Relocating for a job comes with many considerations that you must address before the move. Whether your new job is in a distant location or your current job is moving to a better location, it might involve moving yourself, your spouse and your children to a new neighborhood or city. With proper planning, adjusting to a new location and new conditions becomes easier for you and your family.
In this article, we discuss the reasons why relocation is often necessary and list eight steps to take when relocating for a job.
Why would you relocate for a job?
Interviewers often ask about your opinion on relocating when applying to a new position. Other times, due to upper management's decision, a whole business moves its headquarters to a new city. It's your decision whether or not you move with the company or find something new in your area.
Relocating, however, often comes with benefits. For example, if your company chooses to move, it may be because they see more potential for success. If your company makes more money, that often means you make more money as well. Moving to a new place may also provide you and your family an enriching and exciting experience.
Considerations for relocating
The following list includes important considerations when relocating for a job:
- Potential relocation expenses
- Cost of living in the new area
- Advancement opportunities upon relocation
- The impact on your family
- Finding a new job for your spouse
- The local school systems for your children
- A backup plan if the relocation doesn't work
The farther in advance you make these considerations and plan for them, the easier your moving process becomes.
List of steps to take when relocating
If you decide to move forward with relocating, follow these next steps:
- Stay organized and efficient.
- Understand your options.
- Visit and research the new location before the move.
- Find out the cost of living in the new location.
- Find out if your moving expenses are tax-deductible.
- Locate an affordable home.
- Decide on a moving date.
- Set a budget.
1. Stay organized and efficient
There are many complex logistics involved in moving and staying organized is the best way to get through it. Some of these logistics include selling your home, finding a new home, shipping all of your valuables long-distance and the cost of moving. Keep a list of all your objectives. Add to the list as new ideas come along, and mark items off the list once they're complete. This helps you keep track of the many nuances involved in moving and ensures the full move occurs without issue.
2. Understand your options
Some companies offer relocation services. Check with management and study the options available to you. For example, they might pay for short house-hunting trips before the move. They may also assist you in buying or selling your home, and in some circumstances, even help your spouse find a new position. Not all companies offer assistance, but you may be able to negotiate options. Research and calculate some of the costs associated with your move. Present these rough estimates to management with evidence of where your money is going. Doing so gives them a chance to reimburse some or all of your costs.
3. Visit and research the new location before the move
It's very beneficial to visit the new location before you move to familiarize yourself and your family with the area. This is a great opportunity to explore surrounding neighborhoods and find a location that best meets your needs. If you're unable to visit, research online as much as you can. Visit tourism sites, city government sites or online forums to learn more about attractions and even connect with locals. Take a look at the new location's newspapers or blogs and find out what occurs in the city on a daily basis.
4. Find out the cost of living in the new location
Research the cost of living in and around your new location to determine if it's more affordable or more expensive than your current neighborhood. If the area is more expensive, companies often make adjustments to their employees' salaries, but this is not guaranteed. Once you have a clear idea of the change in costs, make your plan and budget accordingly. For example, if you're unable to afford a home right away, you might instead put some of your belongings in storage and opt for an affordable apartment. Ask your coworkers about their plans, too. They may know of more affordable location options.
Consult management on temporary housing options as well. Some companies pay for condos and apartments for short periods of time as their employees adjust to the new location.
5. Find out if your moving expenses are tax-deductible
In the event that your employer does not help with moving expenses, you may be eligible for tax deductions. Partial reimbursement of your expenses during tax season can alleviate many of the burdens associated with relocating. There are several specifications your situation must meet for the government to reimburse you, however. Some of these specifications include:
- Relocation must be due to your job
- The new home must be at least 50 miles away for your previous home and job.
- You must have worked full time for at least 39 weeks before the move.
In the event that you are self-employed, you must work at least 78 weeks throughout the previous two years for consideration.
6. Locate an affordable home
There's a lot involved in finding a new, affordable home for your family, but it's best to find something before moving. Finding a home that meets your financial needs and includes the location and features you're looking for makes the move much easier. You might even plan how to lay furniture out within your new home before the move.
If you're unable to secure a home before the move, either through work or your own means, look for temporary options. Seek out apartments that provide a comfortable commute to work, offer local amenities and provide access to good public schools for your children, if applicable.
7. Decide on a moving date
It's best to move in advance of the start date at your new location. Depending on the distance, your company may provide you with a small window of time between leaving your current position and starting again at the new location. This window is your opportunity to secure a new home or apartment. Consider the current season and how it might impact your move schedule. For example, if it's winter and you're moving north, you may need to accommodate for cold, snowy weather which could hinder your moving process.
After taking the necessary considerations, decide on a specific date and commit to it. Complete all items on your objective list by a specific time and your move should end successfully.
8. Set a budget
Whether or not your company helps with the move, setting a budget for yourself ensures a safe and happy moving process for you and your family. Consider the costs of repairing certain areas around your home to make it more marketable. Account for moving costs as well. For example, moving to the next city over is more affordable than moving across the country. Compare transport rates from different companies before making a decision. Finally, consider a home or apartment within your cost range along with all other associated expenses.
Having all of these considerations in mind make for a better, well-rounded budget. Preparing your budget in advance instills confidence in the move and safety in the knowledge that you're making the best decisions for you and your family.