Congratulations, you just landed a fabulous job offer at a company you'd be thrilled to work for. There's just one small catch -- accepting that role will be mean uprooting your life and relocating to a brand-new city. And with that comes a host of considerations to contemplate before saying yes. Here are just a few questions to ponder if an out-of-town offer comes your way.
1. What's the cost of living like where the job is located?
Maybe you're used to living in a city where a two-bedroom apartment can easily be had for $1,000 a month. But if rents are double or triple that amount where your potential new job is located, you may struggle to keep up.
Before you accept a job that requires you to relocate, do some research and see how expensive that area is. Talk to people who actually live there and ask what they typically spend on things like housing, food, and child care. You might even call your auto insurance company and ask for a quote based on your hypothetical new zip code. Only once you gather this information will you get a good sense of whether your salary offer is fair and whether it'll actually buy you a decent lifestyle.
2. How's the job market in the area?
Let's face it: Sometimes, even the best-sounding job can turn out to be not so great after all. Similarly, you never know when a company might be forced to downsize its staff. That's why before you accept a role someplace else, you'll need to research the local job market and make sure opportunities exist outside of the one being presented to you. Specifically, make sure there are plenty of jobs in your specific field before making a move -- if you're in marketing, the fact that healthcare jobs are abundant in your new area won't help much.
3. What will the move cost, and will your employer help absorb the expense?
We all know that moving isn't cheap, but you may be surprised to learn just how much yours might cost you. The average cost of an in-state move is around $2,300, while the average interstate move is closer to $4,300, according to the American Moving and Storage Association. And that's a potentially huge bill to cover on your own. Therefore, you'll need to see exactly how generous your employer is willing to be with regard to your move itself.
Keep in mind that whereas those who moved for work purposes once had the option to deduct their associated costs on their taxes, that tax break is no longer available. Therefore, if your employer isn't willing to step up and help with that expense, you'll need to really think about whether you can afford to swing it on your own.
Another point to consider is that if you're downsizing your living space as a result of your move, you may need to pay for a long-term storage unit to house the belongings your new home can't accommodate. And that's a peripheral cost that could get quite expensive over time.
Relocating for a job certainly has its perks -- the chance to experience a new city and explore an exciting career opportunity. Just be sure to think things through before taking that leap.