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Moving for work can be stressful, so it is important to try and
be as informed as possible to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

Do Your Homework

You can never do enough research when moving, whether it’s for work or personal reasons. You should start researching local information as soon as possible; subscribe to the local paper and research the region’s weather, lifestyle, cost of living, commuting and other details on the Internet. Also, try to visit your new city at least twice, one of them on a workday. If you have a family, make sure that they accompany you on at least one of your visits. If possible, have a friend or acquaintance (maybe someone in your firm’s local office) to show you around the city.

It is extremely important not to rely solely on your real estate agent for information about the area. He or she will not highlight any negatives, such as weak schools or high crime rates. Also, when your agent is helping you find a home, make sure to ask specific questions about the neighborhood and home. Think about your lifestyle and needs or wants and gear your questions appropriately.

Also make sure you know exactly what assistance your company is offering you for relocation. Some companies have tiered programs that offer a "deluxe" package for executives and other "critical" staff and basic packages for other staff. Some companies also offer referrals and networking help.

It Never Hurts to Ask

Although many companies offer a basic or standard relocation package for the majority of their employees, it never hurts to negotiate if you think of something you might need. If you are too caught up with the moving process to ask your company for assistance, you may regret it. Relocation-related problems may cause you to resent your company or not do your best in the career you have worked hard to build. They can also cause you to not make the most out of a new place.

One area in which your company may help is in selling your existing home. It’s difficult to predict how your home will sell, and the last thing you want to end up with is two mortgages to juggle. It is usually a good idea to discuss any assistance your company can offer before you agree to relocate. Some companies will make up the difference if an employee’s house sells at a loss or below market value at the expense of a quick sale. Others will arrange a bridge loan or references to companies that can help.

Read the Fine Print

When you receive your relocation package in writing (if you don’t receive it in writing, ask for it), make sure to take time to study the fine print. You might discover that your company isn’t paying for as much of your housing as you thought. Or perhaps they’re only covering your move up to a certain amount. Make sure you understand all of the terms and conditions and that you agree with them. If you have any questions, ask before you agree to relocate. Any negotiations should also be conducted before you agree to anything.
When you relocate, you should come out financially whole. If you have figured out what you need to relocate and your company isn’t willing to provide it, consider your reasons for moving. If you are moving just for the job and not because you want to move, you may want to reconsider.


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