REwatch: Why We Move Where We Move

2013-12-22T09:15:00Z REwatch: Why We Move Where We MoveMichelle Krueger Times Columnist
December 22, 2013 9:15 am  • 

46321 – 47906 – 46403 – 60626 – 60438 – 46321

That’s my “moving” history.

Unlike our siblings, my husband and I have not “strayed” very far from our hometown. While where we lived during our childhood was not our decision, where we chose to raise our family was, and we chose to remain close to our parents.

All total, I’ve spent 38 of my 50 years in the same hometown.

Because where we choose to live impacts almost every aspect of our lives - from how often we can see family and friends to what kind of job opportunities we have, how often and how far we have to travel, how much we are able to save and what kind of entertainment and services are available – how do we determine what’s most important when it comes to where we live?

For us it came down to proximity to family. Other people may move to live nearer to someone they love or a special group of friends.

On the other hand, some people – like our siblings – choose to spread their wings and land in completely new places. Often the destination is pre-determined by an opportunity for employment, whether it’s a first job out of college or chance to move up the ladder and try something completely different.

Then there are the people who move because of the weather. If you’ve never really been a fan of all four seasons, you might want to forgo the blustery one all together and permanently move to a milder climate. There also options where it rains or snows more often as well.

When searching for specific features such as warmer weather, near the coast or a mountain range, in the city, suburbs or country, cost of living is almost always a consideration. Finances matter, and we all need to pay the price for living where we choose to live.

Other factors that have also been shown to be influential when choosing a place to live include social, cultural and recreational amenities, retail and dining opportunities, healthcare and other services plus public transportation.

Geographic mobility, the measure of how populations move over time, fluctuates from year-to-year depending on economic, housing, and family conditions. Year-to-year fluctuations in geographic mobility are best understood by examining reasons for moving.

Between 2012 and 2013, the Census reports that 35.9 million Americans moved.

The most common discernible reason for moving between 2012 and 2013 was to obtain new or better housing, according to roughly 14.8 percent of respondents. The next distinguishable category of movers did so to establish their own household, 10.4 percent, followed by moving because of a new job or job transfer, 9 percent.

For the third straight year the number and share of movers doing so to own rather than rent a home increased. Between 2012 and 2013, approximately 2.1 million or 5.4 percent of all movers did so to own rather than rent. This represents an increase of 596,000 movers from the results between 2010 and 2011.

While everyone has different reasons for when and why they move, the fact that the number of people who want to own rather than rent is certainly a positive sign for people who want the opportunity to make that choice.

Here are a dozen things that you should consider when looking for a new place to live:

1. Activities

Whether you need to be near your favorite team, the arts or great outdoors, pursue what interests your family.

2. Affordability

Affordability includes more than just the housing expense. The cost of consumable goods, like groceries, plus the price of gasoline and utility services such as gas, electric and water all vary from place to place.

3. Climate

Living in a climate that’s most comfortable for you elevates your mental health.

4. Commute Times, Public Transportation Options, Proximity to an Airport

How long it takes to get from here to there and how often you need to go are very important considerations.

5. Crime Rates and Statistics

Look at safety and long-term stability starting with a particular neighborhood, the town, nearby areas and region as a whole.

6. Education System

The importance of good schools cannot be overstated.

7. Employment Opportunities

Job markets and income levels definitely vary in different parts of the country.

8. Proximity to Family and Friends

Having a strong social network has been shown to significantly increase happiness.

9. Real Estate Value

Buying a home is the single largest investment you may ever make, so do your homework.

10. Size

The pace of life is directly impacted by the size of your community, which usually also impacts access to healthcare and other services, as well as dining and shopping options.

11. Taxes

Locations matters, according to the Tax Foundation, which publishes a comparative analysis of state tax costs.

12. Trade-offs

It’s an unavoidable fact of life that you probably won’t be able to find all the things you want in one place – but when you weigh the different factors of place that are most important to you, you can make the best possible choice.

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Latest Local Offers

Featured Businesses



Who do you support for the U.S. House of Representatives in District 1?

View Results