The Costs of Moving – Part One

by Marie on April 20, 2014 · 4 comments

Americans move on average once every 12 years, according to the 2009 National Association of Home Builders data.   It costs to move. It costs time, effort, money and sometimes takes an emotional toll. I’ve heard that moving is the third most stressful life event, after death and divorce.

In this post and the next in this series, I’m asking for your help in considering whether or not we should move. I’ll present our current circumstances in this post and then list out our must haves and nice to haves in a new place and show you some research I’m doing on the various costs of moving in the next one in this 2 part series.

Then, I’ll ask your opinion on what I have missed and whether you would move, considering our circumstances and desires.

Current circumstances.

When we bought our home it was perfect for us. We wanted to get away from urban and subdivision life, have a few acres but still be close to services such as shops, gas stations, super highway access, churches and etc. We also wanted a better school district and a safer neighborhood for ourselves and our children.

We got all that, but things have changed in the 23 ½ years since we came.

We have a 2300 square foot, one story ranch on a lot of 6 2/3 acres. We still love our home, with its 3 car garage, great room, breeze way between the garage and house, easy entry through multiple french and patio doors, skylights, sun room, and huge master suite with sitting room and bath with a jetted tub. There are 2 other huge bedrooms with lofts and sinks with vanities in each and a jack and jill bath between them. There is a den, a laundry room, an entry way, a kitchen, a guest powder room, and a utility room as well.

Hubby has cut, and maintains, walking trails through the acres – which I use as part of my daily exercise routine. We have planted seedlings from my family’s homestead, thousands of spring flowering bulbs, pines, oaks, redbuds, cedars and more. I put in fruit trees and blueberry bushes which are now bearing some fruit.

Being one story, the house is fairly easy for us to maintain – which is important since we are both in our mid-sixties.

Although we have updated the house multiple times over the 23 years we’ve been here, it now is at the beginning of another big item maintenance cycle. The furnace, water heater and part of the AC system are original to the house (built in 1985). The roof (which we replaced once) has only about 5 years left on it’s normal life. The windows and doors need to be replaced and the ceilings need to have the popcorn finish stripped. The kitchen needs to be refreshed with new cabinets and the refrigerator, washer and dryer are all at the end of their lifespans.

Our two boys have grown up and moved out and my spouse and I have retired, but have few if any financial worries. We have enough put aside to fix all of the issues, or, pay cash for a new home – without impacting our lifestyle.

Why we are considering a move.

There are four main reasons we might decide to find a new home.

Loss of Serenity.

One of the reasons we selected this location was that it was peaceful, non-congested and had the look and feel of country about it.

The area used to require (since there were no sewers when we moved in), three acres per house. We thought it unlikely that the area would become congested. Now that there are sewers, the county has decided that this is an area that should be developed and has authorized the building of a high density subdivision right down the street – an extra 357 homes in an area which now has 3.

When we moved in, the road in front of our home was quiet as a country road should be. About 15 years ago, the state built a super highway at the end of our road and now our road is a major through fare between that highway and homes at the other end of our road. We live in a dip in our hilly road that prevents us from being able to see the traffic coming from either direction. Our mailbox is on the other side of that road. Today we sometimes wait as long as 5 minutes – listening for cars – before starting across to get our mail. The new subdivision, when completed over the next 5 years, is anticipated to add more than 3000 extra car trips past our house each day. We will try to move our mailbox, but I’m not sure the US Post Office will agree to it.

Loss of security.

In addition to the new subdivision, areas around our street are also being developed – adding to the overall congestion and traffic in the larger area. Several new apartment complexes are bringing a new type of resident into the area, a transient population. Crime has been on the increase.

Loss of land.

Eventually (probably after several deaths), the state will decide that our road (a state highway) needs to be widened to four lanes. The good part about this is that when it happens the hills will probably be flattened and walking paths put in along the road. The bad part is that it will take most of our front yard and make getting into our garages much more difficult – not to mention bringing all that traffic almost into our living room.

We already lost part of the front yard to a sewer easement.

High taxes.

We live in a wonderful school district – highly rated, great kids, teachers and administrators. That comes at a cost. Since we no longer have children or grandchildren in the area, the only reason a great school district matters to us personally is the potential resale lift it provides.

In the next post in this 2 part series, I’ll explore our wish list and some estimates on the cost of buying, moving and selling here in the Midwest.

What would cause you to think about moving from your current location, assuming you don’t have to move for your job?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Newlyweds on a Budget May 3, 2014 at 1:43 pm

It sounds like you guys are ready for a move. My in-laws (61 and 69) just downsized from their four bedroom house in Huntington Beach to a two-bedroom in a brand new retirement community. They were hesitant about moving to the community, but it honestly has been such a good decision for them. Do you know how much STUFF is accumulated after living in 30 years in one house? I think it was wise for them to go through all their stuff now before they get too old to be able to do it. This new community has everything they will need and the downsizing was perfect-less to take care of (like the pool) and more time for other things.


2 Marie at Family Money Values May 3, 2014 at 8:42 pm

Oh yes, I do know how much stuff can accumulate! We have been in our home now since 1989! I always said that if I ever moved, I would just sell everything and start over, but realistically – we have way too much stuff with family history and sentiment to really do that.


3 Crystal @ Prairie Ecothrifter May 9, 2014 at 12:51 pm

We live in a 3750 sq. ft. McMansion that we had built in October 2012. Since we do have large potlucks and are self-employed, we love our interior space. If/when we have kids, the 5 bedrooms will come in handy and we’ll finally see somebody use the back yard. But I can see a time down the road when we will no longer want to take stairs and 3750 sq. ft. will simply be too much. So I expect we will be finding a nice 1 story before the end of our 50’s, but that is about 25 years away.


4 Marie at Family Money Values May 9, 2014 at 1:03 pm

Judging by the fact that we tend to just fill up the space with stuff, a bigger house would just let us get more stuff – probably not the best idea at our age!


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