Many of us dream of getting a better job. But when a promotion or new job opportunity comes with a request to relocate, the result can be very disruptive to your home life. There’s a lot to consider when making this kind of move, such as do you have a home to sell? Are you planning to rent or buy when you relocate? Is your employer covering some of the costs of your relocation? Should you hire a moving company or handle the move yourself? Following is an overview of some of the most important factors you should take into consideration when relocating.
Assessing the situation
The idea of moving to a new area and into a new job can be very exciting, but you’ll want to assess the situation carefully:
Do your best to make sure the job is a good fit, the boss is a good personality match (and plans to stay long-term), and that you’ll be comfortable in your new role for at least three years.
Meet with a human resources manager to make sure you understand all the details of the relocation package.
Thoroughly research your destination to ensure it’s a good fit for your entire family, and that there are other potential employers in the area in the event your new job doesn’t work out.
Use one of the online cost-of-living calculators to determine if there’s a significant difference between what you pay now (for rent/mortgage, utilities, groceries, gas, insurance, and more) and what you can expect to pay in the new location.
If your spouse works or is planning to enter the workforce, he or she should apply for jobs in the area to test the employment conditions.
Ask your real estate agent to perform a detailed market analysis to estimate the value of your current home.
If you live in an apartment, review your lease carefully to determine if you are facing any penalties for moving out.
Renting versus buying
Once you have made the decision to relocate it’s time to consider your housing options—not only where you live and what type of home you want to live in, but whether to rent or buy.
Financially speaking, it makes more sense to buy today than to rent in most markets. According to the latest research on the subject, it costs 15 percent less to own a home than to rent an apartment in the current economy. That said, renting may be a better option if:
You can’t decide where you want to live.
You don’t qualify for a home loan.
You need to keep your current home and can’t afford a second home.
You’re moving to an area where home prices are extremely high (e.g., New York City, San Francisco, Orange County).
You’re not yet certain whether you’ll want to stay long-term in the new location.
Moving your belongings
Fewer and fewer companies are offering to pay employee moving costs today, which means it may be up to you to arrange for one of the following options:
Hire out the entire process (the moving company does all the packing, loading, driving, and unloading). Expect to pay between $6,000 to $8,000, on average.
You pack all the boxes while the moving company does all the loading, driving and unloading. Expect to pay between $3,500 and $5,500, on average.
You rent a truck and do all the packing/unpacking and driving. Expect to pay between $2,000 and $3,000, on average.
Making the move easier
Relocating can be exhilarating, but also extremely stressful—especially if you have school-age children or teens. Here are four tips to make the process easier:
Get everyone in the family talking about their feelings and concerns. And make sure you’re doing as much listening as talking.
If you have children, include them in the planning and packing work to make them feel more involved. You may want to hold a going-away party for your children, to show that the move is worth celebrating.
If you have pets, ask your veterinarian, your moving company, and your airline (if you’ll be flying) to provide you with information, tips and any regulations.
To protect yourself from identity theft, only work with trustworthy moving companies; submit a change-of-address form to the post office about two weeks before your move; consider moving financial records and other personal files yourself.
Last year, the overwhelming majority of people (77 percent) who decided to move for work reported they were happy and had no regrets.