Whether it’s a promotion or a job with a new company, relocation is a process that usually is financially covered by employers. However, it still is a hassle to relocate on your own or with family. Here are the things you need to think about before relocating.
What to Know Before You Relocate
Relocating for a job is a radical, usually positive change in one’s life. Thorough research and investigation are needed to determine if it’s a profitable offer or not. Here are the aspects that can be covered by your relocation package and those which are your responsibility:
Relocation Packages – What to Expect
Defined as the added one-time bonuses, allowances, perks, or other payments relating to a moving process, or other continuous expenses, a decent relocation package includes the following basic amenities:
- Cultural training: For out-of-country relocation, the company should provide an adjustment program.
- Travel expenses: Per diem, transportation to work, and food while transitioning.
- Temporary housing: Covered rent expenses of a certain duration.
What to Negotiate in a Relocation Package
Although not common in a standard relocation package, further relocation assistance can be negotiated with the employer:
- Full pack & unpack: advanced moving services that include packing your belongings and unpacking them inside the house.
- Childcare assistance: recommendations for local nurseries or paid expenses for babysitters while transitioning.
- Job support for spouses: from recommendations to actual jobs, the new company can provide assistance to husbands or wives of future employees.
- Scouting visit of your future city: A short trip to the new city to research housing neighborhoods, schools, or other points of interest.
- Stipend for other relocation services expenses: Anything from cleaning services to curtains, appliances, or light fixtures.
- Immigration assistance: If traveling abroad, the company can assist with applying for a visa or a work permit. Covered expenses can include certifying papers, translations, passports, or other taxes.
- Vehicle transportation or replacement: for those who relocate overseas or on long distances, moving their car is a long and expensive process.
What to Worry About when Relocating
Apart from your moving checklist, there are other things to keep in mind when relocating that might not always be included in relocation assistance provided by your employer:
- Exchange rate protection: If you will get paid in another currency than the local one, such an agreement can save you financial issues if the local currency goes up.
- Pets: Although not often covered by relocation packages, moving away with pets can be expensive and stressful because of different legislation across the globe.
- Moving specifications for delicate items: Pianos, paintings, sculptures, or other fragile belongings need special packing or storing conditions and “Fragile” stickers. The relocation company must be notified in advance to provide special conditions for these items.
- Medical expenses: Other than your medical insurance that should be included in the work contract, medical expenses can refer to examinations, vaccinations, or other treatments needed to safely leave your current location and arrive at your new one.
- Living costs: Almost never part of a relocation package, living costs are determined by prices of food, utilities, rent, gas, transportation, taxes, or parking. You can use a “compare cost of living” calculator to determine whether the salary increase that comes with the relocation actually means more money.
- Psychological effects of relocating: Even though relocating should mean better living conditions, it is considered a stressful activity for adults, children, pets, or loved ones. Communication with children is key to a healthy moving process. Follow or guide on international moving to keep yourself organized if relocating internationally.
- Job Market: Although your new employer makes efforts to relocate you which translates into appreciation and respect, the job might turn out unsatisfactory or falsely advertised. Take an interest in other local job prospects for your business sector or specialization to be prepared in case things fall apart.
Sell or Rent Your Current Home?
If you already have a home and relocating would result in leaving the house empty, deciding whether to sell or rent your current place is an important matter. Take your short and long-term needs into consideration and evaluate whether you would benefit more from a significant one-time payment or monthly payments that add up over time. Of course, the latter also implies responsibilities like fixing or replacing furniture and used up appliances, which mean added costs.
Things to Know When Apartment Hunting
When moving for the first time, it’s difficult to notice every little defect or feature that could become expensive or inconvenient over time.
Let’s start with basic information from a lease:
- Rent price;
- Security deposit;
- Period of the lease;
- Penalty for early termination of the lease;
- Application fee;
- What does rent specifically include;
- Whether you are allowed to sublet or not;
- Maintenance policies.
Some apartments are faulty, to say the least, so take interest in the following aspects when looking to rent or buy:
- Structure type and materials;
- Roof condition;
- Storage space;
- State and functionality of electronics and appliances;
- Screen doors and windows;
- Whether they allow pets or not;
- Repairs and improvements owners are willing to pay for, if any;
- Living expenses in that house;
- Parking spaces;
- Nuisances – loud noises, street lights during nighttime, intersections, train stations, airports, etc.
- Water pressure and temperature;
- Bathroom window;
- Safety classifications for seismic activity or flooding.
All these items are important in a quality apartment, but one priceless factor is location. Searching through announcements for a bit will quickly convince you that central apartments at reasonable prices are the white whales of real estate. A widespread mistake is to rent or buy a place near your workplace so you can spend less time on the road. A noble purpose but a questionable method, since most jobs are not for life and evolution sometimes means leaving for a better opportunity.
To find a good neighborhood that allows you to efficiently move between work, home, and other places of interest, you should research residential areas at less than 20 minutes driving time from the city center.
Relocating is a tiring but exciting way to new beginnings. Whether we’re talking about jobs, hobbies, friends, or loved ones, it brings new thrills in day-to-day life and new professional opportunities.