Moving Tips

Proven tips to make your relocation go smoothly.

Critical questions to ask your employer about accepting a transfer. How to decide whether to sell or rent your house when you move. Inside tips to win the mortgage game when relocating. How to take your credit history with you when you relocate

Relocating can feel like an imminent auto accident – but it doesn't have to be that way. Whether moving your family is a treat – or a torture – depends a lot on your approach. The secret to avoiding stress is remaining positive, believing that moving is primarily a time of discovery, not regrets.

  • Before The Move.
  • Order a phone directory for your new area
  • Ask about local laws that may affect your move
  • Shop for a bank
  • Check up on schools
  • Locate doctors, lawyers and other services
  • Contact credit card and investment companies
  • Subscribe to local newspapers
  • Contact utilities
  • Join a health club or transfer membership
  • During The Move.
  • Schedule family recreation time to get away from moving stress.
  • Exercise regularly – it's a wonderful stress-buster.
  • Seek support from friends and family.
  • regular, well-balanced meals. Hunger amplifies stress.
  • After The Move.

    Consider counseling for the adults and children if stress persists. Tap community resources to provide the family with information on vital services in the new community. Help the family members make new professional and social contacts.

Critical questions to ask your employer before accepting a transfer

    When pondering relocation, good questions may be the most important item in your "tool box." Today’s job candidates are wiser, more knowledgeable and move sophisticated than before. Still, it's important to ask tough questions and consider all your options.

    Here are some questions you might ask:

    Will the company pay me a bonus for moving?
    Ask around if the company has paid other employees a special bonus for relocating. If bonuses are paid, the word has probably gotten around.

    Will I get a bonus if I use my own real estate broker and sell the house myself?
    Some companies offer a bonus of 1% or 2% of the appraised market value of the house for successful advance marketing.

    How many trips to the new area will the company provide?
    Often, two or more such trips are among relocation benefits.

    What home buying costs will the company pick up?
    Many companies pay closing costs, mortgage fees and points. Some also pay for credit reports, inspections, title searches and other services.

    Will the company ship all my possessions?
    An important question. Most companies have lists of items they will and will not pay to ship. Be sure to ask about such large items as cars (how many), boats, RVs, lawn tractors, lumber, exotic pets, horses, farm equipment, even firewood. Also ask about expensive items such as artwork, collections, furs, or heirlooms that might require additional insurance.

    If I take this job, my spouse will be out of work. We need that second income; how will the company help? Some companies have an established spouse job assistance program. Others may help on a case-by-case basis, or not at all.

    Forewarned is forearmed. Call or e-mail us. We'll be glad to advise you on our experience with these questions and also help you in any way with your real estate needs

How to decide whether to sell or rent your house when you move

    Decision making is tough. You go back and forth, never sure what makes the most sense. Deciding whether to sell your home or rent it out can feel like that. Most transferees choose to sell their house and buy a new home in the new location. But some choose to hold on to the property and try being a landlord. Here are a few questions to help you decide whether to rent the old house or sell it:

    Can you buy in the destination city without the profits of selling the old house?

    If you want to buy in the new location, how will you make a down payment on another house?

    One way may be to refinance the old property or use an equity loan to get some cash in hand, but this may also raise the mortgage payments on the old property.

    Is the old home a special house you want to keep?

    You may want to hang on to a home you like in the place the family will retire to, or a home customized specifically for your family, or a house that is highly likely to appreciate in value.

    Will you be returning to live in the origination area in the near future?

    A recent tax law correction has changed the two-year waiting period for capital gains exemption for work-related moves. You can now take a prorated exemption. If you stay only one year before moving again (50% of the time limit), you can claim up to 50% of the maximum exemption.

    Can you afford to carry the old mortgage?

    Whether a family can rent or buy in the new location while paying the old mortgage depends on lifestyle, income, and any corporate benefits. Rental income may cover part of the mortgage – but often the rent isn’t high enough to cover all expenses. You should be able to make ends meet even if the home stands vacant, the tenant defaults or other problems arise. Because of this, many lenders count only 75% of the rental income as real income when you apply for another mortgage. They often consider the other 25% of the rent to be a reserve against expenses and vacancies

    Will you be close enough to manage the old property, or is there a reliable agent who can handle things?
    Tax laws favor those who can manage their rental properties themselves, but if the distance is more than an hour’s drive, consider hiring an agent to manage the property. A long-distance landlord will need such help in finding good tenants, preparing a lease, setting the rental rate and, most important, overseeing repairs and maintenance.

Inside tips to win the mortgage game when relocating.

    Sometimes transferees start house hunting without a firm idea of their buying power. If you are pre-approved for a loan, you can save considerable time house hunting and mortgage shopping.

How to take your credit history with you when you relocate.

    Your credit history is one of the most valuable pieces of data you have. With that in mind, be sure you don’t leave behind this valuable possession when you move. You can make the most of your good credit by:
      Taking a copy with you.
      Be sure to take a hard copy of your credit report with you when you move.

      Including your previous address.
      Give your previous address on all credit applications if the credit bureau serves both the new and old locations.

      Canceling old accounts.
      Cancel local store credit cards and other charge accounts you will no longer need in the new location – and ask for letters confirming the accounts have been closed.

How Pre-Approval Works:

    When pre-approving a borrower for a loan, a lender will generally use two ratios:
    • Total housing costs compared to total income.
    • Total debt compared to total income.

    As a general rule on a loan with a 10-19% down payment, housing costs should not exceed 28% of total family income, while total debt payments should not exceed 36% of the income. If your numbers fall in line, and your credit checks out to the lenders satisfaction, you may be able to get a tentative commitment from the lender for a specified loan amount. This is pre-approval, and it's a more powerful and accurate gauge of your buying ability than pre-qualification.

    A pre-approved mortgage loan is an excellent guideline for relocating home buyers to know how much home they can afford. For the seller, pre-approval is proof the buyer’s lender feels confident a loan commitment would not be a problem if all the financial documentation were in order.

    Pre-Approval Benefits: Streamlines house hunting.
    Pre-approval identifies how much money the transferee can obtain, so precious time isn’t wasted looking at homes that are out of reach.

    Offers peace of mind.
    You know for sure how much home you can afford, and there is little chance a lender will not make the requested commitment.

    Prevents "house poor" homeowners.

    Pre-approval reduces the possibility of you becoming overextended and unable to meet payments later on.

    Boosts bargaining power.
    Pre-approved buyers tend to be in an advantageous position when bidding against other buyers, as sellers like knowing your loan is guaranteed

    Pinpoints best mortgage option.
    The pre-approval process helps you identify ahead of time which type of mortgage best meets your personal needs. We're seasoned professionals with experience in all aspects of relocation.

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