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Things to consider when relocating?

DrakeonDrakeon Registered User regular
edited May 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
So, I am considering relocating for a job. I haven't been offered the job quite yet, but things are looking good thus far. My background investigation just started (its for a probation officer position) and this is the first time I've got this far, but I'm pretty confident I'll pass the background and the rest of the tests. Anyways, the location of the job is 4 hours away from my current location and I'm wondering how to go about searching for apartments and how early I need to do so. Ideally, I'd like to take 3-4 weeks after the job offer to give my 2 weeks to my current job and find a place and move in, but I'm not sure if I'll be allowed that much time or not. I'm considering taking a week off for vacation at my current job and going down to check out housing, but my girlfriend thinks thats too soon, and I should be waiting until they make a job offer before I do anything like that. Ideally I'd like her to be with me because the plan is to have her move in at some point after I get settled. So, in anyone else's experience, given the job (the process moves slowly), is asking for 3-4 weeks to get settled before I start work, especially given I need to relocate, too much?

I had some other question too. As someone who still lives in his parents house and has never lived on their own, I have no idea how I should be looking for apartments and what I should be looking for (I'm also asking parents, friends, etc's advice on this). One particular question that sticks out in my mind is how do I know if a neighborhood is a good neighborhood? I'm looking at the apartment listings on craigslist and I sort of assume the cheaper ones are in less-good areas, but thats not really much to go on.

What else should I be doing and how early should I be doing it? Keep in mind my background investigator said that at a minimum, it usually takes two months, and assuming I pass it, is when I get the initial job offer (on the assumption I pass physical, psychological and medical tests). I'm only a week in, so I've got time, I just want to make sure I'm not living in a motel for a month when I start with all my things boxed up.

PSN: Drakieon XBL: Drakieon Steam: TheDrakeon
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    khainkhain Registered User regular
    Don't do anything until you have an offer and they should give you a start date. You can obviously negotiate the date, but the date they give tells you how soon they need you to start and how much leeway you can ask for. On searching for an apartment you can definitely find one within a couple days if required.

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    QuantumTurkQuantumTurk Registered User regular
    Yea, I got an apartment by searching around the city for 2 days. Was not ideal, but it worked out. Padmapper is your friend, learn to tell leasing agents "I really do NOT care about X+Y, don't show me the damn gym" Because you will hopefully be seeing a LOT of places over a couple days. I carried a spiral notebook and took notes and pictures with a little point and shoot.

    Have a rent budget of some sort. That can be hard, but seriously, it is probably a 1 year lease. Shoot low on rent at first, if after that year you are making more money than you know how to spend, then consider upgrading or even buying. Keep in mind that renting CAN make sense in the short term (less than 5 years) but IS still throwing money away. Try and find out utilities costs, but this is very difficult because it can vary SO much.

    One trick for knowing a "neighborhood" that my dad taught me is that you look at the cars in the complex. If you have some vauge idea what cars cost/are nice and see how they are kept, you will get some idea of the place. Beyond that, just talk to people. If people act sketchy when you ask them about the neighborhood, that is probably a bad sign. Anyone who likes where they live ok is going to tell you its fine/quiet/people are nice etc.

    As far as moving: If you are with your parents I doubt you have a ton of stuff, but before renting a truck, try and compare the price of that to IKEA'ing/craigslisting what you need once you get there. Trucks are expensive, and in my opinion stressful to drive any long way. I did the 6.5hr trip in a big ass Uhaul, but was tense the whole time.

    I think that that many weeks to get settled is far more than you need. If you can get a week, sure, but I am proof it is perfectly possible to go down to a place for a weekend, find an apartment, move in the next weekend, and start on Monday. Honestly, what would you be doing for 3 weeks anyway? You can probably settle your house while having a job just fine.

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    runewardruneward Registered User regular
    I moved across country and got an apartment sight-unseen over the internet. I went with a slightly more established apartment complex that had layouts and reviews and then signed a 6-month lease. I figured if it was terrible I'd live out of boxes for a few months and then move as early as possible. Fortunately, it wasn't terrible.

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    KrubixCubeKrubixCube JapanRegistered User regular
    I relocated to Japan...so obviously not quite the same thing. But if you haven't lived away from home before definitely look into moving costs/put money aside for buying all the little stuff you wont realize you need until you move in.

    I always forget about that stuff every time I move. "Hey, I want to make some Eggs...oh wait I don't have a spatula...or cooking oil...plates?"

    Also, I agree with other people that 3 weeks is a long time. Finding an apartment may be the most time consuming thing. If you do a thorough job of preparing to move then moving in will be pretty quick, and getting "settled" will just take as long as it takes really. As long as your stuff is in the apartment you'll survive until you get a free weekend to unpack properly. But yeah, definitely be careful with your money in terms of general life advice, there are lots of hidden costs that are involved in getting set up in a new apartment that are easy to forget about when you're making a budget.

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    DrakeonDrakeon Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Thanks for all the advice guys. Sounds like I was overestimating how long it'd take to find a place. Keep it coming in if anyone else has anything to share.

    Drakeon on
    PSN: Drakieon XBL: Drakieon Steam: TheDrakeon
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    SublimusSublimus Artist. nowhereRegistered User regular
    Just looked at padmapper. It's awesome.

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