Moving can often be an overwhelming process, especially if you are comfortable in your current home or you are leaving for unexpected reasons. However, there are many benefits to moving, including more space, gaining personal amenities and the aspect of homeownership. If you’re feeling stuck and don’t know why, when or where to move, here’s a guide to start the process.
Making the transition from an apartment or condo into a house is not one that should be done overnight. It can take weeks of research, the help of a real estate agent and sometimes a hefty down payment.
People often choose to relocate to more permanent residences for a plethora of reasons. Here are some of the benefits of homeownership that might tip the scale on renting vs. buying. Homeownership:
- Allows you to grow with a community. Buying a house makes you a member of a bigger community, not just another face in a building with twenty-or-more units.
- Stabilises monthly housing costs. Apartments are often unstable forms of housing as landlords may change, leases could terminate unexpectedly or rent could increase over time.
- Provides more opportunity to customise your property. Renovations and remodels have the potential to add home value and improve personal lifestyles in a way that cannot be accomplished with many rental properties.
- Creates a greater sense of privacy. You’ll have the space to come and go as you please, add fences for privacy or install security systems at your discretion.
- Gives you pride of ownership. Homeownership is still a major aspect of the ‘American Dream’. Buying a house leads to owning more land for a greater sense of independence.
When Is The Best Time to Move?
Some people might argue that there’s never a “right” time to move. People choose to stay or leave for many reasons: The housing market is known to fluctuate; career growth may be on the horizon; or family ties could keep you in the same area for years. There’s no shame in simply wanting an upgrade, either.
Here are a variety of reasons it might be time to change your living situation:
- Lack of space: Not having enough storage is a big breaking point for many people. It can cause clutter; an inability to host guests or new family additions; and, in extreme cases, mould, dirt and unsafe living conditions.
- Career opportunities in a new city: Your career goals could lead to an opportunity for growth in another city, which is one of the most common job-related reasons for moving.
- Settling down in the suburbs: Although city living offers a fast-paced, culturally diverse lifestyle, many couples and families prefer the quieter suburbs at some point.
- Safety or bad neighbours: If the neighbourhood doesn’t feel safe, visitors are disruptive or crime levels are high, it’s usually best to move away from the environment.
- Change in relationship: Moving in with a significant other or moving out after a breakup could require you to relocate into a bigger or smaller house.
- Improved financial situation: A promotion, raise or higher salary position might mean that you now have the means to move and upgrade your living situation.
- Family commitments: Needing to move closer to an aging parent or taking in other family members might necessitate a relocation to a new area or a bigger space.
- Better school systems: When it comes to children, education should be a priority. Having solid K-12 institutions and potentially a university nearby are an important reason for relocation.
How To Choose Your Next Home
Now that you’ve decided moving is the next move, so to speak, it’s time to decide how to go about the process. A real estate agent can answer most of your pending questions, but it’s also good to have an idea of what you want.
Many new homebuyers make a list of their wants and needs, as well as amenities that are non-negotiable. Here are some of the factors that could make your list:
- Price point: People typically don’t want to spend more than half of their pay checks on the mortgage and utilities. Your budget for a new house should account for other costs such as groceries, transportation, health care and sometimes homeowner’s insurance.
- Taxes: Depending on the state and city, taxes play a major part in where to move. Property, school, fuel, business and state taxes should be factored into your budget.
- Employment potential: Although remote work is becoming more common these days, work potential is a key factor in deciding where to live long-term.
- House and real estate value: It’s crucial to understand the trends of the housing market and history of a neighbourhood before you move. You want to get an accurate idea of what to expect for your property.
- Crime rates: As safety is an important aspect of living comfortably, take note of the current crime reports and download community-watch apps to make sure the community is safe.
- Climate: If you’re moving to another region, be mindful of how the weather might impact physical wellness, mental health, entertainment and local economics.
- Education: Homes are more likely to have higher value in areas with solid school districts. This can influence your children’s education and the future home value.
- Culture: Entertainment is an important aspect of how you spend your downtime. If social activity and variety is important to you, it might be best to be near a livelier city.
- Food options: Grocery stores, restaurants and other food options should be a consideration when deciding where to move, as they provide sustenance for the family.
- Access to health care: In the event of an emergency, being close to a hospital provides benefits for families with children, older adults and people with chronic conditions.
Whether it’s your first or tenth move, relocation can be time-sensitive and stressful. Even though picking up your life and planting roots elsewhere can be a rewarding journey, being prepared for the transition can make the process that much more manageable.
Take some time, if possible, to ponder the decision and take every aspect of your lifestyle into account. Once you’re ready to take the leap, your quality of life and overall wellbeing will thank you.
This article was brought to you by Brian Slater. Brian Slater is the founder and President of New City Moving, a moving company in Chicago. Slater has more than 10 years of experience in the industry and focuses on providing top-notch customer service as well as a stress-free moving environment.