According to a survey by the Census Bureau, an American may move 11.4 times (on average) during his or her lifetime. This can be an inter-city, inter-county or inter-state relocation. There are also some people who choose to move outside the country.

American home owners sell and move, on average, every five to seven years. Why do home owners move?  There are many different reasons for moving from one place to another.

Here are a few major reasons people move.

1.    Going from renting to homeownership - Moving in with a partner or getting married can result in renters making the decision to purchase. Singles who are currently renting often find they would rather invest their rental dollars into the purchase of a home to gain equity.

2.    Career location – Whether across the state or across the country spending time commuting is a negative experience for people.  Relocation makes it necessary for many to pull up roots and move. If the commuting distance exceeds an hour, most people would prefer not to spend two hours in traffic every day. In many cases homeowners are forced to pack up and leave for a job transfer leaving their home behind to sell while they search for a new home in another state.

3.    To be closer to family members - Some people want to be closer to their family as they age and will move to be near relatives. Parents want to be near children and grand children. Adults with aging parents may decide to move closer to parents as they age so that they can care for them.

4.    Financial reasons upsizing or downsizing - Home is too small. First-time home buyers often outgrow their first home. As they start having children, increased family size is the main reason home owners say they need a larger home. Empty nesters or retirees who purchased a larger home now find they no longer need the additional space and costs that come with maintaining a large family home. As people earn more and their financial situation becomes better, they may decide to upsize. They want a bigger, more expensive and grander home. It's the American dream.

5.    Family illness or unforeseen life changing situation – Divorce, death of a spouse or family members, aging seniors, break-ups and a list of other personal life circumstances will force owners to sell. If a divorce happens one party may need to buy out the other. If one party retains the home, it may not be affordable to sustain on one person's income. 

April 26, 2018 — The U.S. Census Bureau announced the following residential vacancies and homeownership statistics for the first quarter 2018:

Approximately 87.5 percent of the housing units in the United States in the first quarter 2018 were occupied and 12.5 percent were vacant. Owner-occupied housing units made up 56.1 percent of total housing units, while renter-occupied units made up 31.4 percent of the inventory in the first quarter 2018.

Moving can cause emotional stress. The emotional impact of moving is in the top 5 most stressful situations we experience across a lifespan. It is a huge task for any family, especially when it involves uprooting children, packing years of family belongings, leaving behind a history and moving on to uncharted territory.

Everyone agrees that moving is stressful. Even if you and your family have moved too many times to count. Moving is also emotionally stressful when you add the extra burdens of a major life change, such as a divorce, death or a lost job.

In closing here are a few tips to help make your move easier.

1.    Plan ahead - Make all arrangements necessary to eliminate last minute surprises and chaos.

2.    Minimize and de-clutter – As you move forward minimizing is always a good practice.

3.    Look ahead for entertainment and places to meet people before the move. Check out your new community.

4.    Organize your packing so the transition is easier when you arrive in your new home. Have the movers or helpers in place and organize their efforts to make it less stressful on everyone.

5.    Save a little cash for the new place. Extra cash is great for purchasing things you may need in the new home or for enjoyment as you get situated. Moving into a new home strapped and broke can cause more stress.

Good luck with your move.

Happy National Moving Month.


Census Bureau