What Is A Reasonable Relocation Package?

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So, you got through multiple interviews, got the job and negotiated the pay. Congratulations! You’ve got just one problem though, the job isn’t in your current city. In fact, accepting this job requires you to move far away. Fortunately, you may be able to negotiate a job relocation package with your new employer before accepting the job. If an employer is unwilling or unable to cover part or all of the moving expenses, then the job may not be the best fit.

As anyone who’s moved for a new job can attest, relocating to a new place is not cheap. According to the American Moving and Storage Association, even a move within the state you currently reside costs an average of $2,300. If the job requires you to move to a new state, that cost will be even higher. Again, the American Moving and Storage Association estimates the average cost of a long-distance move is $4,300. Of course, this doesn’t account for the time, energy and money required to sell your home if necessary and rent temporary storage.  If you are moving with children, you need to factor in the cost of childcare services before, during and after the move.

So before accepting a job in a new city, you need to make sure it’s worth the hassle and cost of moving. To help sway your decision, employers may offer a relocation package. Here’s what to expect from a typical job relocation package.

What is a job relocation package?

Although it is not required, many companies offer some sort of job relocation package to employees needing to move for a job. A job relocation package usually covers part or all of an employee’s moving expenses when moving is specifically for work-related reasons and many times, these packages can be negotiated. Whether you’re a new employee moving for the job or an existing employee being transferred to a new location, it’s in your best interest to try to negotiate a job relocation package with your employer. 

What should I expect from a job relocation package?

Relocation packages vary widely from company to company, even those within the same industry. You may also find it varies within the company; they might offer different relocation packages to different employees, depending on the employee’s status and responsibilities at the company. Many companies offer a flat dollar amount to help with moving expenses. For example, a company might pay $5,000 to each employee to help with moving costs, with no further funds available beyond that set amount. Another typical strategy is the company simply offers to reimburse employees for specified moving expenses, like the cost of hiring movers, renting a storage unit and living in temporary housing. If this is the case, you will need to save all receipts related to your move. 

What does a job relocation package usually include? 

So, what does a job relocation package usually include? While it depends on the company policy, and what and how much they’re willing to cover, job relocation packages can be fairly comprehensive. Here are the typical expenses that an employer could be willing to cover:

Hiring professional movers

As noted before, the cost of hiring professional movers for a long-distance relocation can be quite expensive. Costs are affected by the number of movers needed, the weight of your belongings, and the distance between your previous home and the new home. 

Hiring professional packers

Many times, when you are moving for work, you have to move quickly and do not have time to pack up your entire household’s belongings. Employers can assist with the cost of hiring professional packers to expedite this time-consuming process. 

Moving boxes and supplies

From boxes and packing tape to plastic wrap and moving labels, the cost of supplies can really add up when moving all of your belongings to a new city. Fortunately, many employers can help cover these supply costs. 

Auto transportation services

If relocating cross-country, you may need help moving your car to the new city. Auto transportation services can be pricey, costing upwards of $1,000 or more. 

Moving container services

Moving containers can provide a convenient way to move yourself to a new city. These units can also double as storage before, during or after the move. 

Temporary or long-term storage rentals

If you aren’t planning to rent a moving container, you may need to rent a separate storage unit to hold your belongings before, during or after the move. Of course, depending on how many months you need the unit, costs can really start to add up.

Closing costs and Realtor fees

If you need to buy a new home in the new city, your company might offer to  help pay closing costs. Along with realtor fees, these can include title search costs, attorney fees, statutory costs, appraisals, inspections and more. 

Lease break coverage

If you are currently renting you will need to break your current lease in order to move for the job. Typically, landlords require tenants to pay when terminating the lease early. You may also be forced to pay the remainder of the rent owed – or at least until they can find a new tenant. Your new employers might be able to help cover these costs. 

Airfare

Flying to your new city? Whether you’re traveling to check out the city beforehand or flying for the official move, your employer might be willing to include the cost of airfare in your relocation package.

Hotel costs

Still looking for a permanent place to live? If moving for work, an employer should be able cover the costs of temporary housing. Of course, they may only be willing to cover hotel costs or home rentals for a short, specified amount of time. Be sure to ask how long they will cover these costs before you move.

Meals

Employers may cover the cost of meals and restaurants (within reason) when an employee is moving for a job. If this is the case, be sure to save all receipts.

Rental car services

If you need to rent a car before, during or after the move, many employers will cover some or all of this cost for a specified amount of time.

From getting packed up to finding a moving company, there’s an endless number of to-dos when moving for a new job. Fortunately, some of the stress of trying to budget for all those to-do’s may be alleviated by your new employers relocation packages.