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Old 10-09-2007, 12:28 PM
130 posts, read 810,743 times
Reputation: 34


Hi -

Ok, here's today's question...

We're in the final stages of negotiating salaray and relocation package to move up there. It's a huge, multi-national company, although I'm not sure how big the Boston office is.

On the relocation front, we were told that he'd ask HR what they typically do, but in the meantime for us to figure out what we would like.

I've always worked either non-profit or gov't sector, and my husband has never done this before, either. I'm hip to the obvious, like movers, etc.

I did a quick "google" on relocation, for the less obvious (but even better) like low interest bridge loans, agreements to buy your existing home if it doesn't sell in 2 months, providing temporary housing and storage for your stuff while you look, etc. etc.

Has anyone here done this recently? Any tips?

We don't want to shortchange ourselves, but we don't want to look greedy, either.

I'm also going to see what moving expenses are tax deductable so if we don't get it from the company, it won't be terrible, so we can maybe ask for the stuff that is NOT tax deductible...

The thing that has me the most nervous is that we may not be able to accept the job b/c we can't afford to buy a house and move. We need the equity out of this house to come up with a down payment, and with no downpayment, we'll end up with monthly mortgage payments that are astronomical...

Oh, & did I mention I have to have this ready by tomrrow?

yes, that wheezing sound you hear is my hyperventilating !!!!

so the bottom line: What is reasonable to ask for, and what is better left off the table?

Thanks so much; you guys are always so much help!!!

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Old 10-09-2007, 01:00 PM
Location: Metrowest, MA
1,810 posts, read 10,175,019 times
Reputation: 921
I think it depends on your position and company

if you are a top executive commending 6-7 figure salary... you can ask for everything (does not mean you're going to get everything)...

On the other end of the spectrum, they may just offer you $10-20K in moving expense and you deal with moving yourself.

See what they offer first and then figure out what it cost you to move....then ask for more. Moving a car cross country can be a few thousand $$$. As you mention, you house is another big expense.
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Old 10-09-2007, 01:07 PM
130 posts, read 810,743 times
Reputation: 34
Thanks, Smarty -

He'll be an "executive" but I don't know how to define whether he'd be "top" or not.

My husband is very hestitant about looking like he's asking for the moon.

From a more practical standpoint, if we can't afford to move, we can't take the job. I think they want him enough to make the move possible, but I also agree with him that we shouldn't be too crazy. That's why I was hoping someone could share their experience.

Thanks again,
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Old 10-09-2007, 01:18 PM
270 posts, read 1,297,752 times
Reputation: 155
As you know by now..we just did this and it was a company relocation from NJ to MA. My husband negotiated for everything up front though. And the big issue is our old house and temporary expenses. The understanding was that if we sell our house for a loss the company would have covered it. I was lucky and sold it within 2 weeks for a small profit. These things are hard to time and I ended up taking the kids out of school early and live in a hotel. In the meantime my husband rented a temp. condo in Boston. All these expenses were paid for: every trip up here, mine and his, Hotels, food, airfare, trainfare, gas and miles, temporary rent, they paid for all moving costs, storage, insurance, and this was a big one to negotiate for: closing costs on the new house. I guess his company was pretty generous regarding this move. But I have to also say that we were separated during the week from October to May while he started to work up here and we stayed down there mainly because the kids had just started school. This was somewhat our decision because I did not want to take them out of school in the middle of the school year. My husband is somewhat high up but not a senior executive yet, so I guess that explains the financial boost. Of course we still spent much more then we wanted to and did not manage to save anything :-). I feel for you!
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Old 10-09-2007, 01:28 PM
967 posts, read 4,609,178 times
Reputation: 263
I have heard of cases where the employer works with a relocation company and the relo company buys the home that you're leaving and then they are responsible for selling it. That way you aren't stuck waiting for your house to sell until you can buy a new home. This can work under a variety of different terms. I would think a large multinational firm would probably be more likely to have such a relationship and would have a more stringently oriented relo policy than smaller businesses. Is your husband able to ask HR if they have a relocation firm and what they offer? This would answer a lot of your questions I think. If they don't have an arrangement like this I would think one of the most important benefits would be related to the sale of your existing home since the market is still slow and you don't want to have to be worrying about that for months on end.

Anyhow, that's my two cents!
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Old 10-09-2007, 02:00 PM
3,031 posts, read 8,773,587 times
Reputation: 841
I've done this now about 7 times. I've done it as a new employee coiming into a company and as an existing employee being relocated. Generally, you'll get a more generous package if you're being relocated by your present company and relo packages have gotten a bit stingier over the years, but I don't think it's unreasonable to ask for:

1. Packing and moving of all household goods (we even had the option of having the movers unpack for us but I always declined. I like to put my own stuff away).
2. Transportation of at least 1 vehicle (saves on wear and tear on the car--but it depends on how far you are moving--we always had our old truck and at least one car on the moving van and when we moved cross country, we had all 3 vehicles moved for us).
3. Hotel for the night you remain in your old city after the movers have gone (includes meals, etc.)
4. Temporary living expenses. We generally got between 60-90 days

Here are some "nice to haves"

1. Bridge loan to cover the time when your old house sells and you close on your new house (interest-free).
2. Realtor commission paid by company or company purchases old house. The one time we did this we had to get three comps and they gave us the $$ for the average.
3. Signing bonus or extra 2 weeks or 1 month's pay to cover incidentals not addressed above.

I think that's it. I'm sure I missed a few things here and there but if you're googling, you'll probably find even more comprehensive information.

Good luck!
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Old 10-09-2007, 02:18 PM
Location: In my mind
630 posts, read 2,161,757 times
Reputation: 699
patapsoc - I just did this for moving across the county, I asked for everything and got it. It took time for them to write the relocation package since they had never negotiated one before. Here is what I would (did) ask for:

1) Cost to look for rental or home - 5 day trip maximum (include hotel, car rental, and air fare)

2) Cost to move property - make sure you get quotes for packing and moving from point A to point B (add about 500 - 1000 to the quote)

3) Cost to move vehicle(s) - they will not move anything but personal vehicles (boat & toys - not) get a quote and add 250- 500.

4) Hotel for up to a month - once employed to find a place to live or time between the move and moving in to your place.

5) Rental car - for up to a month or until your personal vehicles arrive

6) Cost of food - daily for breakfast and dinner Monday through Friday and on the weekdends breakfast, lunch and dinner (this would be for the family). This until you get into your place.

7) A dollar amount equal to 1/2 months pay for moving expenses.

Save all of your receipts, I had to pay upfront and will be reimbursed, some have a relocation company already on the books. Some also have a package that will discuss the purchase of a new home and the sale of one. I was renting so I'm not aware of how this works, but I have paperwork on this an will edit if I have it. I may be that I packed it and it's enroute to MA.

This is what I am recieving for my move from CA to MA. Always remember if it's not offered you can negotiate for it. They may approve somethings and may disapprove others.

Best Wishes on the new job and relocation !!!
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Old 10-09-2007, 02:22 PM
Location: Metrowest, MA
1,810 posts, read 10,175,019 times
Reputation: 921
Another 2 cents...

See what they offer first. As haberstroh says Figure out what you want and ask only once/upfront.... and hope the gap can be closed. You don't want to ask for this today and another thing tomorrow.

I'm not in HR... but the way I see it... I have not seen relocation package more than the salary.

Here's some link
Study: Insiders Get Relocation Packages
Negotiating a Relocation Package. Jill Hill's Real Estate Guide for Marin County (San Francisco Bay Area) California. (broken link)
http://international.monster.com/workabroad/relocation/relocationpackage/ (broken link)
CareerJournal | Avoid Stressful Surprises When Relocation Looms

"[...]it's essential to do your homework, figure out what you'll need to have the move work for you and, if it's not in the standard package, ask for it."
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Old 10-09-2007, 04:08 PM
2,421 posts, read 5,173,711 times
Reputation: 1791
here's what we got when we relocated

-1 mos salary grossed up for taxes to cover incidentals..
-they paid our RE broker commission--that alone was worth 50K
-they packed us, I literally didn't have to do a thing... although I did de-clutter the house so we didn't move trash this time since last time we literally paid to move trash.... they would have paid to move our cars too but we drove to our new location.
-they paid all the inspection costs for our new home and paid down our mortgage 1 point

we had to work with a relocation company that was not the best/most responsive at times... but it all worked out...

I think all said our relocation package cost the company over 100K... some of it taxable some of it not
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Old 10-09-2007, 07:38 PM
3,031 posts, read 8,773,587 times
Reputation: 841
Oh, yeah, I forgot about house hunting trips. Glad someone pointed those out. Three of them would be ideal--trips to include you and spouse, if not entire family.

Also, if you'll be separated for a while (one spouse stays behind to sell house, finish out school year w/ kids, etc.,), ask for paid travel back and forth. Two times/month is minimum.
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