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  1. Blog
  2. Why do people move?
Home buying tips & advice
22 December 2021

Why do people move?

Sam Edwards
Writer

Table of contents

  1. 1. Top 10 reasons people move home
  2. 2. To upgrade the home
  3. 3. Due to work
  4. 4. Relationship changes
  5. 5. Children moving away
  6. 6. To be closer to catchment areas for schools
  7. 7. To live closer to family
  8. 8. Loss of someone close
  9. 9. Changes to the surrounding areas
  10. 10. Cost of living changes
  11. 11. Changes in requirements due to lockdown

Moving is a huge step in all of our lives. Whether it’s the day we left for university, or the moment we finally placed a deposit on a new house, there's a myriad of memories associated with the properties we call homes.

At GetAgent, our priority is making the lives of home sellers and homebuyers easier and more manageable. We did some research into the top 10 reasons why people are currently moving home. If you’re moving and your circumstances match, our advice will hopefully make the process a little brighter.

Top 10 reasons people move home

  1. To upgrade the home
  2. Due to work
  3. Relationship changes
  4. Children moving away
  5. To be closer to catchment areas for schools
  6. To live closer to family
  7. Loss of someone close
  8. Changes to the surrounding areas
  9. Cost of living changes
  10. Change in requirements due to lockdown

To upgrade the home

More space, greater facilities and an altogether better home environment - these are the reasons we often upgrade to a larger, more ideal property.

But what are the general precursors to an upgrade?

Restlessness with your current living situation is often a big sign you’re ready to move on. But sometimes, you don’t need to search your feelings for a sign. If you or your partner are expecting, you’ll likely need more space to accommodate little ones.

What to look for if you’re thinking of an upgrade

If you’re ready to move out, think about the things that make you unhappy about your current living situation. If you’re someone who makes lists, you could tally up the things that irk you the most. For example, your current kitchen area might be too small, or prone to smells and odours (crumbs falling through awkward spaces between countertops). Naturally, you’ll want your next house to have a larger, more refined kitchen area.

To make things easier, we’ve written a list of some of the things you should look out for when buying a house. Rather than making additional changes to your house, this list details features that are best found in your initial house search. It can be expensive (and a real slog) to make room for any of the features below once you’ve settled.

  • Do you have enough storage space?
  • Are there enough bedrooms for kids and guests?
  • Is the kitchen enjoyable to use?
  • Do you have enough space for hosting guests?
  • Does the garden space meet your needs?
  • Do you have space for a home office?
  • Are there enough bathrooms and toilets?

What to look for if you’re expecting children

  • While not a must, good garden spaces are often cited as highly beneficial to a child’s development. Experiencing the natural world from the safety of their home is something they will remember forever.
  • You should also ensure there is suitable space for a pram in the hallway or living areas. Prams are larger than you think.
  • Make sure the stairs are safe and accommodate children. Hard wooden steps are more likely to cause injury. Stairs with carpets ripped out are prone to nails poking through.

Due to work

A new job in a totally different area is another reason people choose to move house. Some people decide to stay in the same area, but move to a bigger house because their new salary allows them to. However, losing a job inevitably forces some people to downgrade and move to greener, more financially secure surroundings.

What to look for if you’re moving with work

If you’re moving to a new city, and you’re just renting, you should stay somewhere comfortable for the first six months. While you should be comfortable wherever you live, what we mean is an initial flat or apartment slightly above budget. Living in a nice area where you don’t have to worry about walking home late at night, or anything home-related for that matter, will give you an opportunity to explore and make new friends.

If you’re moving to a new city, and you’re buying a new house, it’s really important to pick somewhere that appeals to your sensibilities. If you’re an outgoing person who loves the buzz and the noise, moving closer to the city centre has its benefits. You’ll have a finger on the pulse, never being far from festivals and events. If you’re someone who enjoys their downtime, a leafy suburb with direct transport links to the city centre might be more suitable. Of course, your financial circumstances will limit the extent of your choice.

Relationship changes

Buying a house with a partner is a natural step in a relationship. It’s also an extremely big step, which means it can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. Depending on finances, your house options will be limited - this is especially the case for first-time buyers.

The biggest problem for first-time buyers

One of the biggest problems facing first-time buyers is saving for the initial mortgage deposit, which is usually five to 10 percent of the property purchase price. This can feel like a mountain to climb, but there’s ways you can make the saving easier.

How to save for your first house

One of the best ways to save for your first house is by hiring a financial advisor. Financial advisors create a savings plan by taking stock of all your ingoings and outgoings. Their rates are expensive, but they can save you thousands and thousands of pounds in the long run.

Another good way to save is by working out your future monthly mortgage repayments. Like rent, your repayments come out of your account once a month. Repayments are based on the mortgage amount and interest rate. The more expensive your property and interest rate, the more you’ll have to pay back each month. A good base for monthly repayments is choosing a mortgage package that lets you pay the same amount you usually pay for rent. Once you know your monthly repayments, you can save accordingly.

If you’re moving out as a result of a break-up

Break-ups are never easy, especially if you’re married and you own a house together. One way or another, someone usually has to move out. If that person is you, remember:

  • It helps if you can work out an arrangement whereby you stay and save up for a month or two. This will allow you to afford a deposit and rent for temporary accommodation.
  • Don’t be afraid to rely upon your friends and family to help you out in this difficult period. That’s what they’re there for.
  • If you’re married, at some point you will need to consult with a solicitor to work out future arrangements.

Children moving away

Another reason why people decide to move is their children moving away. While our homes often predate the arrival of children, our property choices are often made in anticipation of them. That means, as you reach the twilight of your years, you stand to make another property choice - one that caters to you and not your children.

Why do parents move when their children move out?

Parents often downsize to smaller properties once their children move out. There’s a number of reasons why:

  • To make money

Downsizing to a smaller property gives you a chance to make some money. If you bought your home 20 years ago, it’s likely to be worth much more in today’s market. Buying a smaller, less expensive home will leave you with a decent profit from the sale.

  • To save money

Similarly, downsizing can save you money on taxes, insurance and maintenance. With less taxes to pay, you can afford to do more leisure activities and holidays.

  • To move to a more desirable location

Many parents choose to relocate to rural areas as they no longer have to cater to their kid’s educational needs (school catchment areas, shorter commutes).

If your children have moved out…

Think of destinations where you and your partner would like to move to (if you’re considering moving at all). Consider:

  • How far you’ll be from your children when they have kids of their own
  • Whether you’d like to spend your retirement travelling
  • How much you’re likely to leave your children in terms of inheritance

To be closer to catchment areas for schools

Parents often move to areas that allow their children to get into certain schools. Many secondary schools utilise a catchment area system that prioritises local children for spaces in their first year group.

If you’re planning on moving for your children’s educational needs, it’s useful to learn about the different types of catchment areas widely used in England:

Straight line distance catchment area

This is a circular radius around a school that changes year to year. The size of the circle is determined by the furthest distance a child from the previous year was offered a place.

Walking distance catchment area

This area is calculated by the network of roads and paths that surround the school, as well as the furthest distance a child from the previous year was offered a place.

Priority admission catchment area

Schools with priority admissions prioritise applicants from a fixed geographical area before considering applicants from outside it.

To live closer to family

Whether you’re a grandparent moving closer to their grandchildren, or you’re a son or daughter moving closer to their parents, our families play a huge role in where we choose to live.

There’s little in the way of advice for a motive like this, as the decision to move closer to family is a personal one. Just make sure to prioritise yourself as well as your family. Moving house can be a mammoth task, so it’s best to move only if you’re confident in your choice. You will likely have to live in your new house for a while. Equally, you should ensure your job prospects (whether secured or yet to be) are not limited by your move.

Loss of someone close

Loss is a tragic, but common reason for moving house. Associated memories with the property or area can prove too painful, and new surroundings are required to start the healing process.

Again, this is a personal decision, and one you probably won’t make lightly. It goes without saying that discussion with friends and family can go a long way in helping you make the right choice.

Changes to the surrounding areas

Environments are fluid and neighborhoods can take a turn for the worse, whether for economic, social or physical reasons. Rising crime rates can be a big stimulus for people wishing to relocate, especially if they frequently experience crime during everyday life. Unfortunately, areas with low crime are often subject to higher house prices, so it can be a tough transition to make financially.

If you’re curious about crime rates in your local area, you can find out more by using the Numbeo Crime Index.

Wherever you live, it's likely your area will experience several planning decisions flagged by the local council. Some decisions, like a neighbour deciding to convert their loft, are likely to have little long-term effect on your everyday life. Others, can have drastic consequences. You can find out more about these decisions on your local council website.

Cost of living changes

Your standards of living can change if things get more expensive in your local area. While unfortunate, it’s not uncommon for people to move somewhere cheaper after years of living below the margin. The costs of bills, insurance, and local amenities vary from region to region, and there’s no shame in moving somewhere where these things are cheaper. Sometimes it pays to move homes, especially if your quality of life increases as a result.

Changes in requirements due to lockdown

Last, but probably most relevant, lockdowns resulting from the Covid 19 Pandemic have played a huge role in many homeowner’s decisions to sell up and move house.

Being stuck inside for months on end will inevitably make you reevaluate your current living situation. Need for greater space and home facilities have driven many homeowners to take advantage of the current seller’s market. Indeed, research conducted by Rightmove in the summer of 2020 found that enquiries from city residents about rural homes rose by over 126% in June and July versus the previous year.

What is a sellers’ market?

A seller’s market is a market that currently favours sellers. The UK property market is currently a seller’s market. As of October 2021, the UK House Price Index states the average house in the UK is worth £268,349. If figures from Halifax are to be believed, house prices this November were nearly 10% higher than they were a year ago.

All this means your house is likely worth more than it ever has been. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and the seller’s market is likely to diminish in 2022 with the advent of higher interest rates.

If you’re thinking about selling, our free tools are here to help. If you want a quick valuation, our Online Valuation Tool takes just a few minutes to provide an estimate of your property’s value.

While our Valuation Tool is one of the most accurate available, no online house price calculator compares to an in-person valuation from a reliable estate agent. That’s why our free Agent Comparison Tool uses data from the Land Registry and property portals to rank your best local agents according to:

  • The fastest to sell
  • The most likely to achieve your asking price
  • The most experienced in selling properties like yours

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