For physicians pursuing opportunities in a new community after completing training or making a career move, managing the relocation process can be daunting because of the numerous logistics and obstacles involved. While the prospect of starting a new position in a new community may be exciting, relocating physicians may find that moving the entire household is a bigger job than they anticipated. One way to make the experience less stressful is to set a timeline that starts long before the move, and then adhere to it to the extent possible. It’s also helpful to obtain professional help from real estate agents—in both the current and future communities–who are experienced in the relocation process and associated services. Following is a general timeline that may streamline the moving process: The interview process (4 to 6 months in advance of target start date). Three to four weeks before the interview(s) begin, set time with a Realtor to tour neighborhoods and homes in the prospective destination.

The packing process (4 to 5 months in advance of target start date). If the current home is owned, ask the Realtor to prepare a market analysis and sales price range, and to advise on whether the home should be sold or rented based on market conditions. Many homeowners are opting for the latter; the National association of Realtors in October 2011 reported an increase of 1.4 million rental households over the previous year. The mortgage process (3 to 4 months in advance of target start date). Specialized mortgage loans for medical professionals are generally the most cost- effective option. The products are designed to accommodate incrementally rising income levels, by offering low- on no-down payment options and without penalizing borrowers for medical- education debt in initial qualification ratios. For an overview, go to Steve Charlett is the Managing Broker/Owner of Doctor Relocation, LLC, in Aurora, Colorado, and a member of the Worldwide Employee Relocation Council.