Editor’s Note: This blog was originally published in June 2017 and has been revised to reflect industry updates.
Did you know the average American moves more than 11 times in their lifetime?
Whether switching jobs, an expanding family, or undergoing other lifestyle or financial changes—many homeowners are choosing to move or relocate for various reasons.
According to a January 2022 report by online global moving industry marketplace Shyft titled “What What Moved America: 2021 Moving Industry Statistics You Should Know,” almost 10 percent of Americans do so each year.
If you’re seeking a larger home and property to accommodate a growing family or 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 people move, such as relocations, financial challenges, additional space, better neighborhoods, and more.
1. Job Changes & Relocations
Relocating for a new job is common, and many people move every few years due to industry and job market trends, better opportunities, and promotions. Homeowners now have greater flexibility, too, with work shifting online and remote or hybrid setups and freelance opportunities more available.
Those with essential, on-site roles might also move based on reducing commuting times and other expenses, such as gas, tolls, and public transportation.
2. Seeking Out a Specific School District
Moving to a higher-rated or different school district is a common reason families relocate. For many purchasing a starter home, this usually isn’t a deciding factor. However, as lifestyles and relationships change, education becomes an important factor. Some buyers choose to move closer to their children’s schools for easier school pick-ups and drop-offs, or if their current district offers limited school bus transportation to and from.
3. Requiring More (or Less) Space
One of the most common reasons for moving is that the space no longer meets the homeowner’s needs. If adding extra rooms isn’t feasible, then it’s prudent to find a home better designed for a growing family. This also applies to remote work 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, for example, or having to stay inside during the summer heat and humidity, moving to a more appealing climate might be best.
Others find they desire a different neighborhood or setting, such as closer 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, then buy a new home when they’re newlyweds. But when relationship situations arise—such as divorce, death, or other unfortunate circumstances—the only choice might be to sell the home.
Other lifestyle changes could include a remarriage, decision to become a caregiver for an elderly relative, or the purchase of a multi-family home as an investment for the future.
6. Financial Issues & Challenges
There are times when a move is spearheaded by job loss, unforeseen expenses, excessive debt, or other financially driven challenges. Rather than fall behind on mortgage payments or risk foreclosure, it’s sometimes better to sell the home to make ends meet.
While this can be a difficult decision, it’s better to relocate to a smaller, more affordable home within your means. In some instances, homeowners might move to another state or region in search of a more affordable cost of living and lower property tax rates.
7. Renting vs. Buying
Many people move because they're currently renting and are now ready to purchase their dream home. This 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 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, equity, and fixed-rate loan options.
For additional insight, read our blog "Renting vs. Buying: Which Is Right For You?"
8. Proximity to Family & Friends
Many Americans moved closer to parents, grandparents, and siblings during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, and this shift continues.
Whether aiding an elderly loved one or cultivating relationships, many have realized the importance of their extended families.
Others might return to hometown areas for childcare assistance from nearby family and friends. Such a support system can go a very long way in achieving peace of mind when relocating.
9. Moving From the City to Suburbs (or Vice Versa)
Many city dwellers who’ve relocated to suburban areas crave larger spaces, backyard areas, and quieter neighborhoods with less traffic and congestion.
While some are first-timers who no longer want to rent in a large, urban area, others might be empty nesters selling their suburban homes to take advantage of big city amenities.
10. Cashing in on Your Home's Equity
With record-setting real estate prices, many are cashing in equity to purchase a higher-priced home they previously couldn’t afford. Some may 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 a starter home, or require a larger space to accommodate a growing family, it’s best to work with a reputable lender such as Contour Mortgage.
Contact Contour Mortgage to learn more about how we can help secure financing for your dream home.