Time for a fresh start! You've taken a new job that requires you to relocate. Have you considered how your changing employment circumstances may impact getting a roof over your head?
What comes first?
You may find yourself in a chicken-and-egg situation: Do you find a home before you get there, or wait to do more research in-person?
Your new company may offer relocation packages if the position requires you to move from another city. In some cases, your employer may cover all your moving expenses, in others they may offer you a flat dollar amount or only cover certain expenses. Relocation benefits may also include things like paying for your moving services or temporary housing. These benefits may be negotiable depending on your unique situation—ask your new employer about their relocation benefits.
Renting in a new city
You might consider renting if you're unfamiliar with the area. Depending on how far you will be relocating from, you may not have the time or the means to do an in-person walk through of the property. Because it can be more difficult to find and rent a home from afar, consider hiring a reliable agent to help.
If you decide renting is the best option for you, your new landlord may require proof of employment, which can be complicated as you are transitioning jobs. Don't worry—some landlords may simply want to contact your new company for employment and income verification.
Be open to short-term rental options in your new city which would give you the opportunity to explore long-term opportunities in-person.
Buying in a new city
Buying when relocating comes with its own unique challenges and additional steps – it's a bigger investment for a longer term. Similar to renting, it may be hard to see homes in person. Be sure to find an agent who can help with your home search and be your boots on the ground.
It's also important to do your homework and get prepared. If you are moving far away be sure to research the local area economy, tax rates and average-cost-of-living, to determine how your finances will be impacted and to have a better understanding of what you can comfortably afford. If possible, visit the area for a few days ahead of time to help determine the neighborhoods that are best suited for your lifestyle and must-haves like proximity to schools or amenities.
Be aware that changing jobs may add a layer of complexity in qualifying for a mortgage, particularly if you take a lower paying job or switch from salary to commission. Have a candid conversation with your lender about your employment and be sure to lean on both your lender and agent to guide you through the process.
For more information on buying, renting and owning a home visit My Home by Freddie Mac®.