By Shelley Sakala

The shortage of homes for sale in Phoenix has been reported ad nauseum. Too many buyers, not enough homes. That means if you sell your current home right now, you might have no place to go. And while the market may correct itself before too long, this shortage has kept many sellers out of the real estate game for the past year – which contributes to the shortage of houses for sale. Vicious circle. For all these reasons, we’re seeing more people looking at new build homes. Unlike existing homes, these have a more stable price point that isn’t subject to a weekend bidding war with California investors. Once you’ve signed the papers and put down your deposit, you’re on a direct path to home ownership – but you might have to wait several months until construction is complete. If that’s the case, here are four strategies you can leverage to buy yourself some time while your new home is being built.

The lease-back is a situation whereby after the closing date, the seller no longer owns the home but still gets to live there for a set period of time at a set price. In other words, the sellers pay rent to keep living in the home they just sold. This can be a win-win for buyers and sellers, giving everyone time to get their affairs in order before moving in or moving out.

A typical closing can take up to two months, and longer closes can be negotiated. Long closes, however, have built-in risks. They give the buyer more time to keep shopping for a different home and try to wiggle out of the deal you have in place.

Leasing an apartment can be a smart way to bridge the gap while waiting for your new build. Keep in mind that this option requires you to move twice and pay for storage for everything that won’t fit inside your apartment.

In an extended stay hotel, the ease of hotel living is combined with the comfort of a fully furnished apartment. Most offer suites with separate bedroom/living areas, full kitchens, and nightly dinner service. There will be little room for anything aside from your clothes, but the amenities help make up for any inconveniences.

One last recommendation: If you ultimately decide to purchase a new home, I strongly recommend bringing a Realtor with you the first time you visit the community. It costs you absolutely nothing to have a Realtor in your corner, and he/she can guide you in the negotiations, upgrades, paperwork, and financing.

Shelley Sakala is a local Realtor with The Sakala Group.