Congrats, you landed a new opportunity that has you moving out of your city! What should you do? It’s okay to take a moment to celebrate, but you’ll want to plan all your next steps so you can confidently relocate without looking back. Job relocation is an exciting and emotional time for you to tackle. Take a moment to review these tips for making your job relocation successful.
Before you relocate
- Get to know the real costs of living – First and foremost before you accept or move forward on a job offering relocation, you must feel comfortable with the compensation and the costs of living. Even cities just 100 miles apart can have a big difference. PayScale offers an insightful calculator to compare the cost of living and salary across two different locations. Bankrate also has a good tool to forecast average living expenses, too. Now is a good time to get familiar with job relocation costs when moving.
- Get a feel for local insights – Even if the job offer is amazing and the financials look good to you, you’ll want to get a feel for trends in the local area. Reddit has many subreddits (communities) for major metropolitan areas so you can read local guides and ask questions from people who are advocates for their community. Pay attention to the sidebars, which will often provide valuable information and recommendations for what part of town you should live.
- Master your finances – Consider your entire financial picture including your credit cards, bank accounts, vehicles and your home. Think about how you plan to relocate to your new location. Will you drive your car or have it transported there? Do you have a per diem or other funding available to cover your stays in a hotel (or series of hotels) along the way? Do you know how much it will cost to move your belongings? Every relocation is different, but if you have it all planned out in a spreadsheet with might with a little wiggle room, you can conquer the toughest aspect of job relocation.
- Establish relocation expectations – Employers that offer a position to someone who needs to relocate knows that it will take some time for you to move your possessions and your family. What they might not know is what’s unique to your personal situation. For instance, there’s a big difference in relocating someone in an apartment versus someone who owns a house. The sooner you can discuss your relocation package and options, the sooner you can establish expectations about the move, take reasonable time off, live in temporary housing, and even reserve additional storage for your stuff. Leave no details unturned. Ask now or forever hold your peace.
- Tie up all loose ends – Not all banks are found nationally. For instance, Capital One has a presence in Virginia, but not in Arizona. Will you have difficulty accessing your funds or utilizing banking services? Verify that you will have your banking needs covered in your new location. If you own a house or condo, you don’t have to panic. Direct home buyers like OfferPad will purchase your home quickly and give you the flexibility you need to pick your close date. It costs nothing to get a real purchase offer from them. Make sure you have taken care of obligations in your current city. Plan for shutting off your utilities, collecting any unreturned deposits, saving any important documents, emptying safe-deposit boxes and that you will ready for the big move! A couple of weeks before your big move, verify with all third-parties that they are ready to go to move your stuff.
While you transition
- Get a post office box and mail forwarding – When you’re in your new location, consider getting a local post office box near your place of work. It’ll be convenient for you so you can securely obtain all your “final bills” and printed statements while you establish yourself locally. As a good measure, ask your neighbor to collect any outstanding mail that might have been left in your mailbox.
- Trim your expenses – It’s unlikely you’ll have time for watching Netflix, HBO Go, or additional monthly video-on-demand subscriptions, so consider putting those expenses on ice until you have a new apartment or house and you’ll have time to watch. Strive to spend less where it makes sense such as hotels (do you need to stay in a four-star hotel?) or rental cars. Be diligent about paying off your credit cards early, so you don’t have to worry about interest adding up, which will cost you more.
- Let go of meaningless clutter – Do you need that extra sofa? Has it seen better days? Moving across the country is costly both concerning the labor of the move itself and the fuel expenses. You can sell your stuff quickly using Craigslist, OfferUp, or Letgo. Or, consider donating some of your possessions to a local charity where it can provide a potential tax deduction. It’s okay to de-clutter as you can buy new or gently-used items in your new location and it might even be less expensive. Heavy items might include a king-sized bed, a dresser, boxes of jackets, a dining table and chairs and so on. Plus, you’ll have some extra cash on hand, which is always a plus.
- Give yourself a vacation – Once you get all your stuff moved to your new location, give yourself a day or two just to do nothing. Seriously. You did all the hard work, so give yourself a day to go hiking, relax at the spa, or just to find a nearby coffee shop and read. It’s important you give your body and mind a break from the stress of moving and relocating. There’s still more learning and adapting to do, but this is a big step for you. Celebrate it.
- Focus on the job at hand – Now that you have mostly moved yourself to your new location, focus on the work at hand. You don’t want to be taking real estate calls in the middle of the work day; save that for the weekends where possible. Check in with your management team on a regular basis, so they are aware of your relocation progress. The sooner you get it done, the sooner they have your full attention and focus. And yes, they know it’s a transition.
After you relocate
- Keep all receipts and documents – It’s tempting to toss all the documents and receipts away after your move, but don’t! There may be valuable tax benefits if you relocated for work purposes. Employers who offer to reimburse you for expenses will need receipts for their accounting purposes, so make sure you have those, otherwise, you might find that you’ll burden those plans. I recommend putting together a folder just for everything related to your relocation, and store it securely so that you can find later.
- Explore the local community – It’s now a good idea to explore the local community and even join some non-work interest groups. It can be a bit intimidating to establish yourself, your reputation, and your social circle in a new city. Get to know people with similar hobbies and interests by joining a few local Meetups.
- Rent first – Even if you have cash that would make an attractive down payment on a home, get a feel for the local area, the commutes, and great parts of down by renting. Many rentals offer short-term leases, and this will give you some breathing room to live simply, control your living expenses, and focus on finalizing your long-term living arrangements.
- Learn about local real estate trends – To get a feel for the local real estate market, consider asking your co-workers. While they aren’t necessarily real estate experts, they will give you a nuanced perspective for what part of town is blossoming and which parts you should avoid. With this information, you can begin your hunt for the perfect home or condo.
- Buy when you’re ready – There is no rush for you to buy a home. You don’t want to rush into one of the biggest financial decisions without adequate research. When you feel ready to buy a house, go for it. Make sure your credit score is in tip-top shape, and all your expenses have been fully reimbursed, so it doesn’t raise any eyebrows if you’re seeking a new mortgage.
If you’ve read this article, you’re probably a person who loves researching their options and plans ahead. The earlier you can develop your relocation plan for your job and family, the better frame of mind you can make your decisions. It’s much better to consider all the costs and benefits when making a decision now, than when you are three time zones away.
OfferPad provides homeowners the ultimate home selling experience by getting them a fast and competitive offer on their house without any of the typical hassles of selling traditionally. If you just took a new job and you have to sell your home fast, then request a no-obligation, free purchase offer to get the ball rolling.