Relocating? Are you getting the most from your relocation package?
If you are relocating for a job you might be eligible for help with the relocation costs. Be sure to ask, or even negotiate, about your new employer’s relocation packages. These packages are very valuable if you use them correctly.
Some packages will provide temporary housing options to help while you search for a new home. The accommodations are usually small but having a place to stay when you first arrive can be a huge help. Make sure you know the terms of the arrangement and mark you calendar and keep move-out day foremost in your mind. I had a client who called me in a panic 2 weeks before he had to be out of his temporary home, that was pretty hectic.
Help with finding a new home
Most packages will offer some type of help hooking you up with a local real estate agent in the new area. The help can be in a search for a new home to purchase or a rental home. If you are new to the area, help with a rental home can be very valuable. Review all of the documents sent to you by the agent, many of the larger real estate companies share information about house and rental prices in the area to help you budget accordingly.
Use your agent, that is what they are there for. The agent can tell you about neighborhoods, schools, parks, activities, commuting and lots of things you might not have thought of. If possible, make a list of your most important questions in advance so the agent is able to get you answers quickly.
Plan your home tours
You will have a limited amount of time to search for a new home. Unlike shopping for a home or rental in your local area, you are limited to only a few days to make a really important decision. If possible, stretch your tours over multiple visits, this gives you time to digest the previous tour to figure out what works and doesn’t work.
Plan to be out on a tour all day, usually 5 hours or more. It is a really long day, and if you have just flown in the day before, you are going to get really tired. If you are bringing the kids, plan activities for them in the car; house hunting is really boring for kids. Bring snacks and beverages, if you are thirsty or hungry your day gets even longer.
If you are viewing more than 5 homes, take notes and photos. By the time you are at house 5, house 1 is a distant memory and you have probably forgotten half of what you saw. I give tour kits to my clients with sheets to take notes for each home and to ask questions like who pays for which utilities and how much are the deposits.
Review your relocation package completely
Each package will give you different benefits, be sure you know what they are. I have seen packages that offer home shopping tours but not rental tours. If you are planning to rent immediately, budgeting for local to help with a rental tour might save you time and money in the long run.
I have seen packages that pay for some of the costs associated with buying a new home or selling your existing home. Packages have included payment of agent commissions, closing costs and even lender fees if you use a preferred lender. You can save yourself thousands of dollars if you know what your benefits are and use them wisely.
Relocating and getting the most from your relocation package can save you time, money and your sanity. Use it wisely.
If you are relocating to or from San Diego and would like information about relocation tours, please contact me at 858-531-5268.