FAQs CitySwitcher

FAQs

CitySwitcher

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Moving takes a lot of research, time and energy to coordinate and complete. You may not know where or how to start. If that’s the case, be sure to connect with a Move Coach who can answer your questions and help find solutions that will save you time and money, not to mention spare you some disappointments and complications! 

Be upfront with your move coach about your pain points, fears, “must haves” and the areas where you already know you’ll need some help. They’ll talk through your service and assistance options and connect you with the right resources. Some of the services they’ll introduce you to are free and others may have a fee. If you choose not to work with some or any of the partners they introduce you to, no worries. Hopefully you’ll still leave the conversation feeling a little more prepared than when you started.

We have partners that can assist you with many of your needs when relocating, including:

Housing

  • Short- term – corporate apartments, extended stay hotels, hotels, Airbnb
  • Rental finding – market guidance from a local expert, property search, property visits, guidance on local leasing/renting processes and regulations
  • Home sale and home purchase – referrals to relocation-certified agents and mortgage providers with reduced lender fees and competitive rates
  • Roommate and co-living arrangements – private room rentals and roommate pairing

Settling-in services

  • Guidance on local government compliance and regulations
  • Information about health care and local hospitals
  • Utility set up
  • Guidance on local banks and assistance with opening an account
  • Area tours
  • Advice on transportation options or driving requirements

Moving

  • Full service moves
  • International shipments
  • Small shipment services
  • Truck rental
  • Container and POD shipments
  • Packing supplies
  • Auto transport
  • Pet transport
  • Discard & Donate opportunities
  • Short-term and long-term storage

Vetting is the key. The companies we’ll refer you to offer a range of services and service levels. They’ve proven themselves to us and the relocation industry as being reliable service providers and reputable businesses. 

Shipping your household goods is one of the most important parts of your move. Our partner, Shyft, maintains a global network of vetted moving companies. The benefits of working with Shyft are:

  • They’ll conduct a virtual survey of your belongings so no one has to walk trough your home to come up with a cost estimate.
  • They’ll provide you with multiple, no-obligation quotes. These are binding quotes, so you don’t have to worry about the price changing unless you change your shipment details.
  • If you book your move with one of Shyft’s moving companies, you’ll be assigned a Move Manager to help coordinate all aspects of your household goods move.

There’s no fee for working with Shyft to find a moving company, and you can get started with Shyft right away – appointments are available 24/7 and often on the same or next day.

We understand the need to save money and go the do-it-yourself route with a rented truck for domestic or even intracontinental moves. Be sure to talk with your Move Coach about the pros and cons of truck rental, especially if you’ve never done it before. Your Move Coach can tell you the ins and outs and even get truck rental quotes for you. But in the course of that conversation you may decide to do a household goods shipment as an alternative – in other words, packing the container yourself but leaving the driving to a professional. In this and other decisions, we encourage you to explore all your options

Moving

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Check with the moving or truck rental company you use, but in general, you won’t be able to transport hazardous materials or perishables.  We also recommend that you always keep your sentimental and high-value items with you. 

Hazardous materials are typically flammable, corrosive, or explosive items such as:
Acids
Aerosols
Ammonia
Ammunition
Car Batteries
Charcoal or lighter fluid
Chemistry sets
Cleaning solvents
Darkroom chemicals
Fire extinguisher
Fireworks
Gasoline
Household Batteries
Kerosene
Lamp oil
Liquid bleach
Loaded guns
Matches
Motor Oil
Nail Polish
Nail Polish Remover
Paint Thinner
Paints
Pesticides
Poisons
Pool Chemicals
Propane Tanks
Gun Reloading Supplies
Scuba Tanks
Sterno
Weed Killer
It is important to properly dispose of hazardous materials. Consider giving leftover products to a friend or neighbor who can use them. You can also take the products to a collection point for hazardous waste in your community.

Perishable are things that may die or spoil during transit, like fresh or frozen food, open food containers and plants. Any of these could attract pests that might damage the rest of your shipment. If your household goods will be picked up and delivered within 24 hours, a moving company might allow the shipment of certain perishables if they’re properly packed.

But why not start fresh at your destination with a newly stocked pantry or refrigerator? Instead of taking up valuable space on a moving truck with these items, plan ahead to use them up or donate them to a food bank.

Address Books
Airline tickets
Car keys
Car Titles
Cash
Cell Phones
Certificates of Deposit
Checkbooks
Financial Documents
Family Heirlooms
Insurance Policies
IRAs/Deeds/Tax Records
Jewelry
Laptop Computers
Legal documents and ID
Medical, Dental
Records
Medication
Photographs
Photo albums
Professional files
Research projects
School records
Sterling Silver
Stocks or bonds
Wedding albums

Quite possibly, but when it comes to renting a moving truck, be sure to budget for these charges and costs:

  • Truck rental rates vary by size and destination. Some companies also have a mileage charge.
  • Fuel costs will vary based on how far you travel, and most rental companies require you to return the truck with a full fuel tank.
  • Motor vehicle insurance for driving a commercial truck isn’t always included in personal auto policies or covered by your credit card’s car rental insurance benefit. Most truck companies offer this insurance as an option for approximately $20 – $50 per day depending on the coverage selected.
  • You’ll need other equipment, too, at the loading and unloading site. The truck company will impose a rental fee for items like a dolly, four-wheel carts, a loading ramp, padded blankets, straps and a car tow.

Renting a moving truck isn’t the only way to move your household goods on your own. You may want to get quotes for a portable container or freight shipment. Depending on the volume and distance, this could be just as affordable. You’ll still have the flexibility of loading and unloading at your pace but someone else will deliver your belongings to your new location. Some of these container shipping services even include storage options in case you’re not quite ready to receive your belongings when you get to your new location.

Absolutely! If you plan to move yourself, here are some things to consider:

  • Get the right-sized truck. Reputable rental truck companies can help you determine the right size based on things like the size of your family, the size of your current house and a high-level inventory of your major belongings. But a word of caution: In our experience, more often than not people underestimate the size of the truck or container they’ll need.
  • Consider hiring professional moving labor. You can hire labor-only movers to assist with moving day loading or unloading. They can also help plan the loading process to maximize the use of space and to keep items secure in transit.
  • Get the right types and quantities of packing supplies. Without the right packing supplies, you could end up with broken or damaged belongings. It’s very important to use proper moving boxes and packing supplies when moving yourself. Don’t forget to also have plastic wrap, foam pouches and newspaper on hand. You can help protect our environment, and save a little money, by finding used packing boxes that are in good condition.
  • Keep your essentials handy. Plan ahead and pack two boxes with the things you’ll need when you arrive to get you through the first 24 hours or so. One box should include items like cleaning supplies, trash bags, bath towels, lightbulbs, a can opener, toilet paper, paper towels and plastic cups and plates. Pack a second box with personal items like bed sheets, pillows, pajamas, toiletries, medication, chargers, necessary electronics, a change of clothes, outerwear and a first-aid kit. These two boxes should be loaded last so you can easily get to them when you arrive.
  • Packing your boxes. Use small and medium boxes when packing heavy items to avoid the tendency to overpack them to the point where you hurt yourself or the boxes fail. Also, don’t think of packing as a one-day event. In the month leading up to the move, begin packing the items you don’t need, like out-of-season clothing, books, knick-knacks, framed pictures and certain electronics. Things like kitchen supplies and clothing can wait until the last day or two.
  • Loading the truck. Load the largest and heaviest items first and place them towards the front (nearest the cab). Place lighter items on top of them as well as towards the back. Try to distribute the weight evenly from side to side as much as possible.

We encourage you to look into using a certified auto moving company. You’ll have two options: open and closed car carriers. In general, the most economical option will be an open car carrier. Price shopping for this service can be tricky, though. The lowest price may not be all-inclusive, and the quote may not be binding. Be sure to get multiple quotes and compare apples to apples to find the best deal.

Settling In

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It’s not uncommon to find yourself with a few weeks or months between arriving in your new location and securing your next home. There are quite a few options when it comes to temporary housing. If you’re still looking for your perfect place to live or if you have a home under construction, be sure to check out:

  • Corporate housing: These are furnished apartments tucked into communities rather than higher traffic areas. You can sign up for short- or long-term options, but there’s usually a minimum stay requirement of 14 or 30 days. Rates will vary by city or country and the total cost of the stay is usually payable in advance.
  • Extended stay hotels: As the name implies, these are more like small hotel suites than apartments. Housekeeping services are available, and most have laundry facilities on site. The suites typically have a sitting area and a kitchenette with at least a refrigerator, sink and microwave. Some will have a full stove. The total cost of the stay is usually payable in advance.
  • Hotels: If you need a home for two weeks or less, consider staying at a comfortable standard hotel. Be sure it has at least a microwave and small refrigerator. Request them if they’re not standard.
  • Vacation rentals: With this arrangement you can rent a whole unit or just a room in someone’s home for a short or extended period of time. Payment is due when you book, and it will include a base fee and cleaning fee. Many also have fees for extra guests, a pet or currency exchange.

Finding the right home in the right neighborhood should be a top priority when moving.  However, local customs or unfamiliarity with the area can make the search feel overwhelming. There are resources to help, such as real estate agents (for locations where this is customary) or local experts that can help you identify the area you want to live so you can narrow down your search.

Steps in your rental search will include:

  • Identifying the right neighborhood
  • Learning about commute options
  • Online apartment search
  • Touring multiple apartments
  • Applying to rent your chosen apartment
  • Negotiating the lease. The lease may be in the host country language, so if you don’t  speak the language you should find a trusted person to help you with translating and negotiating the lease.
  • Setting a move in date
  • Setting up utilities

Many countries require you to register with the authorities or local government when you arrive.  Research this before you move and make sure to have all the necessary paperwork in order when you arrive. You might be required to obtain a personal identification number before you can work legally, open a bank account or get a cell phone plan.

If you’ll be living in a foreign country for an extended period, you’ll likely have better access to your money through a local institution.  Withdrawing money and paying for things from your bank account at home may mean incurring bank fees and ATM withdrawal fees.  A local bank account may also be required in order for you to receive paychecks or to pay rent if you’re leasing an apartment.

An alternative to a local bank account is to open an account with an international bank, such as HSBC, while in your home country.  This will make it easier to pay for things without fees and minimize ATM fees when withdrawing cash at your new location.