5 Essential International Corporate Relocation Tips

Your family has settled into an idyllic suburban life. Your kids love their school, your wife volunteers at the hospital two afternoons each week, and you are excelling in your current pay grade… then the bomb drops – in order to move up the corporate ladder, you and your family must relocate overseas. The pay is phenomenal, the fringe benefits are lavish, but your blood pressure is spiking – how will you manage all of the details surrounding a successful international relocation in just a few weeks!? Here are five helpful tips from a Certified International Property Specialist:

Make a decision you (and your immediate family) can live with. As exciting and thrilling as an international assignment can feel like, employees and their families must ask some tough questions. For instance:
• How will your extended family members handle your move?
• Do you have elderly parents that may need care or help in coming years?
• Will you be starting or adding to your family overseas?
• Are you aware of local health care options, schools and dependent care options?
• What kind of benefits package is your company offering? Will it cover you and your dependents 100% internationally?
• Are there tax consequences to your move? What is the cost of living adjustment between locations?

International Corporate Relocations

Making an informed decision about the positives and negatives of an international corporate relocation are not optional – they are crucial. When openly communicated between spouses especially, the answers may be surprising. Sometimes, personal goals may be prioritized ahead of career progression.

Take the move week-by-week. When looking at your upcoming relocation from the 10,000 foot view, getting everything accomplish may feel impossible rendering you paralyzed and without a plan. I encourage you to compartmentalize each phase of your move by week. Setting small, manageable goals to accomplish in seven days allows you and your family members to keep the entire process moving along without sweating every little detail. Small weekly milestones give families the ability to make progress and avoid the brutal grind of clearing everything out at once and rushing to jump on a plane.

Use technology to your advantage. Scan digital copies of all important documents into a cloud storage account like Microsoft’s OneDrive, Google Drive, or DropBox. Even if you believe you already have a scanned copy somewhere, scan again and be certain all documents are in one easily accessible application. You will be facing a lot of bureaucratic headaches and many officials will be demanding proof of identity with zero tolerance for delay. I would also encourage you to digitize and make all of your media (music, games, movies etc) available once you get settled. Many countries operate on separate digital standards forcing you to forego your favorite episodes of The Walking Dead for weeks, if ever.

Before you move, walk through your home and document your valuables. To piggyback on the recommendation above, I highly recommend walking through your current home, pre-international relocation, and filming your possessions. Open drawers, look in closets, and highlight expensive items that could be lost, broken, or stolen during the relocation process. Then, upload your video documentation to the same cloud platform as your crucial documents for safekeeping. Disaster happens when we least expect it so, for insurance purposes, it is always helpful to be able to construct a list of your belongings during the many facets of an international corporate relocation.

Do not close your entire financial life before you leave. You will need a bank account for some type of transaction once you reach your new destination abroad, typically when you least expect it. A stray refund or a tax payment will need to be deposited and transferred, it never fails. Leaving at least one account available in the country you are leaving with go a long way when faced with an unexpected money move. Another excellent tactic is to secure a premium international relationship with a large, global financial institution. HSBC and Chase both offer services to international clients and can integrate accounts between currencies and exchange rates.

To rent or to buy, that is the question? Do you fully understand the real estate customs and economic procedures of your new locale? If you are leaving the United States, you may feel like purchasing your next home is preferable, however, many countries rely on robust rental real estate systems. Working with a Certified International Property Specialist allows families relocating internationally to obtain qualified international housing advice, maintain high real estate standards, participate in fair trade practices, and receive closing protections other realtors simply cannot provide.

Flying blindly into a foreign real estate market can be a dangerous undertaking, often resulting in poor living conditions and money lost. I have heard many horror stories over the years and cannot stress enough how important it is to seamlessly relocate your family to its new environment under the guidance of a trained international real estate professional.

Gene Mock is a Global Mobility Specialist, Certified International Property Specialist, and member of the Worldwide Employee Relocation Council. As a Realtor with Keller Williams, Gene has been giving Washington DC families the multicultural real estate advice they need to make seamless transitions around the globe.

Gene Mock Realtor http://northernvirginiarealty.com/

Gene Mock, Associate Broker, Premier Team 703-342-8100

 
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Tax Considerations When Selling Washington DC Investment Property

Northern Virginia Realty - Gene Mock

As one of the world’s most desired investment real estate markets, Washington DC offers buyers historic curb appeal not found elsewhere, but what happens when it’s time to capitalize on your investment? No buyer purchases investment property with the intention of losing money, but one false tax move and that scenario could become reality. An in-depth understanding of real estate tax implications will serve any seller entering the investment real estate market well.

CONSIDER YOUR OVERALL TAX LIABILITY

Washington DC investment property buyers and sellers can often get tunnel vision when closing a deal. They forget to consider how a specific transaction will fit into the bigger financial picture of their household or business. Capital losses and capital gains are reported on IRS Schedule D and, so long as you held your investment property for more than 365 days, any gain or loss will be treated as long-term. Per IRS regulations, taxpayers can offset long-term capital gains with long-term capital losses, real estate or other, when realized within the same tax year.

Will you be exercising executive benefits upon retirement? Buying or selling investment property may be able to lessen the tax burden created by highly appreciated stocks and options. Call your CPA or seasoned investment real estate professional for more guidance.

COULD A 1031 EXCHANGE BE ON YOUR HORIZON?

If your Washington DC rental real estate has appreciated and you would like to avoid realizing large capital gains, exchanging your current capital asset for a new capital asset may make sense. While 1031 exchanges are sophisticated transactions and should be carefully structured by seasoned tax and real estate professionals, purchasing a replacement property with the proceeds of a current sale, can be a robust basis recapture strategy.

Sometimes even the most seasoned real estate investor finds him or herself in the middle of a bad investment. Vacancies, bad tenants, and the overall Washington DC real estate market can impact the outcome of a deal. By turning your investment real estate transaction into a strategic financial tool, you may avoid losing money to your buyer and the IRS. Before disposing of a capital asset it is crucial to discuss all available options with a seasoned investment real estate professional, Certified Public Accountant, and/or attorney.

For all your real estate investments, contact Gene Mock, Associate Broker, Premier Team, Keller Williams Realty 703-342-8100. He offers expert real estate advice on your investment real estate interests.

Northern Virginia Realty - Gene Mock

Gene Mock – Premier Team – Keller Williams Realty – 703-342-8100

TAX CONSIDERATIONS WHEN SELLING WASHINGTON DC INVESTMENT PROPERTY

 

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