On average, Windsor Ontario home owners will buy and sell at least three times in their lifetime. But why do we move? What’s interesting, is that older generations bought a home and stayed in it for 30 years or more. Jobs stayed put, families stayed closer together and it was not as common to pack up and move.
However, today homeowners move more often and it could be due to any number of reasons. Here are the top reasons why we sell our houses today:
Upgrade – prior to the real estate meltdown several years ago, homeowners collected their profits and immediately bought a bigger and better home. While the number of those upgrading has slowed down, people do want homes with all of the bells and whistles, such as gourmet kitchens, open floor plans, large backyards and plenty of room to move around.
Downsizing – once the children have left, homeowners are often eager to escape the responsibilities of caring for a home that is too large. From repairs, to landscaping and general maintenance, buyers want a simpler lifestyle that allows them to have more fun and less stress.
Too small – expanding families have outgrown their starter homes. Homeowners want more room to grow, especially as children get older and bring their friends over. Also, as families grow, they bring in more “stuff.”
Job transfer – sellers who have found employment elsewhere are eager to sell their home, and usually quickly. Relocating has become quite common in this day and age and sellers are also unwilling to commute for longer periods of time as well.
Changes in neighbourhood – the quality of a neighbourhood can change, especially when the economy is suffering. Homes are lost to foreclosure or owners will rent it out if they have been unable to sell it. Maybe crime has increased with more home burglaries or a business developement was constructed nearby making the area less appealing.
Personal issues – things happen is life that we often don’t prepare for, like a divorce, financial problems or a desire for a new start. Sometimes, the home holds bad memories and sellers just want to escape and start a new chapter in their lives.
Health issues – a home can become too big and too heavy of a burden when the homeowner gets ill. Climbing stairs, maintaining a yard and other issues are simply too much for someone seriously ill.
Maintenance – when a home will soon need repairs, such as a new roof or updated electrical system, then sellers will list a home before spending a large sum of money. It’s often easier to buy a newer home before everything falls apart.
Large equity – some homeowners want to take the money and run. They may travel, put it in savings, start a business or whatever, but most look at it as an opportunity to cash in while they can.
Fixer uppers – some homeowners simply enjoy buying homes, fixing them up and then selling them again. Now that the real estate market is improving little by little, we are seeing a few more flippers get active in buying and selling homes again.
Retirement – when homeowners reach retirement age, they realize that it’s time to start enjoying life without the responsibilities and cost. Many move to sunny locations or homes that require little maintenance.
Be near family – some people decide they want to live closer to their families. Whether they have small children and want to be closer to grandparents or grandparents want to live closer to grandchildren, it’s not uncommon that families want to reconnect.
One thing is for certain, homeowners today are more eager and willing to move than those who bought homes thirty years ago. It’s not too often that buyers will come into our office looking for a home that they want to live in for the rest of their lives, especially in light of the recent turbulence in the economy. If you are in the market for a home this year, our advice is to plan on staying in the property for five years in order to build escrow. With the cost of buying a home, closing costs, moving and other expenses, you can take a hit financially if you sell before then. The “Five-Year-Rule” simply means, don’t plan on buying a home unless you will own it for at least five years. Do the math with an experienced financial planner and see if renting will be in your best interest if you think you may only want to stay in a home for a few years.