According to the U.S. Census Bureau in 2016, more than 42 percent of people said they moved for a housing-related reason. Many of them either wanted a new home or a better apartment. Other reasons people cited for moving include family and employment-related reasons. “The decision to move can be personal and contextual. What causes one person to move might not be enough to convince another,” says David Ihrke, a survey statistician in the Journey-to-Work and Migration Statistics Branch.
So whether you’re looking for a new job in another city or just plain sick of your neighbors, there can be plenty of good and practical reasons why it could be time for you to move.
Here are 12 common signs to help you decide whether it’s already time for a fresh start:
1. You need a bigger space.
This is a common dilemma for many first-time homeowners who live in starter homes. You don’t remember your house to be this small in the first place, and it served you well. But now you realize you just don’t have that much storage space, things are getting a bit tight in your household, and you’re now often waiting in line for the bathroom (especially in busy weekday mornings!). If you find yourself in one or more of these situations, then it’s an obvious sign your house has become too small for your needs and that it’s time for you to move. Especially if nothing has changed even after you cleared out your clutter and reorganized your home. A remodel can also be an option, but if you find it’s not even possible in your current home and it can even be costly, then it’s high time you move to a bigger place.
2. Your family is expanding.
If you’re planning to have more kids and/or pets, it might make more sense to move to a larger home to accommodate your growing family. Because it will always come to the point when your sweet and nice two-bedroom bungalow won’t be able to carry the load anymore. You’ll definitely be needing more space—whether it’s a big backyard, individual rooms for your children, extra rooms for work and play areas, extra bathrooms, and even a bigger kitchen. Because of these reasons, selling your current home to move to a bigger one is often a logical solution. Also, there can be various aspects you want to add as you begin a new house search, like moving in a great school district and near pet-friendly parks.
3. There’s just too much empty space.
Another scenario: your grown-up children have moved out, leaving you and your spouse in your empty nest. There are too many unoccupied rooms that you don’t need. Yet, you’re having trouble keeping up with the maintenance and demands of your spacious home. For empty nesters, it can be a fairly difficult decision to move out. After all, every part of your humble abode holds too many fond memories. However, downsizing is also a great reason to sell. Decluttering and moving to a smaller home can also be rewarding in many ways. There will be lower maintenance costs, lower utility bills, and less time cleaning the house, which means you’ll have more time to do what you love and engage in new hobbies.
4. There’s a change in your relationship.
A change in your relationship status might also mean a time for a change of place. If things are going well with your significant other and you decide to move in together, your humble condo or apartment may already be too small for two. You and your partner will definitely need a bigger space for your clothes and other belongings. If your closet space is barely enough for your own clothes, then there’s no way it can accommodate your partner’s as well. Otherwise, if the relationship is getting shaky and you’re both starting to be indifferent (we’re sorry to hear that), then it may be time to reconsider and move out for good.
5. Other family commitments
In life, there can be various family commitments that will require you to make a move—maybe you need to take care of a sick or aging parent, your partner needs a job transfer, or you really need to move near your in-laws so they can help take care of the kids while you work. Since it’s family-related, just try to look at the brighter side of things and see what you can look forward to in your potential relocation.
6. Your financial situation changed.
Whether it’s turning for the good or for the worse, a change in your financial situation will also prompt you to decide if it’s already time to move. If you’re always stressing out about utility bills and a hefty mortgage and it’s taking a toll on you and your bank account, then moving to a smaller and more affordable home may put you in a less stressful financial situation. It may also be an only option if you were unlucky to have lost a job or lose a significant amount of money.
Likewise, it’s very fortunate if your financial standing has improved—especially if your career is steadily improving, you received a raise, or you landed a higher-paying job. It’s also a time to think whether you want an upgrade and live in a nicer home in a better neighborhood (perhaps it’s something you’ve always dreamed of and worked hard to achieve). While you still have the options to renovate your current home, if those renovations will actually cost you more and will give you problems along the way, moving in a new home is a better idea. You may also find that there are features that you can’t easily add in your current home however you want to, like a bigger backyard, central air conditioning and heating, or a modern kitchen.
7. It would cost you less to move to a new house rather than to keep repairing your current home.
And speaking of renovations, it might be helpful to take a step back and examine your finances if the work you’re putting in is already too much. Despite the fact that you have already put too many repairs and DIY work in your beloved home, it’s now time to think how it affects your wallet and your overall stress level. See if the repair costs of your current home are eating up your hard-earned cash and whether it will be more practical to move to a new home that needs less upkeep. It’s especially crucial if you live in a fairly old home and your repair costs are slowly getting out of control. Seriously consider whether the costs already outweigh the emotional attachment you have with it.
8. Your neighborhood is in decline or you just don’t like it anymore.
If your neighborhood’s quality is starting to decline and it has lost its former reputation and charm, it can be a very compelling reason for you to move. Anyone who’s experienced the home buying process would have encountered the real estate mantra: location, location, location. Well, the importance of location should not be underestimated even when you’re already a homeowner. It’s now time for you to consider if your once good and welcoming neighborhood is now showing signs of going for the worse—increasing crime rates or a recent spike in police activity, dogs barking loudly at night, unruly neighbors, increased pollution and other environmental hazards. If your neighborhood is already becoming too dangerous and/or unbearable to live in, it might be a good idea to relocate as quickly as possible before it gets harder to rent or sell your place. There’s nothing more important than living in a safe and secure neighborhood. You need to also consider the fact that the value of homes in bad neighborhoods can also decline, including your home.
9. You desire a different climate.
If you never seemed to stop complaining about the weather all year round, it’s also a good reason for you to seriously consider relocating. Are you getting tired of weathering the endless cold and snow (and shoveling snow on your driveway) all these years? You’re probably already dreaming of living in a city with a sunny and warm climate. Or maybe you’re already frustrated with the never-ending heat. The thought of living in a new city with a more pleasant climate is a desirable factor for many people to move.
10. Your commute is slowly killing you.
If you live far away from work and your commute time is already killing you, isn’t it time for you to consider selling and move? Just think: commuting to and from the office takes so much of your money, gas, and precious hours every day. Your time could have been better spent with your family and loved ones, or in doing more important things. Studies have already established the benefits of a shorter commute to a person’s health and well-being. Moving closer to work will also give you more time for sleep and relaxation. If your current job is looking secure in the long-term run, there’s no other reason why you can’t start a new house search and pack up.
11. There’s a job opportunity in another city.
Likewise, getting a new job or the need for a job transfer is also a common reason why people move. Maybe you’ve been given a promotion or an opportunity to further develop your career, or you’re moving into another city where there are more opportunities available for your specific industry. Whatever it is, employment-related reasons remain as one of the most popular and perhaps one of the most exciting reasons why people relocate.
12. You want to experience suburban living.
Are you one of the many city dwellers who are already tired of living in the so-called concrete jungle? Then perhaps living in a more peaceful suburb is captivating enough for you to want to move. Many couples and young families choose to move into the ‘burbs every year because of many factors, including safer neighborhoods and tight-knit communities, lower cost of living, and great school districts. Not to mention that houses there tend to have bigger square footage and more outdoor space compared to houses of the same price located in the city.