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Should I move, improve, or relocate?

Today’s question, presumably asked by millions of homeowners, “to move, improve, or relocate?” for many, may not be the right question.

The conventional question regarding whether one should move, improve, or relocate typically occurs when home sellers are attempting to resolve some of the following issues:

  • Should we put in a new kitchen and go through remodeling stress… or just buy another home that has the kind of kitchen we desire?
  • Should we, now that we have two additional children… build an addition or buy a larger home?
  • Should we remain living here because our children have lots of friends and we like our neighbors, and just put up with our backyard being excavated for a pool, or sell this home and buy a home with a pool?
  • Should we run the risk of over-improving our home for the neighborhood… or move up?
  • Should we take out a home equity loan for the improvements… or buy another home with a new mortgage?

These aforementioned questions and innumerable others typically only pertain to the binary decision of whether to move, improve, or relocate. Just the iconic real estate trifecta of location, location, location, which relates to wise investment decisions has given way to lifestyle, lifestyle, lifestyle, so too the issue of “move, improve, or relocate?” needs to be expanded to “should one significantly alter their lifestyle?

Any knowledgeable, market-savvy real estate professional would be very enthusiastic to discuss with you the pros and cons of whether you should move, improve, or relocate. For that matter, so would home-improvement and moving companies. A true trusted real estate advisor, however, is a professional prepared to mutually explore options that greatly exceed all that one’s home should offer by encouraging conversation regarding much more expansive lifestyle considerations. Including considerations that might mean not buying another home within that particular market. It is recommended, however, since you and you alone as the real estate consumer, should make the decision that first and foremost, you should fully consider the many lifestyle changes and consequences that pertain to your ultimate decision.

The purpose of this article, therefore, goes well beyond encouraging homeowners to carefully assess whether they should move, improve, or relocate. Instead, we respectfully invite you, and where applicable your partner and or children, to respond to a different question.

“Should you significantly change your lifestyle, if so, when and how?”

Since most homeowners on average move approximately every 10 years, and lifestyle-related decisions should also contemplate lifestyle factors that exceed the physical boundaries of square footage and property.

Accordingly, instead of just considering opting for more contemporary kitchen cabinets, vaulted ceilings, or an outdoor kitchen or spa, perhaps the additional focus should be devoted toward the option of deeply contemplating a major lifestyle adjustment. Quite possibly, this may be the time to decide that rather than adding a deck that would overlook a neighbor’s barbeque, which resides on a street reflecting remarkable housing conformity, that instead, you might seek a lifestyle transformation. One in which a view of the mountains, ocean, lake, river, woods, or greater privacy becomes profoundly more appealing than either a deck at your present home or one adorning the larger home within town.

The difference between changing your overall lifestyle, or merely determining whether you should move, improve, or relocate, might also at this time point towards assessing the future impact of migration, economic, and for some, climate-related trends.

For example, for all those interested in, or already contemplating a significant lifestyle change, such as a senior lifestyle, moving up, downsizing, right-sizing, moving together with more family members, moving away from family, from urban to suburban, from rural to urban, from suburban to either urban or rural, to higher or lower density, to assisted living, or a move to different states or countries, this is when you should call upon a trusted real estate advisor to comprehensively and confidentially help you.

This is when a process should begin that assesses and interprets data points and lifestyle options that go well beyond the simplicity of moving or improving. This is because one could improve the size and amenities of their home or buy another, while overlooking a much more abundant lifestyle that might be available that could transcend the mere physical changes to a home. Often overlooked in “move, improve, or relocate” discussions are the following lifestyle-related options.

The following list includes some, but not all the factors one might consider when looking to not only change one’s home, but rather, one’s overall lifestyle.

Please answer from 1 to 5 the importance you place upon each of these listed lifestyle-related factors. While these questions do not lead to a definitive answer, as only you as an individual, couple, or family, can decide, by carefully evaluating the importance of each individual lifestyle component, this process should be helpful in your determining whether you simply move, improve, or transform your lifestyle.

  1. How important are job opportunities?
  2. How important is convenience to transportation?
  3. How important is geographical proximity to extended family members?
  4. How important is living near existing friends?
  5. How exciting is it to make new friends?
  6. How important is it to live in a major city?
  7. How important is it to live in a small city?
  8. How important is it to live in a small town?
  9. How important is it to live remotely?
  10. How important is it to live near a major airport?
  11. How important is it to be convenient to museums, culture, etc.?
  12. How important are parks and recreation opportunities?
  13. How important is it to be near a major hospital?
  14. How important is your home’s acreage?
  15. How important is the quality of education for your children?
  16. How important are shopping opportunities?
  17. How important are dining opportunities?
  18. How important is the general perception of the state?
  19. How important is how the state or local area votes politically?
  20. How (if at all) are you concerned with climate change and rising sea levels?
  21. How important is living with a diverse population?
  22. How important are state and local taxes?
  23. How concerned are you about natural disasters, i.e. wildfires, tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes, flooding, and excessive heat or cold?
  24. How important to live amongst seniors?
  25. How important is it to live near a university or college town?
  26. How important are pet-friendly amenities?
  27. How important are conveniently located houses of worship or specific religious communities?
  28. How important is the cost of housing?

Only you can decide whether to move, improve, or relocate.

Should you decide that you want to renovate your home, please be encouraged to reach out to your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Snyder & Company, Realtors trusted real estate advisor for potential ideas, recommended contractors, and other relevant resources. Should you look to sell your home and move, please feel free to also contact your trusted real estate advisor who can help you best prepare your home for sale, and then not only help you successfully market your home, but also help you secure your new home. Should you be interested in a significant lifestyle change, which might include moving out of your area, please know that our 1,500+ Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network offices offer the same level of quality of care worldwide in almost every major global real estate market from Ann Arbor to Dubai and beyond.

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