Moving Back
March 10, 2011 7:04 AM   Subscribe

My wife and two kids will be moving back to the U.S. after ten years out of the country. We have 7 months to plan and prep for our move. How do we do this with minimal pain?

My wife and kids ( 2 1/2 and 8 months ) are currently living in Bermuda. My contract with my current employer is done at the end of October 2011. We have to leave the island per immigration laws. We will be most likely be moving to Austin Texas. We may or may not have jobs lined up. We will be selling almost everything we own besides clothes, computers, and gadgets. We will basically be doing a complete refresh of everything including cars, furniture, dishes, etc.

I am looking for ideas and strategies for moving your family, with special consideration for the fact that we have been out of the country and the fact that we may or may not have jobs lined up. I am a I.T. Project Manager and my wife is an Accountant if that matters. Neither of us have valid U.S. driver's licenses. We have excellent credit. We have a good amount of money in the bank.

My three biggest concerns are:

1) Finding a place to rent in the short-term before we decide to buy. Remember, we are out of the country and can't just pop by. What's the easiest way to do this and find a great place? Am I going to run into some roadblocks considering I may or may not have a job lined and can't prove ongoing income? We don't have a problem paying a premium for help and rent to ensure our first year is built on a great foundation.

2) Getting a couple cars on the road and insured. Again, we currently don't have U.S. driver's licenses and may not have jobs. Can I just walk in the dealership and say I want two cars, here is my bermuda drivers license and I want a 3 year lease?

3) Health Insurance. What's the best way to get my family covered if we don't have jobs lined up in the short term? Yes, I know it is going to be expensive. What are my options if I have to join the unemployed for a short while?

Outside of those specifics, please tell me how you have successfully moved regardless if you were out of the country or not. Packing techniques, logistics, checklists, etc. Help us move and not kill each other in the process.
posted by jasondigitized to Travel & Transportation around United States (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Do you know anyone in Austin? You could look online for apartments/rentals and then if some look promising, have them check them out in person for you to ensure they're what they say they are.
posted by hepta at 7:32 AM on March 10, 2011

Can you find a sublet on CL based on photos? If it's only for say, two months, it won't matter too much if it sucks and you can look around in the meantime for something more permanent. Lots of sublets are furnished, too.
posted by GastrocNemesis at 7:49 AM on March 10, 2011

For the cars, you could do a long-term (few months) rental, until you have everything worked out with your state-side drivers licenses and have time to get everything else set up.
posted by chiefthe at 8:01 AM on March 10, 2011

You can also do long-term "residence inn" style hotels. You might opt to stay at one of those for two weeks or a month while surveying the rental market and the housing market. It's a little trickier with kids, but you can usually do at least basic home cooking and they cost less than a hotel-hotel.

Common for folks moving to an entirely new area of the country who have limited advance-recon ability to do a stay in a residence-inn-type hotel.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:04 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you aren't worried about expense, then get a three month corporate apartment rental. Those places have furniture, towels, silverware, get the picture. They are expensive, but you can go month to month. Oakwood is one popular company, but Google corporate apartment rental. You'll have tons of options.

I've done the cross country move a few times and having a short term apartment/landing spot is a big help. You can get your bearings in the new city without having to commit to a long lease.
posted by 26.2 at 9:34 AM on March 10, 2011

As far as health insurance...have you considered getting a catastrophic plan? When my new job had a waiting period for insurance, I was able to get a plan for me and my son where I paid the first $5000 in costs and the rest was covered at 100%. I think I paid about $200 per month for about 6 months.

If you go to you can compare different plans and rates.
posted by Shark Tail at 9:15 AM on March 17, 2011

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