Back in May the US Census Bureau started releasing information from the latest Census. One of the points that I found amazing is that between 2009 and 2010 more than 16.4 million people (four out of every ten) moved for housing-related reasons. Over the years I’ve been compiling my list of why people move and thought I’d share it with you.
The number 1 reason people move is because of a job change. That may be because of a promotion, one or more of the family members getting the job of their dreams, to cut down on the daily commute (most people find anything over an hour okay for a year or so but much longer than that it becomes a total drag), or just that they’re moving to an area with better job prospects in their chosen career field than their current location.
The number 2 reason people move is because the size of the home no longer fits their needs. Sometimes their home is too small. Their “starter home” is cozy and they love it but their growing family is quickly running out of space. And on the other end of the spectrum often the home that was once appropriate is now just too big. This used to be primarily “empty-nesters” or retirees, but for many good reasons downsizing is being considered a sensible option for a much wider cross-section of our population.
Third is what I call “the upgrade”. People get promotions and raises and have the opportunity to buy the home of their dreams. Sometimes they just want a bigger, grander, upscale home to impress other people. Other times it’s because they love entertaining. And many times it’s because they consider it a great investment for the current stage of their life.
People also move because there are changes in their personal life: they get married or divorced; their family size changes with the birth of a child or the death of a loved-one; their declining health makes it difficult for them to navigate their homes safely; or they need to be near to (or for that matter away from) family members.
Then there are what I call the “forced” moves – especially with the freakish weather we’ve been having lately, people can be displaced because of natural disasters. Not much to say about this one except that nature can change oceanfront property to a sandbar in about 24 hours.
It has also been my experience that people will move to “fix” a mistake they believe they made when the purchased their home. Often it’s because the unconventional layout with the kitchen at the other end of the house from the garage or that sunken living room tripping hazard really doesn’t work for them. Other times it’s because contrary to what they thought, being under the flight path for the airport really does bother them.
And last, but not least, is what I call “moving because of the neighbors-from-hell“. In general terms, people move because they experience changes to their neighborhood that they find less desirable. These can be physical changes, e.g. a highway is built nearby. I have a friend who moved because her neighbors had their huge, extended family move in with them and they moved their dining table out on the front lawn and put up lighting. I also must confess that I moved once because of a hellish neighbor.
To wrap it up, in ancient times people moved in search of food, safety, appropriate space and a more hospitable environment. Come to think of it… not much has changed, has it?