Just What Expenses Will Be Covered by Your Employer when You Relocate?

How did you feel when you got the job offer? You were probably excited about the new challenge, proud of your new title (and the salary to go with it!), and a little nervous.

Then reality hit. Moving to a new state isn’t easy, especially if you have a family. How will your husband or wife react when they hear about the move? You may have been offered a job, but that doesn’t mean they want to leave theirs. And what about the kids? How are the schools in your new location?

Ready to get your rates?

See what lenders have to offer.

Get Quotes Here

That new salary doesn’t look as big as it did before you started worrying about selling your house, paying movers, and traveling between two locations while your kids finished school. It may be time to head back to your employer and negotiate.

Many employers, especially if you are in high demand in your field, will help with relocation costs. It also helps if your new salary is in the low range for your new position. But what kind of help can you ask for?

Common relocation benefits

  • The actual cost of moving. This one’s a no-brainer. You may need to hire movers, packers, and shippers, and you and your family will have to get to the new location, which isn’t free.

  • Travel costs for you and your spouse to visit the new location and find a home.

  • An allowance for a rental home while you try to sell your old one.

  • The cost of a penalty for breaking your current lease.

  • An allowance for any loss on the sale of your current home. With less time to sell, you have less room to negotiate a satisfactory price. You may be moving because the economy where you are is worse than other places, which means you might be underwater on your loan. A short sale might be your only option.

  • A cost of living bonus. If real estate in your new location is more expensive, you may be able to ask for cash to help with the higher cost of a new home.

  • Down payment assistance. Short notice before a move means you’ve had less time to save for a down payment.

Make sure you get everything in writing, and that you understand all the rules. Some employers may require that you pay back relocation expenses unless you stay at the company for a minimum amount of time, for example.

Some negotiable relocation benefits

  • The cost of childcare associated with the move itself. Most working parents know how hard it is to find good child care. The best, and even the decent, daycares often have long waiting lists. In some cases, one parent might have to delay starting work, and lose income, to care for the kids in a new location. So you may also be able to negotiate an allowance for child care once you arrive, if you aren’t able to find a suitable arrangement quickly.

  • A bridge loan. This is a loan offered by your employer, often to bridge the gap between the sale of your first home and the purchase of your new one.

  • Job search help for your spouse. Your new employer could offer leads for your spouse or they might be able to pay a career counselor to help your partner find work.

  • Pet shipping. Is your St. Bernard too big to share the car on a cross country drive? And too big to ride in your lap on a plane? There are service providers that will drive your dog or other pets across the country for you. or figure out another safe way to get them there. And if your pet arrives before you, you may be able to ask for kennel fees.

  • Almost anything. Negotiation is what it is. You can ask for anything, but you might not get it.

Before you start the relocation talk with your new employer, find out what’s normal in your field and in the company, of you can. You also need to take an honest look at yourself and evaluate how valuable you are to your employer. Though it’s great to have help with relocation expenses, the last thing you want is to have a good job offer rescinded! Anyone with experience? What have you asked for? And what did you get?