The average person moves 11 times in a lifetime, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Deciding how long you’re going to live in your future home is a decision that will influence the neighborhood you select, the type of home that you buy, and the method that you finance your home mortgage with.
Obviously, thinking about how long you’ll live in your new home is one of the most important considerations, and it influences just about everything in the home buying process.
This article discusses everything you need to decide based on how often you see yourself moving after you purchase your first home.
Typically, people purchased one home during their life and unless they were forced to relocate somewhere else for their profession, chances are they would stay in their first house for most of their lifetime. Your parents might even be in the same situation.
This used to be the typical experience of homeownership in the United States, but recently things have changed a bit. Just like this generation switches professions at different companies every few years, they’re also more likely to also switch housing locations as well.
Nowadays, new homeowners will stay in a home for an average of 5 to 7 years. Yes, it’s a much shorter amount of time to stay in one home, but most American homeowners move to a new home that often. This number includes both renters and homeowners. If you look only at homeowners then that number moves up to 10 years.
Sure, some people stay a lot longer, but some people also purchase and move into a new home in a lot shorter of a duration as well.
As a new homeowner, expect to live in your new home from anywhere between 7 and 10 years.
There’s no way to accurately determine how long you’re going to live in your new home, unless you happen to be psychic.
Everyone’s circumstances are unique, and you might follow a different life plan than the average American. Still, we’ll discuss common life events that occur and could prompt purchasing a new home. Let’s go over some general life situations that will come up over the period of your life and how that influences the type of property that you own.
If you’re single when you purchase your first property then you might just end up reconsidering the bachelor or bachelorette life by finding someone who you’re interested in starting a long-term relationship with. While you’re single, you might only want a tiny studio or one bedroom, and perhaps you don’t even consider purchasing enough space for two, or you don’t have the income to afford that much home.
As you continue through your relationship, in about five to seven years, you and your partner will probably trade up from a one bedroom and purchase something larger.
Within five to seven years of moving into your new space together, you two might decide that it’s the right time to start a family and have children. During that time, your space needs will grow as your family does, and that two-person home that you purchased might not cut it anymore. You’ll look for new space that fits the needs of your growing family and all of their stuff (which seems to be growing at an exponential rate)!
Some homebuyers, however, jump right into purchasing a home for a family, knowing that they’ll want to expand their family and planning to have enough enough space for growth.
Half of the marriages in America end up in divorce, so if you are one of the unlucky ones, (or possibly one of the lucky ones to get out of a relationship) then you’ll end up moving again.
When you get to your second or third home, since you have children in school, this will probably be the place that you settle down for a while. If you find a good home in a solid school district that educates your children really well, you might decide to stay in that neighborhood for anywhere from ten to fifteen years, until your children end up graduating. If you end up finding a new partner at that time, then you’ll probably end up moving again.
Once your children have moved out of the house, it might be time to downsize by finding a new place to live. You might sell your larger home and use the profits to move into a great condo space that matches your needs and puts you in a location that you’ve been considering for a while. You might potentially move into a new area, and might realize at a certain point that you want to live closer (or even further away in some cases) from your family.
Even though you might move into a new house after your children move out, that doesn’t mean that it will be the last home you stay in! The current generation is going through a trend called re-retirement, when you end up moving a few times after retirement to experience all different ways of life. During this time you might cross state borders and find a location that you want to live in, until you’re compelled to move somewhere else. Don’t think that just because you find a new place to live after your children are grown, doesn’t mean that you’ll live in that house forever.
If you really enjoy homeownership, you might end up purchasing more than one home at any time during this process, eventually buying the home that you end up retiring to. People aged 45 – 75 are the most likely to purchase a second home. And chances are that if you purchase a second home, you’re likely to purchase a third home too, statistically speaking, of course.
You might end up having quite a few homes when you finally end up retiring, and either hopping back and forth to each when you feel compelled, or perhaps you’ll settle in one location that you prefer living at.
On average, your family will move five to seven times during your lifetime!
When you purchase a new home, you not only accommodate your family by providing them with enough space, but you also have the potential to grow considerable wealth.
When you purchase a home, fix it up, and sell it every five to seven years then you’ll increase the amount of income you have built up significantly during your lifetime. You can cut down on the amount of homes that you and your family end up living in by selecting a property that might have a little more space than you feel you need.
How often you end up moving and how often you plan on moving plays a large role on the type of financing you end up using to pay for your home.
If you’re only going to stay in a home for 15 years, you might want to have a 15 year mortgage that allows you to build up equity that you can place toward the next home that you purchase. Or you might end up with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and prepay it by making additional mortgage payments so that you build equity quickly and save tons of money on interest payments. That way when you move out, you own your home free and clear or have a lot of equity saved up for your next move.
Before you purchase a home, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I think I’ll get married, find a life partner, or live with someone else during the next five to seven years?
- Do I plan on having children in the next five to seven years? If so, how many?
- Are my children near school age? What school district do I want them to live in?
- Is it likely that I’ll be transferred to another job over the next five to seven years?
- Do I have a parent that will need looking after in the next five to seven years that will require close supervision?
- Will I need flexible living space that my current home won’t provide?
Answering these questions will help you determine how long you’ll live in your home and help you determine if you need a larger space than you originally considered. You can save a lot of trouble moving and money by selecting a property that matches needs that you’ll have in the future. Although, you might not foresee your life changing much, chances are that it will!
Life happens, whether it’s finding the love of your life, learning that you’re going to have a child, or having a divorce, these things change the amount of space that you need to be comfortable.
When you’re searching for a property to buy, consider where your life will be in the next decade. This will help you think about the space requirements you’ll need in the immediate future, and might even make you consider looking at properties that offer different amenities and space.
It’s always good to look toward the future when deciding to buy a property, so even if you don’t think you’ll use the extra space right away, you might end benefiting from purchasing a larger home!