Moving Quotes: Binding vs Non-Binding

Sharon  @GoodMigrations

Getting ready to move? Whether its an inter-state, domestic or overseas move, you will want to request quotes from a few moving companies. Getting moving estimates is an important part of the process. Read our 6 Steps in Hiring an International Mover before you begin this process. One of the biggest misconceptions that customers make during the quoting process is thinking that their quote is “binding.” In other words, the price estimate you get before the move is the amount you will pay after the move. This is not true! Why? You may ask? Because some quotes are binding but most, like 90%, are non-binding.

It’s important we understand these terms and understand how they can help or hurt us during our moving process and avoid extra costs on moving day.

BINDING QUOTES

This type of quote is not very common, especially with overseas moves, but it is simple and straight forward. A Binding moving estimate states that the price you are quoted will be the amount you pay on delivery. Regardless if weight or volume increase or decrease. Another good name for this is “fixed priced.” This agreement works out to be the most “fair” agreement if all parties are honest.

A few things to note if you do come across a binding quote.

  • The quote must accurately detail what will be shipped, and the services offered. If you need “extra” services that aren’t included, then you must be billed separately for these.  Long carry charges and shuttle fees are usually not included in a binding quote.
  • For an estimate to be binding a copy of the quote must be provided to the customer prior to the move and it must state it is binding.
  • A copy of your binding agreement must be included with your bill of landing.
  • Ensure everything you want to ship is clearly listed on your inventory sheet. Avoid adding additional items after the agreement has been set. If on moving day, the mover feels you have added items not included then they can refuse service. Typically, a mover won’t make a stink over something small but that is not a guarantee.
    Moving Estimate Image

Read more…

Expat Life as a Millennial LGBTQ

Michael Boateng @GoodMigrations

Hi, my name is Michael Kwadjo (Qweh-joe) Kyei Boateng. I am a first-generation Ghanaian immigrant who feels like an expat of the world.

I was born in New York (shout out to the Bronx!) and raised by my mother. She would send me to live with family around the world while she worked a full-time job as a live-in nurse.

I’ve had the privilege of living in Ghana, England, the Netherlands, Brazil, Australia, and the United States. As an openly Queer African American who rose up from a low-income childhood, I have had several different experiences on how my identity relates to different countries, cities, and communities. Each place I’ve lived abroad has helped teach me something about my own identity and how I can find peace and support to thrive and just be.

I’ve enjoyed learning about all the amazing LGBTQ leaders such as Marsha P. Johnson, Bayard Rustin, Audre Lorde, and more that have opened new frontiers for our community. In honor of Pride Month, I want to reflect on my expat experiences and share a bit so that my fellow LGBTQ community members can find new places around the world to explore and uncover the love and joy of being LGTBQ.

(*Disclaimer, the experiences and insights I plan to share are based on places I’ve lived or visited abroad. I still have a lot to learn about being Queer and the many intricate and intimate forms in which it shows itself. Also, to keep things simple: “Queer”, a term which has several roots and connotations, is how I identify currently. I use Queer predominately as a verb – for me, it means to radically disrupt systems and preconceived notions of gender, sex, and identity. I know, I know, a bit wordy, but truly the term is loaded. If you want to know more, I recommend reading, Queer: A Graphic History by Meg-John Barker or A Queer History of the United States by Michael Bronski.)

The purpose of this guide is to help future LGBTQ members find cities around the world where they can enjoy living and be themselves. Okay, let’s get started! Read more…

Expat Life Guest Posts

Are You Financially Ready to Move to Singapore

Sharon  @GoodMigrations

Singapore has been rated as the best place in the world for expats, but Malaysia isn’t far behind. 55% of expats live in a home they consider nicer than before they moved to Malaysia and 61% find it’s easy to make friends.

Before you make the leap, you need to make sure you are financially ready. Depending on where you currently live, you may be looking forward to lower living costs in either Singapore or Malaysia. Getting your finances in order and understanding all the costs should be your priorities prior to take off.
Singapore Skyline

Living Costs: Malaysia

Despite being a modernized country with plenty of luxuries, Malaysia offers relatively low living costs compared to Europe, Australasia, and North America. It is estimated that a single person could live comfortably in Kuala Lumpur for $470 USD a monthFor that amount you will have a comfortable room in a modern, furnished apartment, you will eat well, and you’ll still have money left over for entertainment and travel.

For additional context, a mid-priced meal for two will cost around $17, while a cheap meal out could come to just $5 per person. Shopping in the local supermarkets and cooking from home makes life affordable for most people on an average American wage. As long as you have enough for several months’ worth of rent and living costs, then you should be all set to make the move.  Read more…

Expat Life

Game of Thrones: Cost of living and real estate comparison

Adam Vagley @goodmigrations

The countdown to the final season of HBO’s Game of Thrones has begun and unless you’ve been living beyond the wall for the last 8 years, you’re probably aware of the exuberant excitement for the premiere.

One of the joys of the show is the incredible film locations that make us feel like we’re in a real world King’s Landing, Dorne, or other faraway parts of “the known world”.

So we thought we’d jump on the GoT bandwagon and show you what it would cost to live like royalty in a real palace in the real world. (Hey HGTV, take note: it’s time to start a Castle Hunters television series. We know Jon Snow would be a fan since he needs some decor inspiration — black fur just isn’t a great look in summer months.)

So here it is, the Game of Thrones Real Estate Comparison.

Game of Thrones Cost of Living Comparison Infographic

 

KING’S LANDING
Film location: Dubrovnik, Croatia
Are there castles for sale here? Yes.
The Palace Soderini is located within Dubrovnik’s walls. It’s got true royal roots since it was built for an exiled member of Florence’s ruling Medici family. It’ll cost you just over $2.5M. That’s €2.2M.

WINTERFELL
Film location: County Down, Northern Ireland
Are there castles for sale here? Yes.
Live like a king in Gilford Castle. With 15 bedrooms and 207 acres, there is plenty of room to spread out.  Spend days hunting on your land or fishing in the river that cuts through it. There are stables, a kennel, and a sawmill on site as well. The cost to live here? $3M or £2.3M.

MEEREEN
Film location: Ait-Ben-Haddou, Morocco
Are there castles for sale here? Not exactly.
Ait-Ben-Haddou doesn’t have any comparable real estate, so we went to the nearest city in Morocco, Ouarzazate. There you’ll find the over-the-top 7th Art Palace, which was built by a movie producer. Each bedroom is themed after a famous movie, such as Cleopatra and Gladiator. This piece of life imitating art will cost you $2.9M (€2.5M).

DORNE
Film location: Seville, Spain
Are there castles for sale here? Si.
While it doesn’t have the Water Gardens, this 10,000 square foot palace with 145 acres of land does have olive groves. Living like the Martells (RIP) will set you back $6.7M (€6.0M).

HIGHGARDEN
Film location: Cordoba, Spain
Are there castles for sale here? Mas o menos.
Lady Olenna Tyrell (also RIP) would approve of this spot since nobility used to own this nine bedroom palace. It’s also the most expensive home on our list; costing you $11.4M (€9.8M). Even the name – “Palacio de Cordoba” – sounds upscale.

BRAAVOS
Film location: Šibenik, Croatia
Are there castles for sale here? Not exactly.
The free city of Braavos…er, Šibenik is fresh out of palaces and sword fighting (the palaces have been turned into museums and the swords are in those museums), but you can still get a palatial six bedroom modern villa in this coastal medieval town. You’ll just need to pony up $1.8M (€1.6M) for the beautifully named – and situated – Villa Novitas.

THE EYRIE
Film location: Meteora, Greece
Are there castles for sale here? Nope, nothing castle-like here besides a UNESCO monastery perched on a mountain, which is a pretty stunning sight.
We’ll admit it: we just picked out the first awesome villa we found. It’s nowhere near Meteora. But it is stunning. Meet The Venetian, situated on the western Greek island of Lefkada. If House Arryn could get a mulligan, they’d probably choose to live here. The price? $2.8M (€2.5M).

Artwork:
Super awesome GoT location icons by Lucía Gómez Alcaide
www.lucecitagmz.com

Real Estate Listings:
King’s Landing: https://bit.ly/2FnRzJs
Winterfell: https://bit.ly/2ukBgIg
Meereen: https://bit.ly/2KHrOFt
Dorne: https://bit.ly/2Uj5niI
Highgarden: https://bit.ly/2MMDCHi
Braavos: https://bit.ly/2UjDR4K
The Eyrie: https://bit.ly/2LJJIYL

Humorous

How Tech is Changing International Relocation

Sharon  @GoodMigrations

Moving overseas can be a difficult decision for many. Whether one is moving for studies, employment or simply a lifestyle change, they will have a few things to consider. These factors include the cost of living, family, the level of security in the foreign land, and expected benefits of the relocation.

Why Employees Avoid Moving Overseas

Workers that have not lived abroad before can be especially skeptical of their first major relocation. Overseas moves can be expensive and stressful, not to mention a potentially drastic culture shock in their new home country.

The employer should take care of any logistical concerns, as well as, prepare them emotionally for their new destination. There is a rise of “relocation counseling,” counseling specializing in the treatment of those who have recently been hired, transferred, or transitioned to an unfamiliar city or environment, in overseas relocations. (Relocation counselors make a decent living if you’re thinking of a career change.)

The employer must also ensure the worker maintains a comparable standard of living in the new country. Typically, this is done with increased financial incentives or bonuses and monitored through satisfaction surveys. And let’s not forget about the children. Employees with kids want reassurance that their children will attend quality schools and their education won’t be compromised. Without the above,  the employee is unlikely to take seriously or accept an offer to move abroad. Read more…

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