Cost of living: Before accepting a position elsewhere, research the cost of living in the new location. If it's higher than your current community, negotiate for a higher salary and push for a relocation bonus that covers moving expenses and closing costs on a new home. If this is a transfer, you may be able to deduct moving expenses on your taxes.
Expert advice: Relocation experts may cost money in the short run, but their knowledge of relocation benefits, moving details, cost of living indexes and real estate comps may make them your first phone call if considering a new job.
Finding Chicago Moving Company: Even if you don't know the exact address where you're moving, book licensed and insured movers as soon as possible. Movers get booked up, particularly on weekends, at the end of each month and during springtime. This will ensure a time slot in their schedule. They should be licensed with the state's Department of Transportation and the Interstate Commerce Commission (for interstate moves). In addition to getting references, ask the Better Business Bureau about movers you are considering.
Negotiating with Movers: Secure a contract (called a bill of lading) with "not-to-exceed" estimates in writing, as well as pick-up and delivery dates. Ask if the service includes: packing household goods; loading and unloading the truck; deliveries to multiple destinations; short- or long-term storage; special handling for valuables and breakables; relocation of cars, boats and stored belongings.
If something goes wrong: Know the extent of the mover's insurance coverage and your own homeowner's policy in case something is lost or damaged.
Selecting a neighborhood: Whether you're single, married or heading a household of rugrats, choosing the most suitable neighborhood can determine how successful your relocation is. Peruse the sites below for neighborhood descriptions, crime reports and school analyses, and turn to your colleagues for insider tips. Ideally, you can take three weeks or more to find the perfect home, or even rent while looking to buy.