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Long Distance Moves- A New Reality

In today’s world of economic realities a career oriented person must expect to switch companies and locations every few years. Gone are the years where an entry level position in a mid-sized local company meant you could buy a home, raise a family, and expect steady upward progression until finally landing a corner office in charge of a section where you would spend the final 10 years before retiring. In the modern world, career progression typically means a willingness to go to where the position is available, whether that be another company or even the other side of the country.

This, combined with the ups and downs of the housing market has made the buying of a home to live in for 40 years and then selling at retirement or leaving it to the children a story told in movies but seldom seen in real life. The real world truth is that a person will either rent, or if wanting t take advantage of the benefits of home ownership they will buy and sell a number of homes, and every few years be relocating their family and all of their possessions.

Relocation to the other side of the country is no small task. Aside from all the turmoil of changing schools for the children, the spouse also needing to change jobs, and often starting out in a new place without friends and family supports comes the logistical nightmare of moving all the possessions accumulated in your life to that point hundreds if not thousands of miles. Coordinating the arrival of home furnishings and necessities with that of the people is not a simple task.

While the plane may take 4 hours to move the people across the country, or perhaps 2-3 days of driving if taking the auto with you, the furnishings moved by truck (or sometimes rail) will take a few days longer. If you did not make several advance trips to locate a permanent residence, then your arrival will be marked by staying in temporary housing for a few days to a month or two while you get to know the area and determine where you want to live for the next few years. In this case you end up with a whole house full of possessions and no place to put them.

The prudent way to do the long distance move is usually in steps. To save the time and expense of multiple trips to look at housing and then making a decision based on very limited knowledge gained from a couple week long visits and internet research plan to stay in the temporary housing for a month or two. Long term suites in some hotel chains are comfortable for a few weeks, and many larger companies are able to assist in securing short term leases on furnished apartments.

This allows you to learn about an area first hand to make better choices in choosing a neighborhood, and the ability to negotiate a home purchase without the pressure of a specific date to move in. Placing all of your furnishings and important but must have immediately type possessions in a safe temporary storage facility when you leave your home makes it so that you do not need to be there to supervise the loading of the truck when you have found your permanent home. It will all be neatly boxed and packed waiting for your order to pick it up and deliver it to an address you provide.

The other big advantage of placing your possessions in temporary storage prior to moving the entire home as well as people is that it allows you to change your mind. If it is a new job in a new company it is possible after 4-6 weeks you discover it is not the good fit and great opportunity you had hoped for. Moving everything is expensive, having the ability to decide after a month to look at other opportunities somewhere else (without doing the entire move again) is a comforting feeling. Using short term storage as a step in your move can prevent long term regrets by giving the ability to change your mind in a manner that is affordable.

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