About This Week's Action
Home prices are on the rise and it seems that everyone is starting to think about moving again. I know I am. We just completed a move. But how do you know if you should move? This week's action step is about evaluating your housing to determine if now is the time to stay or to go.
Why You Should Evaluate Your Housing and Decide Whether to Move
You never know what's next. Even if you're convinced your in your "forever house" you never know what opportunities may arise in another place. What if you got offered an amazing 2 year position in Europe? What if most of your family moved to another part of the country? Reevaluating your housing every once in awhile is a good thing .
You'll save money. It's best to make a large money decision when you're not desperate for the purchase. And for most people, a home is the largest purchase they will ever make. Deciding whether to move before you have to will help you determine what's important and save money in the long run.
How Long Does This Action Take?
Deciding if you should move can take weeks (or years) of agonizing; but this checklist will help you evaluate your situation in just a few minutes.
How to Decide if You Should Move
1. Make a List of What's Important The first thing to do to help you decide if you should move is to make a list of everything that's important to you in life and things you generally like spending your time on. Is it: family, friends, travel, playing with your kids, cooking, eating as a family, exercising, working, music, freedom and not being tied down? Don't be afraid to be specific - exercising can be swimming, golf, tennis.
2. Make a List of What You Like/Dislike About Your Current Housing Next make a list of what you like and don't like about where you currently live.
- Is your house/apartment a good size?
- Cheap rent/mortgage?
- Close to work?
- Close to family/friends?
- Close to good restaurants?
- Public transit accessible?
- Easy to get to?
- Does it have space to __________ (e.g., spend time together as a family, work from home, play music, cook, host large gatherings?)
Think of everything you can that you like about about your housing and write it down. Then think of everything you don't like and write that down too.
3. Compare Your Lists of Likes/Dislikes and What's Important to You Compare your list of what you like about your housing to what's important to you. Are you meeting most of the criteria on your list? Or are you lacking things? For instance, if exercise is important to you - are you near a gym or park with tennis courts? If freedom is important to you - does your current situation allow you to easily move whenever you need to?
4. What Does Your Gut Say? A good indicator of whether or not you should move is what your gut says. Deep down is it telling you that you'll be better off staying or moving?
5. Can you afford it? Moving is extremely costly - in terms of money but also time and energy. Selling/Buying a house costs tens of thousands dollars when you include the realtor'a fee, other closing costs, not to mention the actual move itself. Even just moving from one apartment to another requires a lot of time to pack, move, and unpack. Plus the cost of a moving truck and overlapping rent.
6. How will you feel about your decision in six months, a year? If you don't move now will you be happy with your decision is 6 months or a year? Or are you still going to be itching to move? This was what ultimately led us to move when we did - we knew that if we waited and tried to be happy in our old house in six months or a year we'd still be wanting to move. And at the time, it was the best time to move for us.
What else do you think about and ask yourself when you're asking yourself if you should move?