The 7 Most Avoidable Moving Mistakes

Relocating for a new job can be both exciting and stressful – with plenty of opportunities to make mistakes


Date 24 Nov, 2014

Reading time 14 min


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Relocating for a new job can be both exciting and stressful – with plenty of opportunities to make mistakes. Planning a move ahead of time and doing research on the new location can help ease the transition. Here are seven common, and avoidable, moving mistakes to ensure a successful move.

1. Not Considering The Commute

Many people forget to consider how much a long commute will weigh on their personal happiness, especially if the company’s office is in a remote location or a busy city. It’s important to decide whether dedicating extra hours every day for travel to and from work is worth the sacrifice. In the end, the commute to work might lead to dissatisfaction with the job itself.

2. Overestimating The Raise

When moving to a new city, the difference between a $40,000 and $50,000 salary may actually mean you will be making less in real earnings if you do not consider the cost of living. There are also important trade-offs to consider, like time away from family, how you will commute to work, or proximity to schools, grocery stores, entertainment, etc. Your employer or their Relocation Management Company (RMC) will help employees analyze changes in the cost of living with reliable economic data prior to your move.

3. No Financial Planning

It is critical to develop a financial plan before relocating to a new area. Companies have different policies for paying employees’ relocation expenses, so it is important to understand what will be covered and how it will be paid prior to moving. Some benefits may be directly billed to your employer while you may be expected to pay other costs out of pocket and seek reimbursement.

By mapping out spending and anticipated out-of-pocket costs, as well as a budget for unexpected ones, an employee can avoid jeopardizing long-term retirement and investment goals. Your employer or their RMC should be able to counsel you on how benefits will be paid and may even be able to educate you on additional relocation costs the company doesn’t cover.

4. Not Using Licensed And Experienced Professionals

Hiring licensed and experienced professionals will help speed up a relocation while keeping costs low. At first glance, some of these service providers may seem more expensive than expected, but their fees typically include everything that will be required. You are paying for their experience to get the services costs right the first time around and to avoid common pitfalls that lead to surprise expenses.

Likewise, the home buying process will be much more efficient when using a local, licensed real estate agent. A real estate agent is an expert in the housing market and will be able to help employees find an affordable home that meets their criteria faster.

5. Inadequate Preparation

It takes a lot of preparation to adapt to a new environment while still managing to be productive, so it’s important to give yourself enough time to take care of the little (and big) items on your checklist. Some people may experience mild culture shock that can cause physical ailments, such as headaches, stomach aches and insomnia.

Researching the demographics, neighborhoods and schools in a new community, or even taking a trip over there beforehand will familiarize you with the area and may help ease the transition.

6. Bad Timing

Summer is the busiest moving season of the year, especially around Memorial Day and Labor Day. More people moving homes means limited resources in the industry. Employees should avoid the busy season, if possible, as well as the beginning and end of the month, or make sure to book a mover at least four to six weeks in advance. If unavoidable in the summer, moves may be more expensive and the service less than desired.

7. Failing To Take Full Advantage Of The Relocation Benefits

If an employee doesn’t carefully review the relocation policy provided by an employer, they could lose out on money. Good relocation policies are designed to influence choices that will save everyone involved time and money while providing good service.

Employees should make sure to keep records and copies of all the receipts from moving, as certain expenses are tax deductible. Deviating from the policy and procedures to “do your own thing” may result in unexpected costs and even tax liability.

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Our custom, full-service program offerings, coupled with years of industry knowledge and experience, makes Relocation Coordinates International (RCI) an ideal resource.

If you would like to speak with one of our relocation specialists for a global mobility consultation or you have interest in our relocation services, please fill out the form below and let us know how we can help.