My wife and I are moving to alaska and I need to find a way to fund the move, any suggestions?
I have already secured employement at a good job it just doesn't include relocation expenses, we are moving from where we are because money is so tight so I am running out of resources.
Asked By: Spence - 9/30/2007
I've done this several times. Both to move our stuff up as well as help friends come or go and to move up cars that I purchased "Outside" (of Alaska).
Here's a bunch of info, in no particular order. Mix and match as fits your situtation:
Ryder doesn't rent truck to Alaska. Only U-Haul. Too bad since Ryder's trucks aren't so underpowered. Get a current quote but 9 years ago, it was about $2,500 Seattle to Kenai. Plus gas!!! Figure 2400 miles from Seattle to Anchorage, 8 mpg, US$4/gallon in Canada (most of the miles) and $3/gallon in Alaska. Potentially, if you found someone who needed a car transported, you would rent a dolly or trailer behind the U-haul, and charge them some of your expense. Goggle "drive-away" for matching sites and services.
But you probably want to bring your own car up. So your car would be on the dolly behind the van.
You can hire movers to ship it, but that is much more expensive. About $10,000 last time we paid someone to move up. Cheaper is to hire a 40-foot container. Here's one that advertises in our local paper: American Relocation Services 800-770-7356. From Seattle: $2,750. From Las Vegas: $7,477.
Ideally, sell most stuff, store the heirlooms at Mom's, and bring your clothes up and some kitchen items in duffle bags in your own car. Go light, no where in Alaska do people dress up much. My doctor usually changes out of his dog-mushing Carhartt's for work, but not always. I've been to a wedding in which the groom wore brand new jeans. That was as far as he'd go towards getting dressed up.
Hit the garage sales when you get here (Alaskans move a lot, there seems to be a sale on every other block on Fri-Sat-Sun.
You can take the State Ferry from Bellingham, WA to Haines, AK, but that leaves 800 miles to Anchorage. Check their website for vehicle fares (plus people fares). There is gorgeous scenery going by and you relax for 3 days, but it costs less to drive it.
Road tripping tricks: Bring a pillow! so one of you can nap while the other drives. Beg borrow good tunes. There's no radio reception for 85?f the Alaskan Highway. Bring a small ice chest and stock up in grocery stores in the cities you pass. Eat real food as you drive instead of stopping at greasy spoon restaurants. Spring for a hotel every 2 or 3 nights for a soild night's sleep and a shower. Or just grab showers at campgrounds as you go ($3 to 5/each). Bring a towel and wash up in service stations. Truck stops in the 48 states have $5 showers. Most don't care that you're not a trucker.
If you go with the moving van, you could post an ad on craigslist (Alaska version) offering to move things up (that china cabinet they left at Mom's when they moved up). You might make a few hundred dolloars doing that. Also check with your future co-workers. All Alaskan towns are small towns (even Anchorage) - everyone knows everyone. Ask them to ask around. Maybe someone needs a truck or car or furniture brought up.
Yes, save receipts. Moving expenses, when for employment, are deductable. But you have to itemize (using form 1040). Mileage (onw-way), shipping, supplies, truck rental, lodging on route and temporary lodging count. Meals don't.
Heating, clothing and outdoor play equipment cost more up here (mostly because you use/want more of them). Land is much cheaper and views vastly cheaper than in other states. The upshot is that it is harder to get by flipping burgers in Alaska. But with a professional or skilled-trade salary, you can be on a nicer lot with much nicer scenery than Bill Gates. (I've seen his place. My lot is bigger, my views better, my beach longer. Albeit, my beach is too cold to swim at).
Answered By: David in Kenai - 10/1/2007