Relocation: the pros and cons
I am a list’s person. I have been all my life. Grocery list’s, home chore list’s, lists of the names whom I have bought a Christmas present for, travel packing list’s, ect… Name a list and I have most likely made it at some point in my life. It is no wonder that I am an advocate to making a pros and cons list when the subject of relocating is put on the table.
Before you can start putting items in either list you have to have the questions. Here are some starter questions:
1. If I were to make this move, would I have a similar or better quality of life?
2. Is the company I would work for financially healthy and well positioned to grow?
3. Would my salary accommodate the cost of living in that area?
4. Are housing costs manageable there?
5. How hard would it be to sell my house here and buy one there?
6. How much would the move itself cost me?
7. Is it practical to travel back and forth for a few months to see how the new job works out before I decide to permanently settle in the area?
8. Does this area have an active social scene?
9. How strong are the schools?
10. Would it be easy for me and my family to make new friends?
11. Would my spouse or partner be happy with the move? Would it be easy for him or her to find work?
If after answering these questions you are leaning towards relocating then you are going to need to dig deeper. There are 5 major factors that can affect the success of a relocation.
1. The Employer
Assuming that you have done some preliminary research into the company you have applied to. If you need some extra sources to get a clearer picture of the company’s financial data, employee reviews, salaries, ect…
2. Relocation Costs
The cost to move can add up very easily. Some employers will pay for part if not all of your relocation expenses. It is important to bring up this topic before you accept the offer. If the company is not helping offset the cost then you need to be prepared for high out-of-pocket expenses.
But you may be able to catch a financial break by deducting the costs on your federal income tax return. Ideally, the net costs of moving should be offset by the extra income you expect to gain within about two years at the new job.
3. The Area
Things to consider when looking into the area of your new home are; real estate market values, neighborhoods, recreational activities, quality of health care, social or religious organizations, ect… Make sure you like the area because length of employment can be unpredictable. You’ll have to figure out if you’d still enjoy living in the new location if the job you’re considering doesn’t work out.
The first decision that needs to be made in this category is whether to rent or buy. Research the area to see in the economy is thriving and if it offers a potential increase to real estate values.
This question is not just for those with kids. A good school system can also mean better resale values for your home. For those with kids you will also want to know if the district receives suitable financial support. How involved are the parents and community take pride in the quality of education? Do the schools offer extracurricular activities such as sports, music, theater, ect?
The discussion of relocating is a complex topic. Take the time to research these questions and make sure that all parties involved in the move are on the same page so that if and when you make the move you can achieve a successful work/life balance.