Moving for a Job, Facts that nobody actually tells you....

Recently I accepted a job in a different city for a higher pay and a better opportunity.  I read all the articles on line and did it all the way everyone says you should do it.   And ended up discovering that most of these people out there have never actually did the actual task of moving for a new job.  Because they sugar coated the whole thing, or they did do the move but moved from an expensive city to a cheaper one, or did it 10 years ago....   My move was from a cheap city to live in to a moderate cost of living but the expenses are far FAR more than anyone tells you.  I am not an executive, I lived in a modest $110,000 midwest home in a decent neighborhood.  What I wanted to do was replace what I had but smaller.  go from 1800 sq ft to 1300 to 1200...  and not live in a sketchy neighborhood.

First I expected my move to cost me $5000  I ended up with a 25% income increase so I figured it would be easy to do...  I was wrong.   Reality the cost of moving has topped $10,000  the $5000 was just to drive myself 1200 miles and find a place to rent and get all utilities started while living on a friends couch.   First and Last months rent plus security deposit, plus deposits for every single utility.  $5000 gone.   Now to move the family,  A mover will cost me easily $6500 to pack up and move a 3 bedroom home.  I checked on pods, those were $4000 and may arrive sometime in the week I specify, so that means living in an empty house and hoping the stuff arrives some day.   Or moving yourself with Uhaul.   the 26foot van is $2200 alone and I needed a $800 trailer for the motorcycle , a flight back at a super cheap $120 (Orlando to Grand Rapids, MI is cheap)  and then pack and drive that truck back down over the course of 2 days.  Lets add all the expenses to get a house ready to sell on top of it....   My expenses toppled the $10,000 mark easily.

So the reality is, if a company wants you make them pay relocation expenses and at LEAST a 20% increase in pay.   If you are moving across the country and they really want you they should gladly pay you $15,000 to $20,000 in relocating expenses so you don't have to pack a single thing and you can have a rental ready for you when you arrive.   If a company will not do this, then honestly you really need to look long and hard at the job offer and see if it is worth it.  it will take you a YEAR to recover from your move expenses, and if a Company pays for it they are more likely to stick with you and keep you around instead of the risk of a company at 90 days using the "you are not a good fit" excuse and now you are stuck with a mountain of debt and no job far away from where you called home.

My decision was made and I am making it work, I am still convinced it was the right move.  But if I knew what I know now about the move costs, I would have asked for it at the negotiation stage.  So if you are planning on thinking about doing a long distance move for a job, figure out your costs and double them to be safe.

Another problem is that if you move far enough away the culture changes.  No matter what anyone says the United States is a collection of small countries.  Michigan is different from Ohio and Florida is dramatically different from New York.  The cultures are different, the people are different, the customers are different.   So what you think you know is how you interact with others is not the same elsewhere.  Nobody in the south has a clue as to what you want when you ask for a "bottle of pop"  It's a soda, and in some places it's a Coke no matter what it really is.  For me the Midwest sketchy neighborhoods were easy to identify.... In florida it's dramatically different.  unless a place is really REALLY sketchy you cant tell.  and you certainly can not tell by the rent.   I looked at places for $1500 a month rent that are sketchy as hell with roaming pitbulls, cars on blocks in the front yard, and crap houses next to really nice houses.  You have to stalk neighborhoods and do research.  any rental I liked I would go back and see how the neighborhood was at 8pm on a friday, and the weekends.   I also started looking up crime information.  It took a while to find a standard safe blue collar neighborhood like I had in the midwest.    And then you deal with the rental problem.   Rentals even nice $3000 a month ones are in poor shape compared to an owned home of the same type.  and in florida that means the possibility of bugs being a problem.  I learned quickly to do a scorched earth policy and to hire an exterminator right off the bat to treat the rental before I moved in.  Do not even mess with hoping the rental company did the job, they will not unless the place is crawling with roaches.


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