Things You Should Do and Know Before Relocating

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The Moving Mall is not an accounting or relocation firm. It provides a to-do list and guide, developed over decades of experience in the relocation industry. The Moving Mall is not responsible for any claims or submissions of your moving expense or tax deductions. Please consult with an accounting firm or your local Government offices for tax advice and your employer for clarification on relocation reimbursement.


Keep a move file with the actual hard copies of all your receipts, and please save and back up all your information as The Moving Mall does not store your information. Take photos of all receipts.

Moving Expenses

  • Breaking lease
  • First and last month’s rent
  • Renters insurance
  • Condo fees and deposits
  • Home Owners’ Association fees (HOA)
  • Upgrades
  • Taxes
  • Building delays
  • Storage costs
  • New home warranty and utility hook-up charges (if it is a newly constructed home you are buying)
  • Home warranty covering home systems and appliances
  • Title insurance
  • Mortgage
  • Private Mortgage Insurance
  • Real estate commissions
  • Land Survey
  • Legal Fees
  • Land transfer tax
  • Home inspection
  • Staging
  • Paint decorating (new and/or old house)
  • Yard work, landscaping, and gardening (new and/or old house)
  • Disability access, refitting, and functionality
  • House hunting trip
  • Travel (plane, bus, train, taxi, car rental, fuel, parking, etc.)
  • Hotel
  • Meals
  • Child care
  • Private school
  • Special needs
  • Sports, clubs, and hobbies
  • Elderly care
  • Pet care, veterinarian fees, and transportation
  • Moving licensing and insuring automobile
  • Recreational vehicles (boats, trailers, motor bikes, etc.)
  • Temporary accommodation
  • Insurance
  • Security
  • Moving and storage of household goods
  • Cleaning (furnace, ducts, eaves troughs, carpets, floors, windows, walls, bathrooms, etc.)
  • Phone, cable, and internet (disconnect and/or hook-up)
  • New appliances
  • New furniture
  • Pest control
  •  Fixtures
  •  Window coverings
  •  Utility disconnects and servicing
  •  Utility hook-up or refitting at destination
  • Miscellaneous

Not only is a home the largest investment most of us will make in our lives, but as you can see, the process of moving, in itself, can be very expensive.

Emotional Consideration

Although many of the social and personal costs associated with a move can at first be intimidating, the more positive you stay the better. If moving long-distance, the move will affect your family and friends, so be particularly sensitive to them in this transition. Open communication is the key, particularly with family; keep everyone involved and a part of the process. Moving is a positive thing; a new start, a new journey. Enjoy the ride.

Consider the emotional expenses on:

  • Partners
  • Children
  • Friends
  • Pets
  • Clubs
  • Teams
  • Associations
  • Carrier

**Communicate early and often**

Company Relocation

If you are moving at an employer's request, or if you are a new hire, verify what moving expenses and responsibilities are the employers and which are yours.

  • Do they have a moving policy?
  • Do they work with a relocation firm?
  • Do they provide a lump sum amount for the move?
  • Do you submit expenses for reimbursement?
  • Will they take direct invoices from movers? (This frees up your cash)
  • Are you on your own?
  • Track all expenses and keep all hard copy receipts.

Trailing Partner

What about your partner’s career?

Find out if the company has a spousal/partner career transition program. More and more companies are getting involved in finding opportunities for trailing partners.

Ask for a transfer from your current employer.

Use your friends and associates, from both where you live and where you’re headed. Let people know you are looking at making a move and are looking for a job.

If possible, plan an exploratory trip or house hunting trip timed to coincide with relevant career fairs, professional conferences, or trade shows.

Build your network in your target city by getting in touch with your professional association’s local chapter. You can also contact your university or local alumni chapter.

Use Social Networking to establish contacts in the new location and to help find a new job.

Visit job posting web sites and search for employment by geographic region.

Identify potential employers located in the target city. Look at your competitor’s web site for their locations

Send your resume to the key hiring person, and remember to follow up with a phone call.

Register your name with search firms and/or placement agencies in the new city.

Consider hiring a career counselor.

Follow job ads in the target city by subscribing to the city’s newspaper, or viewing local ads online.

Think Location

  • Crime level in the area.
  • Distance to work, school, friends, and family.
  • Access to public transit and major roads.
  • If you have children: Are parks and play areas nearby? What about schools?
  • Local amenities: entertainment, recreation facilities, shopping centers, libraries, restaurants, etc.
  • Traffic: Are the roads busy? What about heavy traffic at rush hour or seasonal times?
  • What is your general impression of the air quality?
  • How are the noise levels in the area at different times of the day and night?

Time your rental search

Go online and check the local area Landlord and Tenant Act or ask a local realtor or rental agent about the timelines needed to give notice on vacating the local rental market.

Time your house-hunting trip around that time frame. If looking for a July occupation and the tenant has to give two months’ notice, you should be making your trip or searching in May (the last week of the month is suggested) in order to get the best selection of new vacant properties coming on the market.

Rental Options

What features and options are most important to you?

Always keep the location in mind when shopping.

Are you looking for a furnished or an unfurnished space?

Is parking required?

Are you interested in a high-rise, low-rise, townhouse or house?

How many bedrooms?

What’s the minimum number of bathrooms?

Accommodates child or adult living?

Renters Insurance

You can have your goods covered for most situations, even if you rent (fire, smoke, water damage, etc.).

Shared Accommodation

Check various websites to find shared accommodations or roommates.

Give Landlord Notice

Give your current landlord written notice, and make arrangements for the return of any deposits.

Buying a Home?

Formulas for lending money vary depending on the lenders. Mortgages can range from 1.5% of your gross annual income to 3-5 times your gross annual income, so be careful. The affordability rule in Canada (a very conservative group) is that your entire monthly debt load shouldn't be more than 40% of your gross monthly income. This includes housing costs and other debts, such as car loans and credit card payments. Lenders add up these debts to determine what percentage they are of your gross household monthly income.

This figure is your Total Debt Service (TDS) ratio. Speak to a lender for a pre-approved mortgage based on your TDS, and then buy what you can afford. Revisit the budget outlined in the “what can you afford” balloon above.


If you have not yet found a realtor, conduct some interviews. See at least three representatives. This is the biggest sale or purchase we make in our lives.

  • How long have you been in the business, actively selling real estate?
  • What is your average list-to-sale price ratio? (What did you list at and sell for?)
  • How will you customize your marketing plan to meet my needs?
  • Can you provide me with three references?
  • What makes you different from all the others?
  • What if I am not happy with your service?
  • What do you charge?

Sell yourself

Are you thinking of selling your home on your own? There are several services on the market, offering various levels of involvement. The obvious benefit is commissions, as well as price flexibility. There is also a certain amount of risk and work involved on your end. Interview at least three services; use your Logi-Buy to shop.

Ask yourself and them the following questions:

  • How experienced or comfortable are you in selling real estate?
  • Will you be available for showings?
  • What price should you list for?
  • How flexible are you willing to be with your price?
  • Will you negotiate?
  • What has to be done to make the home show well?
  • How much time do you have?
  • Where will you find buyers?
  • Are you familiar with real estate Purchase and Sale Agreements?
  • Do you know how to qualify buyers?
  • What happens to deposit-monies?

Staging your home for sale

Staging allows you to present your home to potential buyers in a professional manner.

  • De-clutter; sort, pack, and store all the knickknacks
  • Depersonalize; lose the family photos, religious symbols, books, magazines, etc.
  • Neutralize; paint and decorate in neutral colours
  • Clean and repair everything inside and out
  • Remove all signs of pets, toys, water bowls, litter boxes, etc.
  • Pick up some decorative containers or a storage ottoman to hide kids toys
  • Visit a new home development; take a look at the model homes for tips
  • Consider hiring a professional stager

Home Shopping

Think of your lifestyle and your 5-year evolution; consider partners, pets, young children, teens, and empty-nesters.

What will your lifestyle be in 5 years?

What home makes the most sense to you?

What type of home are you looking for; bungalow, two-storey, split-level, storey and a half, semi-detached, detached, rowhouse, townhouse, condominium, or loft?

How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need?

What about a family room, entertainment room, dining room, garage, pool, laundry room, kitchen, or yard?

Remember location, location, location.


Some hotels are not pet-friendly, so check before the trip or make arrangements to board your pet for the duration of your trip.

First Impressions

Rely on your first impressions and gut instincts when house hunting.

  • Always look at location, location, location
  • Curb appeal: condition of the front of the home and yard
  • Condo: check that the lobby is tidy and that it has a clean common area, pool and exercise room, etc.
  • Condition of exterior siding, paint, or brick
  • Straight lines: does the home look solid?
  • Condition of roof
  • Backyard
  • Condition of pool, sheds, and fencing
  • Room sizes
  • Closet and pantry space
  • Windows
  • Floors
  • Plumbing
  • Basement
  • Signs of mold
  • Heating
  • Strange smells
  • Take photos and make notes

Floor Plan

Take photos and measurements of the rooms in your new home. This will help you in making a floor plan and deciding what furniture to move.

Furniture Access

Check for furniture access. If you have large pieces, will they fit in the elevator? You may have to carry items up the stairs or hoist goods over the balcony.

King-sized mattresses are notoriously difficult.

Also, check stairways in homes; recreation rooms in the basement can pose problems for large entertainment units or sofas. Measure and note all questionable areas.


When making an offer on your new home, try to get the occupancy date off the end of the month, particularly in the summer months. Mid-month and mid-week moves will afford you much better service by all parties involved. Try to get occupancy of the new home so you can get a direct move into your new home; delays in occupancy can result in storage costs.

Transition Time

When you move long distance, try to get a grace day on both ends to clean, get keys, etc. Be sure to advise the mover of the date you want your goods, not the date you get your keys. If moving locally movers will hold the goods on the truck for a day (possible extra cost)

Elevator on service

If you are moving into a high-rise, make sure you speak to the management about getting an elevator on service for move day.


Check on parking restrictions; you may have to bag parking meters or get permission from the city in order to park on the street. It will be very important on move day and could save you hundreds of dollars to address the situation ahead of time. Ask the superintendent, neighbors, or present occupant about parking restrictions.

Truck Accessibility

Rural property or heavily congested areas (New York City) will add extra moving costs. Can a large moving truck access your home? In extreme cases, such as long-distance moves, a shuttle service may have to be used. Your goods may need to be taken off the large truck, and placed on a smaller truck in order to access your home.

Home Inspection

There are too many things to investigate when buying a pre-owned home, so it is important to always make the offer conditional on a HOME INSPECTION. Use the home inspection to negotiate the price if, for instance, the home needs a new roof or plumbing.