Landing a new job in a new city is exciting, stressful, and can be expensive. A recent study by HomeAdvisor, published at Zillow.com, estimates that a move into a three-bedroom apartment in the same town can cost up to $1,000 and take 10 hours. The monetary and time investments both jump exponentially when relocating to a different city.
Estimates do not include other expenditures associated with moving, like a deposit on a new rental, or the cost of temporary housing while finding a permanent residence or during the closing period of a home purchase.
If you are applying for a job that requires moving, you must be prepared to address the challenges and expenses of a move before entering the negotiating phase. Consider the following when discussing moving arrangements with a prospective employer.
Ask your prospective employer if it has a stated policy on moving expenses. Some will notify applicants upfront, particularly those that do not offer any moving expenses. Other organizations offer percentages based on your negotiated salary, or have fixed budgets.
Knowing what you have to work with can help you map your move — or a dealbreaker on accepting a position altogether. Not only might the cost of moving itself be a deterrent, terms of relocation are the first major negotiating point in a relationship that can last for years. An employer unwilling to be flexible in this initial phase sets the tone for difficult salary negotiations in the time to come.
Checklist of Expenditures
Account for your possible expenditures ahead of time, and do not rely on ball-park estimates. You must be as thorough as possible, so you know exactly what to ask for (or the budget with which you can work). This includes:
- Mileage costs for moving trucks
- Rates for movers (if you are under a time crunch, or if your prospective employer will cover the cost)
- Cost for car transport, if necessary
- Deposit expenses for new residence
- Local hotel rates for your first few days before your belongings are moved into your new residence
You should also include the "cost" of time. Moving and starting a new job are both individually very stressful; overlapping the two can be especially taxing. Ensure your new employer will give you ample time to move before requiring you to begin work. Give yourself an adequate amount of time for the move before agreeing to a set first day at the new job.
Research Comparable Cost-of-Moving Rates
Begin this process with an educated perspective on what the standard cost-of-moving rate is in your industry, as well as the average cost of a move over the distance you expect to relocate. Having an accurate estimate of what you can either expect to be offered, or what you should ask from your prospective employer, can dictate whether a move is right for you at all.