5 things to have cleared up before moving overseas:
Sell your cars
Find a tenant for your house
Have your transport of your possessions sorted
Buy good quality suitcases and weigh them
Have your 12 week old daughters passport sorted
Kia Ora! it has been a while since I have typed out one of these blogs and as you can see its because I've had a bit on.
Since my last post I have had the birth of my daughter, changed jobs and moved twice; once to Alex's parents, and second to Australia. Whilst its great living over the road from the beach and in a slightly warmer climate, getting here can only be described as turbulent. Hopefully the mistakes I made with moving can be to your benefit and avoid some of the emotional roller-coasters we've been on over the last month or two.
1. Sell Your Cars:
Cash flow is king they say and in moving to a new country, having some cash is quite handy, whether that's buying beds, furniture, food, hiring a car and paying a bond on your new rental. They also say ego is the enemy and the market rules! In selling my truck I made the mistake of sticking with the price I desired and not what the market was willing to pay and thus when we left New Zealand my truck was still on Trade Me and we were a good number of dollars out of pocket. How we got into this hole was not getting things sorted like warrants, regos and in the case of my truck road user chargers, which meant we were late to getting our cars up for sale. If you do end up in a hole like we did, a good place to sell a car is Turners Auctions. Whilst again, this will only get you a market rate, it can free up some cash to aid in your move. As I found out, they will not sell cars first registered in Australia however. So here's me less than 24 hours before we are due to leave, racing around Pukekohe, trying to get Alex's car a warrant then hooning up the motorway to Penrose to drop it in, only to realise being registered to her I needed an Authorisation of sale. A good tip is to stay calm and problem solve - bringing up some important documents like Alex's passport, her bank account and our shared lease agreement for Australia was enough to prove to the consultant that I wasn't fobbing off a stolen car and was able to get Alex to sign the authorisation when I got home that night, less than 12 hours before our flight.
2. Find a tenant for your house
Again the market sets the price, and you should have this organised well in advance, we thought we were doing a good job getting this started about a month out, however two months may be a better time frame, one to create interest and allow people to view your place, and a second for them to sort out their current commitments and arrange moving their stuff etc.
I also don't advise renovating a bathroom and installing a kitchen extractor unit the week you move out, however if you are crazy like Alex and I, ensure you have useful family members on hand and a builder for a neighbour to help you out.
3. Have your transport of your possessions sorted
We have been in Aussie 3 weeks now and our stuff was only picked up from Alex's parents a week and a half ago. Transport to Australia can take anywhere from 6-10 weeks so having it picked up before you leave and making do in the familiar surroundings of New Zealand will make moving into your new home a bit more familiar and homely instead of just having one Kmart occasional chair for the first 2 months. And a mattress on the floor...and fridge downstairs in the garage because Alex couldn't lift it upstairs. We chose to leave our appliances and furniture behind and buy stuff over here, as mentioned in point one, having slow cash flow has made this difficult but we are beginning to find our feet.
4. Buy good quality suitcases and weigh them
The day before we flew out we looked at our stuff and then at our luggage and decided "hey, we better do something about this!" Surprise, surprise Briscoes was having a sale (how lucky were we to catch that *sarc*) and we both got a good 72L case each, however, 72L is a lot of luggage. Each suitcase was over 25kg and cost us an extra $240 at check in, eeek (bear in mind, it cannot be loaded onto the aircraft if over 32kg)! So weigh your cases and spread them across your luggage. Also don't skimp on your ticket and pre-purchase extra bags- if with Air NZ, you can book these using Air points. One beauty of flying with an infant is the ability to check in two of their items, we didn't really make the most of this and fill her pram with our gear but it was awesome to be able to get her pram and car seat across free of charge, and we used our forth checked bag to fly over her bednest.
5. Have your 12 week old daughters passport sorted
There's an old builders adage of measure twice, cut once, well when it comes to filling in forms for the government it might be "read over twice send once". In the final few days we still hadn't heard about Billie's passport and on inquiring (and having to upgrade priority) we found out that I had put the name of the witness instead of Billie's on the back of her photo's. This had meant the process had stopped while they tried to get in contact with the witness to verify with him, although the witness was in China and unable to be contacted. Cue mad panic to get a new witness among all the rest, and getting Billie's tongue tie treated at the dentist ($650 on top of everything else)..... needless to say stress levels were high.
So as you can see Alex, Billie and I have some hilarious going's on to look back on and laugh, but at the time all you wanted to do was cry. Alex's folks said, "if you can survive this you can survive anything" and we all couldn't believe we pulled it off when we checked into the airport successfully. Hopefully you can learn from our mistakes and if moving overseas having some of these things sorted can save you a few less headaches.. literally Alex had a headache for 3 days when we moved here.