In decades past, the basis for relocating was often a simple motive – proximity to work or a larger home for the family. The U.S. Census Bureau considers three primary “reasons to move” – family, job, and housing reasons. Of course, there are countless considerations when relocating, and within those categories the Bureau identifies 19 sub-groups.
Even more varied are the features to consider when choosing a new home. However, you might find those features have changed dramatically over the past several years.
For example, when I relocated my family last year, the prospect of being closer to work was no longer a critical issue. For those that work remotely, like me, the more important consideration was reasonable access to a large airport.
The following are some surprising features that homebuyers contemplate today that may not have been considered in the past:
High Speed Internet
As more employees begin to work remotely, the need for reliable internet access becomes more important. Some real estate professionals call these “tech requests.” Consider that there may be times during the day that one child is gaming, another streaming video on their phone or tablet, and yet another using their laptop. For such households, the ideal solution is “Gig speed.” This is the label given to broadband internet service with download speeds up to one gigabit per second.
As strange as it sounds to many, some homebuyers now research election results prior to relocating to another community. This is a form of political migration called “sorting.” A homeowner will choose to move where he or she feels most comfortable with the values and prevailing political views of the community.
The Fun Factor
For many homebuyers, square footage is no longer a driver in the decision. In fact, smaller homes may be preferred so long as there are lifestyle considerations. Essentially, what can I do when I’m not in the home? Whether it is a coffee shop, park, dining, exercise, entertainment, sports, or nightlife, some are relocating to the action. Lifestyle considerations for millennials may be quite different than those of the baby boomer generation, but the motive is still fun.
Certainly, the obvious factors that home shoppers traditionally ponder are still there – crime rates, schools, access to shopping, etc. But the added features that ultimately drive the relocation may have changed.