Military families move frequently — often with short notice and few choices. Check out these eight tips to ease the stress of military relocations.
1. Hire an Expert on Military Relocations
Real estate agents with expertise in military relocations hold an official certificate from the National Association of Realtors called a Military Relocation Professional certificate. They know the drill regarding military moves and are best suited to helping military families working under time constraints.
2. Economize Your Time
Since a military move, or Permanent Change of Station as it is called in the military, is often executed quickly, narrow your search by giving your agent specific parameters about home size and price. Next, do an initial homes tour via the internet. Then schedule multiple home tours from your curated list in the short time you have allotted.
3. Agent as Advocate
While you’re busy prepping for the move from your old location, rely on your real estate agent to act as your advocate in your new city. The agent will schedule inspections, make sure necessary documents are prepared, monitor on-site repairs, and negotiate on your behalf.
4. Ask for Community Resource Advice
Your agent should be a wealth of knowledge regarding information on schools, day-care centers, places of worship, parks and recreation and potential business contacts for military spouses. Don’t be afraid to ask for help to minimize family upheaval.
5. Hire Professional Movers for Military Relocations
Rely on professionals rather than take on the stress of moving yourself. Military movers are available with some costs paid for or reimbursed by the government. Other costs can be deducted on your taxes.
6. Get Organized
Assemble paperwork and important documentation in a single accessible location. These can include driver licenses, social security cards, birth certificates, marriage licenses, insurance information, credit card and bank statements, passports, reservations, receipts and moving inventories, and any contact information for new jobs or child care.
7. Monitor Finances
If possible, put away extra savings before the move. If you get a moving allowance, save that too. Expenses add up quickly during a move with meals, gas, sightseeing along the way, and hotel costs. The extra cash also will come in handy for unexpected repairs to your new home, utility deposits and enrollment fees for school and community activities.
8. Prep Your Vehicles
If you’re driving your own vehicles to your new location, get them checked by a reputable mechanic before the trip. Make any necessary repairs to avoid a breakdown.