After discussing your property requirements we present you with an overview of the property market in your target area that will include:
1. Introduction to purchasing and renting property
2. What to expect from Realtors/Estate Agents
3. Area/Location summary. Both good and bad!
4. Location facilities such as schools, shopping medical facilities, sports and leisure.
5. Negotiating the price
6. Surveys and valuations (If necessary)
7. Financial options - mortgages, deposits, loans, taxes etc
8. Legal and contractual issues
9. Process summary and timescale report.
What we aim to do is create a property profile, a sort of home wish list, then we find it for you and your family. We undertake far-reaching searches in your chosen area, inspecting properties then presenting them to you in our report that includes photographs and descriptions, condition and location for a selection of properties that most closely match your property profile.
We ask you to shortlist a few (perhaps 3 - 5) that we will usually view with you so you can make a final choice. Unless you prefer to do it yourself, we will negotiate the best purchase or rental price for you within the perameters you set.
If you need services such as lawyers, morgage providers, shipping/removals or surveyors we will introduce you to cost effective and professional practitioners who can be relied on.
Once terms have been agreed, Radstones carefully monitors progress, reporting back to you at regular intervals. With your authorisation we will liaise with all parties involved, ensuring any problems are kept to a minimum and resolved.
We will arrange for you and/or your family to visit your destination area prior to moving usually collecting you from the airport or your hotel.
We will accompany you throughout your visit, taking you to neighbourhoods, schools, recreation facilities, commercial centers, shopping centers and other locations that might be of interest. We usually devote up to two full days for orientation visits depending on your timescale and are happy to plan them for weekend if you prefer.
Ideally, property viewings can form part of your orientation visit, thus providing an ideal opportunity to finalize many details in just one trip. Rental properties do not normally stay available for very long in populay location so we recommend early viewings.
If education facilities are required we would normally pre-schedule appointments with suitable schools with the Principal and/or Head of Year relevant to each child.
Accompanied visits can be extended if required, although we find that many families prefer to explore on their own after the "official" orientation days.
SCHOOLS / HIGHER EDUCATION SEARCH
We will research the state and private (Public) schools in the destination neighborhood, advising on student achievement levels, staffing ratios, fee structure, extra-curriculur activities and so on, producing a report and recommendations.
In certain countries there are strict catchment criteria for schools and we will advise on which streets (and even which side of the street!) it is necessary to live on for children to be elegible to attend.
For younger children we research the availability of creches, kindergarden and infant schools, again preparing a report that details staffing levels, fee structure and any performance reports.
For further or higher education, and subject to each family member's needs we take a brief then research suitable institutions including universities, colleges, technical colleges, vocational training, courses and voluntary work locally and further afield, producing a report detailing potentially suitable options.
We usually try to pre-schedule appointments with the Principal and/or Head of Year at suitable facilities for during the Orientation visit.
COST OF LIVING COMPARISON
Understanding your basic living costs is a critical element of every successful relocation.
Property costs, rent levels, food prices, travel costs, local taxes and utility prices all vary from country to country and also between regions and neighborhoods. It is important for transferees to understand these costs so they are not penalized when they move.
Using a basket of services and products that includes necessities and luxuries we are able to create direct cost of living comparisons between your home location and your destination town or city.
As a minimum we include:
Utilities, food, local taxes, property rental and purchase prices, public transport, state and national taxes, internet and broadband, pay-for TV, eating out, motor fuel, alcoholic drinks, cell (mobile) phones, clothing and schools/education.
We want to ensure that you are able to maintain your current lifestyle without unplanned for financial surprises.
Please ask for our FREE cost of living comparison report.
VISAS, WORK PERMITS AND DRIVERS LICENCES
Obtaining the correct visa and work permit can be complicated and is time consuming.
For example, there are around 30 different immigrant visa categories for the US and the UK operates a 5 tier range of visa types for workers that are not from the European Economic Area (EEA). If you intend to stay in France for longer than 90 days you will need a visa de long sejour!
Radstones works alongside specialist lawyers to ensure that our Clients receive fast-track visa and work permit processing for when, and where they are needed. Because they deal with visa applications on a daily basis our lawyers have contacts in the relevant country's government visa departments that ensure we receive priority treatment on behalf of our Clients.
Similarly, transferring a drivers licence from one country's system to anothers needs careful management. It is often necessary to attend a local facility to obtain a new licence. We will normally arrange for this to be done during the first few days at the destination location, and we can drive/accompany you if preferred.
Long term leasing or renting a vehicle will often require that you have a local drivers licence beforehand - particularly in the US. This, and other requirements are addressed during our discussions with you so that the relevant processes and documents can be put in place.
TRAILING PARTNER SUPPORT AND EMPLOYMENT
Most expat partners are accidental global citizens due to their partner receiving a job offer, or relocating with their current employer. For many working partners, relocating overseas often means sacrificing their own career as employment opportunities may be limited or restricted.
In a recent survey of over 14,000 expats, 84% of trailing partners were female and many of them were highly educated. However, according to the same survey, only 24% of them had jobs in their new location, the remainder stay at home and do not work. Many are unable to find suitable work assignments that utilize their skills and are within an appropriate salary range.
It is very important for expat trailing partners to understand that moving overseas is a big decision. Moving and leaving your career means your life is entering a new stage and it vital that your sense of self-worth is not lost and time needs to be taken to redefine your identity in the new location.
When a partner has to give up their work we are able to support and advise them on the best ways of finding employment in their new country, including Resume/CV writing, introductions to industry specific recruitment specialists and Head Hunters.
Social networking is a useful tool to help facilitate a fast acclimatisation so we go to great lengths to understand each trailing partners motivation, interests, hobbies and pastimes so that relevant groups can be researched and introduction opportunities made available.
Finding a new role that fully utilises a person's skills, qualities and experience can be challenging, and in a competitive market the right interview coaching, general advice and support will help increase the likelihood of a suitable role being offered.
Pet relocation can be a tricky business. The majority of countries have strict legistation to minimise the risk of spreading diseases such as rabies, screwworm, foot-and-mouth and TB plus infestations.
Certain regions and countries encourage the use of Pet Passports for domestic pets. This generally means that the pet does not have to stay in quarantine for up to six months at the arrival port or airport, but can join it's family straight away.
Importing horses in the USA involves mandatory quarantine and one of a number of specialist holding units. The regulations are quite complex. For instance, horses and other equines imported into the United States from countries affected with screwworm or Venezuelan equine encephalitis (VEE) must undergo a 7 day quarantine on arrival in the US.
We will advise you on the processes, necessary documentation and vaccinations required, managing the process from collection at home through to delivery to the new home.
PACKING / SHIPPING / UNPACKING
Radstones works alongside carefully selected international and domestic shippers.
We provide a specification for shippers to quote against including a collection and delivery timetable. We usually obtain three separate quotations for each relocation as services vary in terms of packing-shipping-unpacking.
The majority of overseas relocations will include sea freight for the bulk of your possessions, so please bear in mind that when sea freight, customs clearance and then land delivery are taken into account it can often take up to six weeks to receive your possessions.
Due to the transit time issues, we recommend two short-term accommodation solutions. Either temporary furnished accommodation (usually called Corporate Housing or Serviced Accommodation) on a week-by-week basis, or a furniture rental package at your new home, also supplied on a week-by-week basis.
There are occasions when you may decide to rent out your current home and furniture while you are away (Usually during a short, fixed term relocation often of two years or less). We can arrange and oversee the rental of your home in your absence. We have undertaken this service for more than 650 properties.
CULTURAL AND LANGUAGE TRAINING
More accurately called Cross Cultural Training, it is vital to pre-equip relocating families with the tools they need to survive and thrive in their new location.
Radstones works alongside carefully vetted and selected specialists to provide the training. We also provide a range of information sheets that highlight basic cultural and language data. This will all help you to develop the intercultural expertise necessary to succeed in a global marketplace.
Training combines a mix of one-to-one sessions and remote learning that lead to an understanding of the cultural differences (and similarities), business etiquette, dining etiquette, public holidays and the reasons behind them and many more "differences" from country to country, even often overlooked once such as computer keyboard layouts!
A few simple examples of differences in a common language can be highlighted by comparing the USA and England:
When you're introduced to a business person in Japan you must carefully read both sides of their business card before continuing. To just glance at it then put it in your pocket is an insult.
Never make the finger and thumb "okay" gesture in certain countries in south America as it is considered to be extremely rude!
As you can see from the above, language training is not all about past, present and future tenses, it has to include the day-to-day nuances of life as well.
Ethic integration and communities also play strong roles in aiding the understanding of local culture.
In England they drive on the left-hand side of the street
The sidewalk is called the pavement
In England the first floor is called the Ground floor, and the 2nd floor is the first floor
In the US a biscuit is a buttery bread roll, but in England its a cookie
The UK calls a 5 foot bed king size and a 6 foot one is super king
The cars trunk is its boot and the hood is the bonnet
VEHICLES: SHIPPING - BUYING - LEASING
To take your car abroad, or leave it at home/sell it?
Unless you have a classic or expensive car it is usually easier and better to lease or rent at your destination location. Please be aware that a reasonable credit rating is often a pre-requisite when leasing or renting.
Radstones works with a global corporation that can supply vehicles at competitive rates in over 25 countries.
We can arrange the vehicle for before or after you move. With our program there are no restrictions on when you can start, and used as well as new vehicles are available, so costs cab be tightly controlled.The other major benefit is that no credit history will be needed in the destination country.
Shipping your own vehicle
Generally, unless your vehicle is a cherished or vintage model it is unlikely that shipping it abroad will be cost or time efficient. If the decision is made to ship a vehicle we can manage the process from collection to delivery, although it should be remembered that temporary vehicles will need to be available during the shipping process.
In most countries you will need to obtain a local drivers licence within a limited period if you wish to continue driving in your destination location, your existing licence will not suffice.
It is important to note that vehicles rented in the US may be restricted to staying within the state where they were rented.
Top selling cars US v's UK
Interesting facts about the top five types and numbers of cars (excluding pickups) sold in 2019 in each country:
1. Toyota Rav 4
2. Honda CRV
3. Nissan Rogue
4. Chevrolet Equinox
5. Toyota Camry
Total sales volume for all of the above was 1,865,712 units
The first "Native" American car was the Jeep Grand Cherokee that was in 13th position with 242,969 units sold.
1. Ford Fiesta
2. VW Golf
3. Ford Focus
4. Vauxhall Corsa
5. Mercedes-Benz A Class
Total sales volume for all of the above was 311,419 units which is about the same number of Honda Civics (325,650) sold in the same period in the US.
ETHNIC INTEGRATION AND COMMUNITIES
Moving to a new country, particularly for families that have strong religious beliefs and practices can be extremely stressful as their need to integrate whith the right community can be more pressing than for people that are generally "non-practicing".
At an early stage in the initial consultation we ask about what you will need from and in your local community in terms of belief support and networking. We then research to find the best-fit community for you in your new location, providing relevant information (and often contacts) so you can start your integration before you even leave home.
Experience shows that this early-stage interaction with the destination community helps to make the whole move less stressful for all family members and the trailing partner often has a ready-made network to welcome them to their new community and home.
This also impacts positivly on our school and home searches allowing us to more closely match locations with existing communities.
MEDICAL: DOCTORS, DENTISTS, COMPLIMENTARY PRACTITIONERS
During the pre-move discussions we will note broad background information about each family member's general medical requirements in terms of doctors, dentists and complimentary practitioners.
We do understand that sensitive medical information has to be dealt with in strict confidence and we never ask about anything other than broad requirements. If an individual chooses to tell us more so that we understand their needs and worries they can be assured that we will not discuss the details with anyone other than on an authorized need-to-know basis. We're happy to agree and sign confidentiality clauses if asked to do so. (This is also covered by our Client Confidentiality Agreement that we agree with all Clients)
Many countries do not operate a free health service, and health insurance is likely to be an additional necessary expense - we will advise you accordingly regarding the country you are relocating to.
Once we understand the needs of the whole family we will research and contact siutable practitioners, reporting back with our findings and recommendations.
Corporate Housing is commonplace in the US and Canada, and a growing trend in other countries where it is often termed Serviced Accommodation.
In the short to medium term this is often a preferred alternative to hotel bedrooms as the additional space allows you to work in comfort and provides all the family with a home base where they can relax until the permanent accommodation is ready.
Rental prices for the entire apartment are similar to hotel bedrooms yet you get a full kitchen, appliances, full size dining table, desk and work area as well as a lounge with soft furnishings and a full-size TV. Separate bedrooms usually have en-suite bathrooms and closets.
The apartment buildings often have on-site parking, health club facilities and pool plus concierge service all included in the rental cost.
Our long-term association with corporate housing operators also means we are usually able to negotiate preferrential rates for our Clients.
We also offer a range of ADDITIONAL SERVICES, please see Additional Services in the Corporate section of this website