Wondering how to relocate?
Moving home is stressful enough. If it involves relocating to a new area, this adds a whole new dimension to the experience.
Relocating often involves everything from a change of jobs to building up a new social network.
Here’s some relocation advice to help the process run more smoothly.
Sound out your employment prospects
Wondering how to move to another city and find a job?
If you’re moving to a new city for a job you already have, this tip may not apply to you.
However, if you’re moving cities for a job while still looking, it’s important to sound out your employment prospects.
Avoid the temptation of relocating without first securing a new job to move into. At the very least, ensure you’re aware of the employment options open to you in your new area.
The national unemployment rate might be a healthy 4.4%, but you might still face the financial hardships that come with being without a job for a period.
The situation may be more challenging when relocating away from your current employment and social networks, as you will be starting from scratch.
So, unless you’re moving through reassignment in your current work, talk to your employer about potential employment opportunities in the area you’re moving to.
The relocation job search can be tough, so the more research you do beforehand the better!
Ask for relocation benefits
If you’re moving to another city for your present employer, ask about relocation benefits or other assistance and services they might offer.
If none are immediately forthcoming, negotiate some – you’re moving to a new town because of them, after all, so meeting you at least halfway with expenses is hardly unreasonable.
Jobs that will pay you to relocate usually promise benefits, so ensure you make yourself aware of them. ‘Don’t ask don’t get’ is a useful mentality to employ!
Sell before you buy
Sell your present home before attempting to buy a new one – you want to avoid having to pay for two mortgages or shoulder an expensive bridging loan.
Since few things ever seem to go to plan, expect the worst to happen, and prepare for it.
So, get the ball rolling by putting your current home on the market first. This might give you the confidence and incentive to at least begin your search for a new home.
All this calls for some careful financial planning, on the strength of your affairs being entirely in order. So that you are able to move quickly and take advantage of a good deal when it turns up, make some of the necessary moves in advance by:
• Talking to a mortgage broker
• Securing a mortgage agreement in principle (speak to an adviser to get best advice)
• Instructing a reputable local solicitor
Do some decluttering
However long you’ve lived in your present home, there’s every chance that you’ve accumulated more than your fair share of unused or useless items. British households amass more clutter than anywhere else in Europe – by a factor of five to one.
Seize the opportunity of relocating, to radically thin out your possessions before you move. You don’t want to be taking useless clutter with you to your new home, so give yourself the chance and the space to create a new life, in your new residence.
Be as ruthless as you can with your wardrobe – if you haven’t worn an item in the past year, bin it, sell it on or pass it on to a charity shop. The same goes for kitchen utensils and general bric-a-brac. If you can’t remember the last time you used it, ditch it.
Rent before you buy
Relocating is a serious business that is likely to take time. So, there’s no need to rush into buying a new home!
If you buy in haste, and you might regret it, or be out of pocket.
A rushed job might mean you are investing all your money in the wrong property, in the wrong part of town.
Buy yourself some time, instead, by arranging a short-term let. Alternatively, find somewhere on a 6 month lease, or a year’s lease with a 6-month break clause.
This gives you time to explore the different parts of the area and its neighbourhoods that might suit you and your family – get to know your new town first before deciding where to settle.
Your new employer might use short-term lets for recent arrivals such as yourself, or colleagues may be able to make similar recommendations.
Start building new networks
In all the excitement of your recent move, you might not have noticed one of your biggest losses – the many social networks that exist to identify you, your family and your lifestyles into the place where you live.
Join clubs, volunteer or start a new hobby. Hopefully, each new introduction leads to another. There are plenty of ways to widen your circle of friends, acquaintances and contacts.
If you have children, get them started building their networks by:
• Tagging along and meet other parents
• Volunteering at their school
• Helping out at their clubs
• Coaching their swimming or football team
The more you become involved in the local community, the quicker you will meet like-minded people.
Anyone who has experienced a long-distance move, or a big change in lifestyle, will tell you that it can take longer to feel properly settled in your new environment than you expect.
But, this is also a new and exciting chapter in your life. Give it time and energy.
One of the best pieces of relocation advice? Researching your new area thoroughly. You'll want to know as much information as possible, from neighbourhood demographics to crime rates. Phil Spencer's Property Report can tell you all of this and more. Get your full report here.