provide your contact information.

Airbnb Joshua Tree Inside
Airbnb in Joshua Tree, California
Kauai Airbnb View
View from Airbnb in Kauai, Hawaii

Tips for Renting a Storage Unit

If you are moving temporarily and you don’t want to pay double rent you could move your belongings into a storage unit. Be very careful while looking for a storage unit and make sure to check out the unit before you pay for the month. We had a horrible experience trying to rent a storage unit from Public Storage (beware of Public Storage). The air conditioned storage unit ended up being in a rusty building with a broken swamp cooler so we had to find a different option.

Storage Unit Terms: Storage units are rented month-to-month, but if you want to get your stuff in the middle of the month they will not prorate the rent. Once the month has started you would pay for the entire month, regardless of when you decide to move your stuff out.

Storage Unit Size: Make sure you examine your stuff and get the right storage unit size. You can pile things but most likely you won’t have a ladder so I wouldn’t consider being able to use the full height of the storage unit. To be safe I recommend going a little bigger, because if your stuff doesn’t fit in the end it will be really painful to switch storage units and move everything over.

Insurance: Storage units usually require personal property insurance. The insurance they offer is typically very overpriced, about $15 or more per month. Most renters insurance covers your personal property in the storage unit, so if you have renters insurance you can send the policy to the storage unit management and use that instead of purchasing additional coverage.

Reserve Storage Unit: Make sure to reserve your storage unit online ahead of time as most storage places offer online discounts.

Cubesmart

Tips for Packing for a Storage unit

  • Organize everything really well especially if you don’t know how long you will keep the stuff in the storage unit for. 
  • Label everything! You will eventually forget where things are. Using color coded labels really helps for priority such as green is high priority, yellow is middle, red is low.
  • Put the things that you might need to access sooner near the front of the storage unit where you can easily get to them.

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links for products and services I recommend. At no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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