Home Buying Habits

Americans change houses almost as frequently as we do automobiles. Life as they say comes at us quickly and we tend to respond in kind. Unfortunately, home buying like most major decisions we make in life tend to favor those who act rather than react. Americans age 25 - 65 will change houses on average every 5 -7 years.

The reasons are as varied as our mortgage options. Here are the seven most common.

1. House is too small: First time home buyers and newlyweds usually start out with an income and savings account that like themselves has not yet fully matured . Then all too quickly the growing family requires a larger home which dictates another move.

2. Upgrading: Success in the business world allows us to reward our efforts and hard work by treating ourselves to a newer, nicer environment (with the perks we earlier dreamed about.)

3. Oops! That was a mistake: Sometimes we just buy the wrong house. Homes, like clothing, don't always fit us as well as we thought they would. We choose price over location or a lifestyle change that turns out to be not quite what we had hoped for.

4. Relocation: This one is mostly unavoidable. We get that better or higher paying job offer we just can't say no to. The promotion we have been hoping for comes through or the unthinkable happens and we need to relocate to find new employment.

5. Divorce & Remarriage: Breaking up is hard to do , but splitting a house in two is impossible. It's also difficult to build a new life for yourself and your family in a house surrounded by old memories.

6. The Neighborhood: Wow, so many reasons. The neighborhood is declining. We need better security for ourselves and our children. There may not be enough young children for our kids to play with. The neighborhood no longer matches our lifestyle.

7. Empty Nesters: We don't always downsize though that is most often the case when the kids leave home. Sometimes the floor plan no longer works for us. Why stay in a two story house when a one story home better fits our needs? More often than not, it's time we find a neighborhood and lifestyle that meets our new goals, not the children's.

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