Editor’s Note: This blog was originally published in June 2017 and has been revised to reflect industry updates.
With the housing market currently experiencing an upswing due to low interest and mortgage rates, alternative financing options such as government-backed loans, and an influx of first-time home buyers, many consumers are choosing to move or relocate.
Whether you’re switching jobs, expanding your family, or have undergone other lifestyle or financial changes due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, you’re not alone.
Of the 1,000 respondents surveyed for the “Neighbor 2020-2021 American Migration Report” conducted by its namesake storage-sharing app, 20 percent more said they plan to move this year than in 2020 based on job changes, financial challenges, or additional space requirements.
If you’re seeking a larger home and property to accommodate a growing family, are a first-time homebuyer, or empty-nester looking to downsize, it’s best to work with a local, reputable lender, such as Contour Mortgage.
Learn more about the top reasons why people move, such as relocations, financial challenges, additional space, change of scenery or neighborhood, and others.
1. Job Changes & Relocations
Relocating for a new job is common, and many people move every few years due to industry, employment type, and position. Homeowners have even more flexibility, with work shifting toward more remote setups and freelance opportunities.
Those with essential, on-site roles might move based on commuting time and other expenses, such as gas, tolls, and public transportation.
2. Seeking Out a Specific School District
Moving to a better or different school district is a common reason for families to relocate. For many purchasing a starter home, this usually isn’t a deciding factor. As lifestyles and relationships change, however, the need for a specific school district becomes an important factor.
Some buyers choose to move closer to their place of employment for easier pick-up and drop-off processes, or if their current district offers limited school bus transportation.
3. Needing More (or Less) Space
One of the most common reasons for moving is that the space no longer meets homeowner needs. If adding extra rooms or other living spaces aren’t feasible, then it’s prudent to find a home designed for a growing family.
As aforementioned, this also applies to remote work and distance-learning arrangements requiring a home office or other quiet area.
Many empty-nesters are downsizing to smaller spaces, such as condominiums or co-ops, townhouses, or other lower-maintenance dwellings.
4. Change of Scenery
Sometimes it's not the actual house people are looking to change, but rather, its location. If you dislike shoveling snow in the winter, or having to stay inside during the summer heat and humidity, moving to a more appealing climate might be best.
Others find they require a different neighborhood or setting, such as proximity to parks, beaches, entertainment, shopping, highways, public transportation, and other amenities.
If you’re relocating to a new city or state, it’s best to inquire with a mortgage lender boasting multiple locations throughout the United States. With expertise on local real estate markets and lending processes, these professionals can assist with a seamless transition.
5. Relationship/Lifestyle Changes
Many couples move in together, or buy a new home when they’re newly married. But when relationship situations arise—such as divorce, death, or other unfortunate circumstances—the only choice might be to sell the home.
Other changes could include a newly blended family resulting from a remarriage, the decision to become a caregiver for an elderly relative, or purchasing a multi-family home as an investment for the future.
6. Financial Issues & Challenges
Many homeowners experienced job loss, furloughs, or other financial challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Rather than fall behind on mortgage payments, or risk foreclosure, many sold their homes to make ends meet.
While this is a challenging situation, it’s better to relocate to a smaller, more affordable home whereby you and your family can live within your means. In some instances, consumers might move to another state or region in search of more affordable cost of living and property tax rates.
7. Renting vs. Buying
Many people move because they're currently renting and are now ready to purchase their dream home. Buying a home is the best decision if you’re looking to set down roots in a specific community or area. Other benefits include stability, personalizing your own space, and the freedom to make improvements, upgrades, and additions—none of which are possible when renting.
Buying can also produce long-term savings, such as tax benefits and rebates, and stable, fixed-rate loan options.
For additional insight, read our blog “Renting vs. Buying: Which Is Right for You?”
8. COVID-19 Related Lifestyle Changes
As aforementioned, many homeowners experienced various COVID-19-related financial and lifestyle changes. With these factors in mind, moving to a new home, city, or state was the best decision.
According to a survey conducted by Washington, D.C.-based think tank Pew Research Center, approximately 1 in 5 Americans moved as a result of COVID-19, or knew someone who did. Most respondents also said the move was due to unemployment, financial struggles, or having to move in with family members as a result.
9. Moving From the City to Suburbs (or Vice Versa)
With many city dwellers relocating to suburban areas, these potential buyers now require a larger space, backyard area, or quieter neighborhoods with less traffic and congestion.
While some are first-timers who no longer want to rent in a large, urban area, others are selling their suburban homes to take advantage of an attractive real estate market, low rates, and multiple offers.
10. Cashing in on Your Home's Equity
With record-setting real estate prices, many are cashing in on their equity to purchase a higher-priced home they previously couldn’t afford. Others might use these additional funds for a larger space in a more reasonably priced area with lower cost-of-living expenses.
Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer seeking your dream property, or an empty nester downsizing, it’s best to work with a reputable lender such as Contour Mortgage to help navigate the best location and financial solutions.
Contact Contour Mortgage to learn more about how we can help secure financing for your dream home.