Why Do We Move so Often?

Moving to a New Home

On average, people move once every 5 to 7 years, but that wasn't always the trend. It used to be that homeowners lived in their homes long enough to pay off their mortgage. But those who manage to fit this profile are now few and far between. Those who have lived in the same home for the past thirty years may find it baffling that people relocate so often, especially considering that moving is one of life's most stressful events. What are the motivating factors behind all these moves?

For starters, the employment scene is brightening and the housing market is doing well. According to Census Bureau data, folks who moved between 2011 and 2012 added up to 3.5 million, up from 2.8 million in 2010 and the highest we've seen since 2006 and 2007. With a recovering housing market, people are given an easier palette to work with, and it's easier for folks to sell their homes. According to the National Association of Realtors' chief economist, there are relatively few houses on the market and double-digit gains in housing prices are possible in 2013. As a result, construction is on the growth, and moving is an easier task.

Where Do We Move?

Two Story HouseThe overwhelming majority of folks who end up moving stay within the same county, and the number 1 reason for doing so is simply because they want something bigger and something better. It's true that most first time home buyers do eventually outgrow the home they purchased and wind up needing something bigger. Folks also tend to think that the grass is greener on the other side, and itch for an upgrade. Many want the larger, more expensive home.

But there are other housing related reasons why people move. Many people are looking for a new, inexpensive place to live, or are changing their status as renters to homeowners. Some folks were simply looking to live in a nicer neighborhood. Looking to go from renter to homeowner why not take a peek at Idaho.

Job Market or Personal

Another top reason for moving is job relocation. When asked to move because of a job, folks often find themselves on the brink of a monumental task – and are also the ones who suffer the most anxiety due to moving. These movers often relocate to entirely new areas, and are faced with getting acquainted with a new environment and familiarizing themselves with a new job, all while trying to construct a whole new social network.

In addition to housing and work related reasons for moving, people also take on the challenge because of personal reasons and various others – such as graduating college and health reasons.

Now that the tide has turned from the Great Recession and folks are coming out of the woodwork to finally realize their home buying dreams, pent-up demand has been released into the market. Movers are entering the market and looking for something better. Home buyers are still looking for a detached home, but with a variety of styles and preferences. A survey from the National Association of Home Builders revealed that buyers want their next home to be 17 percent larger than the one they're living in now – coinciding with the number 1 reason why people look to move in the first place. Also, the desired size of the home falls as buyers age. When moving, people are looking for amenities such as walking trails, parks, and community pools. It's no wonder that so many folks are moving to Boise, Idaho. With an outstanding variety of outdoor activities, the Boise Greenbelt, and numerous parks – Boise is a natural place for movers to consider.

Space to Stretch

Gourmet KitchenAs far as the home itself, most movers are looking at properties that have three or four bedrooms, while two thirds of buyers are looking at homes with 2 or 2 and a half bathrooms. Today's movers want an open kitchen and front room design with a visually open floor plan.

On the topic of movers, it's interesting to look at Idaho in comparison to other states – from 2000 to 2010, nearly 275,000 people moved here. That's a growth rate by more than 20 percent, and a growth rate that trumped the national average over the last decade. According to StateImpact, most people moving to Idaho do so from surrounding states. But not all these states share borders with Idaho; California takes the number 1 spot with more people than anywhere else giving up life in the Golden State for life in the Gem State. Washington comes in at a close 2nd, and Utah behind that. As of 2012, Idaho's population reached 1.59 million people – a 124 percent increase in population since 1972.

Further information from Census Bureau data shows that forty of the fifty fastest growing metro areas in 2012 were in the west and the south, and of the 20 counties that saw the largest numbers of folks moving in relative to their populations – 19 were in the west, the South or Great Plains states. It was the metro areas in the Northeast and Midwest that saw larger outflows of movers.

Demographer William Frey of the Brookings Institution in Washington stated that stronger hiring growth, rising home prices and growing availability of credit may be contributed toward the number of people deciding to relocate. The areas that have seen large inflows of movers also experienced some of the highest jumps in home prices, such as Nevada, Arizona, and of course – Idaho.

Are you looking to move during the peak moving season this year? If so, there are plenty of things you can do to make the transition less stressful. Part of what makes relocating homes so hard is managing all the logistics. Leaving your home and finding a new one is a big deal, and to get through it successfully, try to stay organized. A to do list is key to staying on top of both the moving in and moving out aspects of the move.

Hughes Real Estate Group is available with more information on Boise Idaho homes and properties at (208) 571-7145.

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