Congratulations! You got a new job in a new city and you have to relocate. Perhaps you are just planning to move across town. Either way, you are relocating and there are things to consider when you move to make the move easy and less stressful. Here are some tips to make your move go smoother:
1. Get your finances together. If you haven’t pulled your credit in a while, now is the time to take a look at your credit report. It is pretty common for things to show up on your credit report that might not be accurate. Make sure you check all three credit bureaus (Transunion, Equifax and Experian). Not all creditors report to all three bureaus and if you miss something on one report this could cost you thousands of dollars in interest rates on a new mortgage or higher rent for a new apartment.
Check your bank accounts and make sure you have enough tucked away in savings so you can pay for the things surrounding your move. Some examples of things you’ll need to pay for: moving company, storage unit, carpet cleaner, deposits on new utility services, house wares for your new place, travel expenses such as gas, food, motels. Make sure you have access to your money if you are traveling across the country. Even if you are planning on using your credit cards, make sure you can get cash at ATM’s along the way. You’ll be surprised how money you might spend in a cross country trip. Also, make sure you have enough credit room on your cards to be able to use them. You don’t need a surprise in the middle of Kansas and the kids are hungry.
2. If you are going to be purchasing a new home, make sure you get prequalified for your new home. Make sure you know exactly what you can buy when you get there. If you are relocating for a job, you will most likely have to receive at least one pay stub from your new job, plus a job letter before you can close on your new home; so plan accordingly. There are many ways to find a mortgage company to work with.GetPreQualified.com can get you referred to a finance company in your new area.
3. Find a realtor. This isn’t always easy as there are so many. A good realtor who knows their market area can save you a lot of time and effort. They can also help you find the perfect home to suit your needs. If you know some real estate agents in your home town, ask them for a referral. Realty services have a huge referral network and they want to make sure you get great customer service. Also, if a real estate agent you know refers you to someone in another area, the referring real estate agent can earn a fee. With this in mind, they will make sure you are taken care of. Interview at least three real estate agents. Make sure ask each agent the same things. Which one do you like better? Go with your gut and instincts.
4. Evaluate your new cost of living. It’s important to check into what it costs for electricity, gas, water, trash service, cable, internet access, and phone. Also, make sure you check into the cost of gas. Are you commuting a long way for the new job once you get there. If so, make sure you consider this in your new monthly budget. Are you moving to a warmer climate, a colder climate? These will impact your air conditioning and heating bills. What do real estate taxes look like in your new area? Also, check into the state and local food and sales taxes. All of these things will impact your cash flow in the new place.
5. Make sure you can get to your legal documents easily while you move. This is one thing that a lot of folks over look; they pack their personal documents in a box and once the lid goes on, if it’s not well marked, finding those documents and papers in a hurry could be a problem. These documents include: tax returns, medical records for you and the kids, bank records, retirement account statements, marriage certificates, birth certificates etc.
6. Ask for referrals. Your doctor and dentist, financial planner, realtor, mortgage broker all know someone or can make a few phone calls to find some folks for you to touch base in your new location. It helps to get referred. If not, you can be just another ‘number’ for someone and your customer service experience might not be what you want or need given you just moved to an area where you don’t know too many folks, if anyone. Also, make sure you have a bank picked out, and if you can set up the account ahead of time. That way you don’t have to wait for your new bank card or checks to arrive when you get there.
7. Are you going to be using a moving company? If so, make sure you do your research. Also, make sure you purchase insurance for the move to cover personal property losses that happen along the way. You might not know this, but your stuff might make the trip with someone else’s. Your stuff could get moved around during the move and in that process get damaged or even misplaced and lost. Check around for referrals, do your homework with the Better Business Bureau. A bad moving company can cause a ton of heart ache and hassle. Make sure you know exactly what your fees are. Do you have a grace period once you get there? Do they put your belongings in storage if you need a little time to move in, or find a place to live when you get there. The last thing you need is your stuff dropped off on a curb somewhere.
Many folks move in the summer. If possible move in the spring or fall. Also, take advantage of your company’s relocation services if they have them.
8. When you leave your current residence, make sure you cut off the utilities and make arrangements for the final payments. Also, don’t forget to ask about the deposits you might have made on the utility services when you set them up. You could be due some extra money. For the new place, call ahead and find out what it takes to set up new services. You might have to apply for the service – for example, they pull your credit and review your credit application. If you already have a place to live, let the utility services know your move in date so your utilities will be on when you get there. One of the worst things I’ve experienced is not having my gas heater turned on for a week before they could turn it on – the morning showers were cold!
These are some basic tips about moving. Relocation is not always easy, but with planning and patience it can go smoothly. If you are moving from a place that you have lived for a long time, you might be sad for leaving. Be compassionate with yourself and your spouse and kids if you have them. Moving is a big deal – so be patient it will all work out.