The Complete Guide to Relocating for a New Job
You just got offered a new job! Way to go, Rockstar! Whether or not you decide to accept the job, it's always nice to know you're in demand and you have options. We know that deciding whether or not to take it is a tough decision. So, we put together the complete guide on everything you should consider before you make the move.
Should you do it?
Before you say yes, here's what you should think about.
Even a dream job can quickly turn into a nightmare if you absolutely hate where you live. We recommend doing a lot of research on your new town. If you've already met some of your potential new co-workers, ask them if they have a couple minute to answer some questions about the city. If you don't feel comfortable doing that you can always use Facebook groups, Slack channels, and LinkedIn to try to find people who can give you a first-hand account about what it's like to live and work in your new city.
Once you've done some research be sure to go visit--even if you have to do it on your own dime. Don't stick to just the tourist attractions either. Walk around neighborhoods you'd consider moving to, visit local coffee shops, use public transportation, and be sure there are places where you can still pursue your favorite hobbies. Do everything you can to try to get a feel for what day to day life would be like if you took the job and moved.
Rents and mortgages can vary drastically between two cities. And don't forget to take a look at how your entire financial health will be affected by the move. Try to get a feel for things like how expensive utilities are, how much you can expect to spend when you eat out or go to a bar and the cost of childcare. All those things will play a major role in how you feel about your new paycheck--and how much you can enjoy your new city.
Don't forget to really think about whether or not this new job is the right move for you. Is it a lateral move, but one that will get you to where you want to be geographically? Is the pay and experience you'll get from the job so great that you're willing to go anywhere to do it? No one has a crystal ball that will tell you if it's the right move for you, but if you have a mentor in your industry who can help advise you, this is the time to pick up the phone and call them.
Remember, a big move like this can have a huge effect on your career and your personal life. So, it's important you really think it through.
What to do after you decide to say yes
A great promotion. A cool, new city. And a job you love. The answer is a big, fat yes. Here's what to do before you tell your new employer you're coming on board.
You're so excited that you're practically jumping up and down. But before you say yes, you've got some negotiating to do. Yes, salary and benefits are important--but there are a lot of things you can negotiate for that will make your move easier.
- Closing costs on your new house.
- A bridge loan to help you pay your mortgage until you can sell your current home.
- Moving expenses--or reimbursement if you move yourself.
- A trip to the new city to find a new home.
- Help from a recruiter to find your partner a new job in your new town.
Decide if you'll rent or buy--and how much you'll spend
A lot of people in this situation decide to rent for 6 months to a year so they can get a better feel for where they want to live. Others are anxious to get settled and to minimize any disruption in their kids' lives. There are pros and cons to each option and you'll have to decide which is right for you.
Don't forget to factor in the cost of housing in your new town and what interest rates might do. It might actually be cheaper to rent long term than it is to buy, but if you're going to buy it might make sense to take advantage of low interest rates before they start to go up.
Figure out what you'll do with your old house
The easiest option might be to sell your house (especially if you can get a bridge loan from your employer), but keeping your home as a rental might be a great investment depending on where you live. Set aside some time to talk to a few property managers to get a feel for what services they can offer you if you decide to rent it, what taxes you'll be responsible for, and what the financial investment is.
Consider your partner
This is last on the list, but it should be something you're thinking about throughout the entire process. Will your partner's job transfer to the same area? If not, how easy is it for him to find a job in his field in this new city? And if you're not moving far--does it make sense for your partner to commute? If the commute is on the table, be sure you consider how that will affect your family life and relationship. Ask yourselves:
- How strong is your relationship? Getting along was easy when you both had a short commute. But now your partner is spending hours fighting traffic, getting home late, and hardly has any time for things like the gym or exploring the new town. And if with all the extra strain, it’s easy for resentment to start to creep in. If your relationship isn’t strong enough to handle it, you might find yourself struggling.
- Are you prepared for the extra parenting responsibilities? If one parent is adding four hours of travel time onto the work day, he’s probably not going to be able to spend time with the kids. That strains more than just the family relationships. The other spouse is now a single parent during the week. So that might mean additional childcare costs--and that’ll affect how much house you can afford in your new town.
- How much does the commute cost? How much are you spending every weekend on transportation? Or, if you’re doing the long-distance thing, can you afford two mortgages or rent payments? Is your spouse’s income enough to offset that?
- Is there and end date? Does your spouse plan to commute forever? If there’s a hard deadline--like finishing graduate school or the end of the year---that simplifies things. But if this is a long-term arrangement, you’ll have to ask yourself if it’s worth it.
Whew, as we said, it's not an easy decision. But now that you've done all the research and thought about all the possibilities, you can be sure you made the right one!
Making the move? Read this before you pack your bags →