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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International Real Estate

Shifting Demographics: Chinese Residents Choose to Call Northern Virginia Home

Shifting Demographics: Chinese Residents Choose to Call Northern Virginia Home

Northern Virginia is caught in the midst of a revolution – not one of shifting governments, but of shifting demographics. Once upon a time, the area was primarily home to Caucasians and African Americans. That’s shifting today. Residents of Asian descent now make up a significant portion of the population, and they’re finding a welcoming community to call home. As of 2010, Asians made up 13.6% of the area’s population, compared to just 3.2% in the 1980s.

A Look at the Situation

Group Of Female Teenage Students Outdoors

In a story from the Washington Post in 2011, you can glean hints of just how long the shift has been on going. In mid-May of 2011, reporters Carol Morello and Dan Keating highlighted the fact that the Washington D.C. area’s Asian population had grown by 60% since 2000. They also highlighted an interesting breakdown in Asian populations throughout the greater area. While Indians might be the most populous segment in Fairfax and Loudon counties, and Koreans called Centreville home more often than other areas, Chinese residents most frequently move to D.C. and Montgomery County. Specifically, the cities of Rockville and Potomac now boast a high concentration of Chinese residents.

If you want some interesting statistics concerning the Asian population in the area, consider the following:

  • Only Boston has more Chinese residents than northern Virginia on the East Coast.
  • Only New York has more Japanese residents.
  • Only New Orleans has more residents of Vietnamese descent.
  • Fairfax County – 17.5% Asian
  • Fairfax (City) – 15% Asian
  • Loudoun – 14.7% Asian
  • Arlington – 9.6% Asian
  • Falls Church – 9.4% Asian

The Shifting Employment Options

What’s behind the influx? Actually, there are numerous reasons, but one of the prime causes is the shift in employment options. As northern Virginia becomes home to more and more information-technology jobs, highly educated Chinese residents find it more appealing. This is particularly true near the high-tech corridor close to Dulles International Airport.

Housing Affordability

Another reason for the surge in Chinese (and others of Asian descent) moving to northern Virginia is the relative affordability of housing. While not “cheap”, you’ll find properties of all types available for prices not found in areas with comparable proximity to government seats, employment, shopping and dining options.

Culturally Relevant Shopping

A decade ago, you would have been hard pressed to find an Asian grocery store in most towns in northern Virginia. Today, that’s not the case. You’ll find mom and pop stores, but also chains like Great Wall. There are numerous others either already entrenched in the area, or making plans to start their presence. This includes everything from grocers to clothing to nightlife and restaurant options. You’ll even find that theaters throughout the area have begun showing Asia-specific films. Bollywood is one example, but Chinese exports are close behind.

It’s more than just a trend – northern Virginia is in the midst of a cultural shift, and Chinese residents are making up more and more of the population.

Source:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-regions-asian-population-is-up-60-percent-since-2000-census-data-show/2011/05/25/AGvgndBH_story.html

http://news.virginia.edu/content/uva-assesses-2010-census-data-virginias-asian-population

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/20/us/as-asians-flock-to-northern-virginia-laws-and-palates-collide.html?_r=0

Contact Gene Mock, Associate Broker, Premier Team, Keller Williams Realty 703-342-8100 for more information about Northern Virginia real estate

Gene Mock Realtor http://northernvirginiarealty.com/

 

Shifting Demographics: Chinese Residents Choose to Call Northern Virginia Home

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