Count the hidden costs of chasing that bigger pay cheque

It is hard to put a price on greater job satisfaction. Picture: PA
It is hard to put a price on greater job satisfaction. Picture: PA
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Would you up sticks and move away from your area if you were offered better career prospects or a bigger salary? The dilemma of whether to relocate for work or stay put can be tricky to answer – particularly for those who already have strong ties with their local community.

Among employees who have never relocated, 59 per cent of men and 65 per cent of women say the desire to stay near family is the primary reason they’ve stayed put, according to a new survey by jobs website Indeed.co.uk.

On the one hand, there may be the chance of new opportunities opening up, a pay boost and better living standards. But on the other, families also need to weigh up how other members of the household may settle into a new life – and how this may also have an impact on the household budget.

Here are some factors you may want to consider when weighing up whether it’s worth relocating for work or not.

Can you afford the moving costs?

The cost of moving home can quickly add up to thousands of pounds.

According to research from Lloyds Bank, home movers across the UK may typically need to budget around £12,000 just to cover moving costs.

If you plan to buy a new home, there are expenses to consider such as the land and buildings transaction tax, or England’s stamp duty tax or the Welsh land transaction tax if you go south of the border.

There are also estate agent and legal fees to consider, as well as the cost of a removal firm. And if you’re renting, you may need to consider pulling together a bigger deposit.

Can you afford the house prices or rents in the
 area you are thinking of moving to?

You may be getting a pay rise if you relocate, but consider whether this will be swallowed up by a higher mortgage or rental bill every month. If you’re moving to a bigger town or city, the housing costs may be higher if there is stronger demand for properties in these areas.

High prices can also extend to popular commuting towns, and the cost of your journey into work could also be higher.

What about schools and childcare costs?

If you’re close to grandparents who are helping out with unpaid childcare, your expenses could increase quite dramatically if you move far away, though this might be balanced out by a bigger salary.

Also bear in mind that house prices in locations near popular and highly-rated schools are often significantly higher than those in surrounding areas. For example, recent research from audit firm PwC found that houses within the catchments of the top 10 per cent of England’s primary schools cost around £27,000 more than those in the wider postcode districts.

Will your employer provide you with a relocation package?

Whether it’s your existing employer who is asking you to relocate, or you’re considering going to a new company, you may be able to negotiate a relocation package, particularly if the firm thinks it may help sway your decision. Ask the company’s HR department whether they can help with expenses such as moving costs, transport and any temporary accommodation you may need.

Is working remotely an option?

New technology means it’s easier for many people to work from home at least some of the time now, although this will very much depend on what your job involves.

It may also be possible to stay living where you are but have a longer commute to work. Three-fifths (60 per cent) of men and 59 per cent of women say they are willing to travel for 30-60 minutes to work, if it meant they could avoid relocating, Indeed’s survey also found. But when it came to longer journey times, men were around a third more likely than women to say they would commute for 60-120 minutes in order to avoid relocating.