Like everyone impacted by the housing market, we’ve been keeping our eyes peeled for news that could swing the pendulum, for good or for bad. Last month, we were happy to hear that The Federal Housing Authority is shortening the mandatory waiting period to purchase a home from 3-5 years to one year. The new guidance is part of the FHA’s Back to Work – Extenuating Circumstances Program, which allows borrowers who lost their homes due to financial hardships to be eligible for an FHA mortgage.
Temporary living can be a doozy of a line item in a relocation budget.
Employers, capped-budget transferees, and even those who really do care how much their move costs their company (yes, some really do!) can find themselves sticker shocked from temporary living totals. Occasionally, we are confronted for overcharging for temporary living arrangements we have made. The reality, however, is that temporary living charges are directly passed through to our clients with no markup. Here’s what’s happening.
Back in February, we discussed how important it is for relocation managers to be as consistent as possible when granting exceptions. Inconsistent exceptions not only pit employees against each other, but they can also bloat the overall relocation budget. That’s why a lot of savvy HR and relocation professionals are adamant about documenting the details behind the exceptions they grant. Later on when a similar situation comes up, or even at the end of the year when you are planning budgets, it’s just too hard to remember the rationale behind certain decisions.
It’s busy season. Do you know who your transferees are?
You cannot properly execute any relocation without knowing who you are moving. When busy season hits, you are no longer dealing with one or two transferees. Instead, you are dealing with whole groups of people, so the challenge is figuring out how to satisfy the majority.
You swore them off four years ago. “Never again,” you said.
Never say never.
The tables are turning and the Guaranteed Buyout is making a comeback beyond the most senior executives. It’s hard to imagine now but, before the recession, the GBO was common in many organizations. Back then, employees were concerned that the historic data used to determine price didn’t account for the appreciation that was driving values higher…almost daily. It wasn’t a big problem, however, because most houses sold quickly and at prices that were higher than the appraised offer. At the end of the day, everyone was happy. Sigh…we didn’t know how lucky we all were.
Is the housing market coming back? We sure hope so. Recent reports show a 14 percent growth in the market since January which, by all accounts, is a great sign leading into the Spring and Summer seasons. While we have every reason to be optimistic about a sustainable recovery, there are bound to be slow growth areas in pockets around the country. For this reason, we want to remind relocation managers to remain diligent in finding solutions for hard to sell homes.
With relocation busy season around the corner, relocation managers are probably dusting off their policies and taking a good look at relocation budgets. But, how realistic are those budgets? One of the biggest challenges that human resources and procurement managers face is the difficulty of designing a proper relocation budget and then sticking to it when the rubber hits the road. That’s why clear cost projections are the linchpins that connect cost containment with adequate relocation benefit delivery. In order to ensure clear projections, its critical to get the most accurate view of anticipated costs right out the gate, preferably before an offer has been extended to the potential transferee.
When it comes to relocation, I think we all want the same thing: an employee that is happy, focused and engaged in their work at the new location. With the ever changing relocation environment and a less than ideal economy, however, many companies have made major cuts to policies offered to transferring employees. In addition to corporate changes, the same issues have led employees to evaluate relocation opportunities even more carefully than they have in the past. So, the question is, how can you design relocation policies to fit your company budget but also attract your necessary talent?