A Cross-Country Moving Guide For Physicians
If you’ve accepted a new position at a hospital or medical practice that requires moving across the U.S., you’re about to embark on an exciting new chapter of your life. It can also feel somewhat overwhelming. But don’t fret.
As a doctor, you have certain advantages available to you–through special physician loan mortgage programs–that the general public can’t access. This article will explain what those exclusive opportunities are, as well as guide you through each step in your cross-country moving journey.
And don’t forget to ask your new employer what kind of assistance they can offer with your moving process. Many hospitals offer generous relocation assistance for their new hires.
So what’s the first step in your cross-country move?
Decide Where You’d Like To Live
One of the most important steps in the moving process is deciding where you’d like to set up shop for the next chapter of your life.
If you’re commuting to a specific hospital or practice for every shift, you might be slightly more restricted to a given area (depending on how far of a commute you’re willing to have, that is).
But even with that factored in, you should be able to find a wide range of unique and appealing housing options if you know what you’re looking for. The main thing is to examine your priorities openly and honestly:
- Are you looking for top schools for your kids?
- Is it important to you to be in an area with lots of culture? Museums, restaurants, theaters, and concerts, etc.
- Would you rather live in the city or the suburbs?
- Are you willing to tolerate a long commute to work, or would you prefer a quick and easy drive?
As long as you’re specific about your wants and priorities, you should be able to find a great home in essentially any part of the U.S. Especially with all the benefits of a physician mortgage, which we’ll cover shortly.
Go House Hunting
Once you’ve decided on what you’re looking for in your next home, the real fun begins, house hunting.
Here are a few quick tips to help you stay mentally organized as your moving process develops:
- Be very clear about setting your budget. (If you get a physician mortgage, your spending power will be significantly higher.)
- Create a list of your “no-compromise” items. These are the things you absolutely must have in a house, whether it’s a large yard, marble countertops, or anything else.
- Get preapproved for your doctor loan before you start house hunting. This will make the house buying process much faster and simpler.
- Most of the early stages of house hunting take place online. Whether you use Zillow, Realtor.com, or another website, remember to save lists of your favorite homes to stay mentally organized.
- Walk the neighborhood during the day and at night. Really understand the traffic patterns and the people.
Get Your Mortgage Squared Away
One of the major benefits of being a doctor is that you have access to an exclusive type of home loan called a physician mortgage. This is because banks recognize that doctors are very likely to be reliable borrowers with significant earning power.
These programs offer benefits that aren’t available with conventional mortgages, such as:
- 0% down payment requirement, with no private mortgage insurance (PMI)
- Leniency on your debt-to-income ratio (DTI)
- Higher loan limits than a conventional mortgage
- Loan limit based on your new higher-paying job (RVU–base income only)
Just as importantly, a physician mortgage can pave the way for a stress-free cross-country move with your family. You’ll be able to close on your new home 90 days before your start date at your new hospital or medical office.
For instance, if you start on July 1st–a common start date for doctors–you could close by April 3rd. Your first payment would then be June 1st.
This would give you 3 months to settle into your new home, explore the area a bit, get your kids ready for school, or finish up anything else you needed to do before starting work. With a conventional mortgage, you’d have to cram that entire process into 2 or 3 weeks at most.
And remember that cash creates options: if you have financial reserves in place to cover payments beyond that 90-day window, you might be able to close even earlier. This is a huge benefit to physician mortgages, and you would not be able to access it through a normal loan.
Apply for a physician mortgage today to give yourself and your family the gift of a stress-free move across the country.
Prepare For Your Relocation
At this point in your moving process, it might be tempting to bask in the afterglow of all the money you saved with your physician mortgage. But there’s more to be done. You’re now in the preparation stage.
Make sure you do the following to get ready for moving day:
- Research moving companies and purchase plane tickets, if you don’t plan on driving.
- Set a cancellation date for any recurring bills that may have been related to your old house, such as the wi-fi, cable, and utilities.
- If you have kids, get copies of their school records for the enrollment process in their new schools.
- If you have pets, make sure you get their tags updated, as well as their microchip info if you have them chipped.
- Have your mail forwarded to your new address.
After you have all of that in order, you’ll almost be at the last step of your cross-country moving journey: moving day.
Move Into Your New Home & Start Your New Job
Your moving day doesn’t have to be full of stress if you plan it effectively. Just keep a positive attitude, a sense of adventure, and follow these tips for an easy relocation:
- Remember to turn on the utilities in your new home, as the previous owner will have turned them off before your arrival.
- As you’re packing, create a separate “moving day” bag or backpack that contains the items you’ll want easy access to on moving day, and keep it separate as you’re packing boxes.
- If you closed on your home early through your physician loan, make sure you have some plans to help your kids enjoy the summer before school starts again.
From start to finish, an effective relocation is about thinking ahead and staying mentally clutter-free. Our physician mortgages can help you do just that.
Give Yourself The Gift Of A Seamless Move
You worked incredibly hard to get where you are: in medical school, in your residency, and in your career up to this point. At least give yourself a break when it comes to your cross-country move.
And there’s no better way to do that than with a doctor mortgage loan designed around your needs. After all, what could be better than closing 90 days early on your dream home, with no PMI and zero money down?