Why are you moving?

Castles in the Sand

One of the first things we ask when a friend or relative decides to move is, “Why are you moving?” That’s a question that has dozens of answers. None of them are simple, and none of them come without emotional baggage.

Owning a family home especially one where you lived for many years, raised children, hosted parties, holidays and created memories and experiences, may be the most difficult thing we live through. It’s right up here with death and divorce and is frequently combined with these life-changing events. Making selling a home even more complicated is the fact that for most people it’s the biggest financial transaction they will experience in their lives. Emotions and finances meeting at the crossroads of our lives can put us over the edge, but it doesn’t have to.

Planning for a significant life transition is the best advice for selling your home and moving. Plan well in advance, make lists, develop a timeline and start throwing out. It also helps if you have a friend or close relative who can give you a hand if needed.

Staying centered and keeping a calm Zen-like state of mind will get you through the process when the worst happens, and it will. Remember why you’re moving, focus on the benefits of the move, financial and emotional. Is the house too big now that your family has moved on, will the property start needing major upgrades and renovations because of its age that may be more than you want to take on or is it just time to start fresh?

Americans are by nature transient. They move around the country frequently for school, jobs or retirement. For instance. maybe after living at the beach for years, it’s time to move inland. We’re seeing quite a bit of that particular transition on Anna Maria Island and other waterfront communities in our area. As new part-time residents and investors are purchasing on the Island keeping selling prices up, long time permanent residents are starting to think about moving off.

Some of this transition has to do with the aging of full-time Island residents and their homes. New construction is always a draw, especially for retirees, as I have recently heard from many of my friends and acquaintances. In addition, small cities and university communities are a big attraction for retirees. There has been a fair amount of migration to the Carolinas from Florida residents who want to be closer to families still in the Northeast or looking for a change of temperature from Florida’s warm summers. For instance, cities like Charleston, Charlotte and Ashville offer city life without the city hustle and bustle.

Finally, as stated, a home is most people’s largest investment, so selling it and moving on creates a dollar and cents stress like no other. Government regulations require realtors and closing agents to state clearly in black and white what your closing check will be and any other expenses related to the sale several days ahead of the actual closing.

For many years I worked in real estate corporate relocation in New York, and I can tell you the transition for these families coming from other parts of the country to the suburbs of New York City was staggering. The sticker shock reduced transferees to tears before they even got out of the realtor’s car, and this was even before the cultural differences kicked in.

So, when you make the decision to move after you answer all the questions about why you are moving, start making lists, stay centered, organized and look positively forward to the next of life’s challenges.

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