Nearly 1/3 of Americans plan to move this year. Here’s why


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Dreamily browsing real estate marketplaces — or already packing boxes? You’re not alone: Almost a third of Americans are contemplating a move in 2023, according to the latest LendingTree survey of more than 2,000 consumers.

That may come as a surprise given the turbulence in the housing market over the past couple of years, though mortgage rates are (finally) falling in the first quarter of 2023. Of course, moving is seldom cheap (and never less work than staying put), but these would-be movers are motivated by finance-transcending dreams like upgrading their lifestyle or enjoying a change of scenery. In fact, only 13% of the respondents who say they’re considering a move are doing so because their current living situation is too expensive.

Here’s a closer look at what’s motivating Americans to consider a move in 2023.

Key findings

  • Nearly a third of Americans have moving on their minds. 31% of consumers say they’re thinking about moving in 2023. Gen Zers (46%) and renters (44%) are the most likely to say they’re contemplating a move, but some are unsure of their future as 14% haven’t decided on 2023 plans.
  • Despite rising housing costs, finances aren’t fueling relocation. Upgrading their living situation (41%) is the leading relocation reason survey respondents cited, followed by living in a different area (25%), growing tired of their current home (23%) and needing to make a change due to a personal situation (23%). Half of those thinking about a move this year plan to stay in their current town or city. Only 19% of potential movers plan to cross state lines and remain in the country.
  • Once a homeowner, always a homeowner — but becoming one isn’t necessarily a priority. Of the current homeowners with a mortgage thinking about moving in 2023, 73% say they expect to buy rather than rent. Of everyone considering a move this year, 39% say they plan to rent their next place, while 47% plan to buy — 12% of whom say they want to become first-time homeowners. Lastly, 55% of current renters plan to rent their next place.
  • Financial insecurity is respondents’ biggest barrier to homeownership. 30% of non-homeowners say they’re most worried that they won’t be able to keep up with the finances of owning a home. The state of the economy is the biggest concern for the 18% worried that buying a home now isn’t a good financial move. Another 15% primarily say they don’t believe their credit is good enough to get a mortgage.
  • For the 54% of Americans not planning to move this year, most (66%) say it’s because they’re happy with their current living situation. However, financial concerns are also a factor. Although 31% of people not planning a move say they’re in their forever homes, high home prices and/or interest rates have thwarted relocation plans for 21%, while steep moving costs (18%) and economic uncertainty (18%) are also keeping people in their current homes.

31% of Americans are considering moving in 2023 — here’s why

Although nearly a third is a pretty big percentage, it’s substantially smaller than last year, when 39% of Americans were considering a move. (Most of those would-be movers were motivated by the desire for more space.)

Still, another 14% say a move may or may not be in their future this year, bringing 2023’s yeses and maybes to 46%. Anyone who’s ever moved before knows what a pain it can be, so why is everyone so antsy to grab their tape gun?

The reasons these maybe-moving respondents cite may be surprising — and heartening.

Although housing costs remain high, saving money on housing is relatively low on the list of motivations. Instead, those considering a move this year are most often hoping to upgrade their living situation, explore a different location or adapt to changes in their personal lives. These responses suggest respondents feel confident enough to spend time, money and energy on a move to improve their lives.

On the less-surprising side of the equation, younger respondents are more likely to consider a move than older ones, who are more likely to be established homeowners. (Renters are more likely to consider moving than homeowners in general, which holds true whether or not those homeowners have paid off their mortgage.)

Of those contemplating a move, 16% say they’d stay close to home, moving to another location in their town or area. Another 9% are considering a more resource-intensive move to a new city within their state, while only 6% ideate about crossing state lines. Just 1% of respondents are adventurous enough to consider the prospect of the most arduous kind of move — expatriation — but millennials ages 27 to 42 and Gen Zers ages 18 to 26 are the most likely (1%).

When moving, buy or rent?

Would-be movers lean more toward owning than renting: 39% plan to sign a lease if they move, while 47% would prefer homeownership — 12% of whom plan to buy their first home. Another 15% are unsure where they stand on the buy-or-rent decision.

But which decision makes more financial sense? It depends.

“Buying is often seen as better than renting because it’s seen as a better long-term investment,” says Jacob Channel, LendingTree senior economist. Owning your home offers the opportunity to build equity and see appreciation (an increase in your home’s value over time). Along with potentially selling your home for a profit, Channel says you can tap into the equity you build via a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit (HELOC).

But renting isn’t always a bad choice — particularly if you don’t have cash handy for a major investment. “The upfront costs associated with renting are generally much cheaper than those associated with buying,” says Channel, “and the barrier for getting approved for a rental unit is usually easier to overcome than the barrier for getting approved for a mortgage.”

A good rule of thumb for determining which route works better for your wallet: how much padding you’d have left if you took the leap. “Ultimately, if you’re in a situation where buying a house would leave you with virtually no savings,” says Channel, “then renting is probably going to be the better choice. After all, it’s hard to use a house to build wealth if you default on your mortgage and lose your home.”

But if you’re in a good position to keep up payments long term, paying a little more each month can be a worthy investment. Respondents seem to understand: 46% of those considering a move say they expect to pay more monthly for their new digs — 13% of which say they plan to pay a lot more.

Primary housing situation, at a glance

Of those surveyed, 54% are homeowners, the majority of whom (32%) have a mortgage on their house. Whether paying a mortgage or renting, most respondents spend between $500 and $1,499 monthly on their housing, with homeowners generally paying more monthly than renters.

The homeowners who responded to our survey are most likely to be fairly established in their homes, having purchased them at least five years ago, and 74% of homeowners with a mortgage say they’re happy with their mortgage’s interest rate.

Despite their commitments, a substantial rate of homeowners are open to a move — 34% with a mortgage and 31% without one saying yes or maybe. Still, that’s less than half of the 61% of renters who say yes or maybe to moving.

How work has impacted moves

While the pandemic may have catalyzed a work-from-home revolution, the majority of working respondents still do so in person: 36% are expected to head to the office full time, while 12% have a hybrid, partial-work-from-home arrangement. (Only 16% say they work fully remotely, while another 37% of respondents aren’t currently employed.)

That means that moving for work is still a reality, if not the main driver of moves. In fact, 12% of respondents moved in the past three years due to their work arrangements. The trend is highest among millennials, six-figure earners and parents with young children at 19% and men and homeowners with a mortgage at 15%.

Biggest barriers to homeownership: Finances, economy

Even if finances aren’t motivating people to move out of their current living arrangements, they are holding back would-be homeowners from pulling the trigger. Respondents’ No. 1 reluctance to buy a home stems from a fear they won’t be able to keep up with costs like the mortgage, down payment and utilities, followed by a fear that the economic timing is not right.

Still, 14% of respondents claim they don’t fear homeownership — they simply don’t want it. Another 6% say they’re still figuring out where they want to make their permanent home, and 3% don’t want to deal with the hassle of applying for a mortgage.

Nobody wants to live in fear — but according to Channel, many of these would-be homeowners’ fears are valid. “The reality is that in today’s housing market, where home prices and rates are both steep, buying is going to be too expensive for many,” he says. He also cautions shoppers considering fixer-uppers: “Those who decide to buy a cheap home in need of serious renovations can easily find themselves in situations where they’re overwhelmed by the cost of those renovations.”

Still, there are ways around these pitfalls for motivated and strategic buyers. “Shopping around for a lender before you buy can help you get a lower rate — and thus make your monthly mortgage payment more affordable,” Channel says. Government-insured home loan programs, like Veterans Affairs (VA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) mortgages, may offer approval with little to no down payment.

Nearly 7 in 10 not thinking about moving are happy with their living situation

Although most Americans aren’t considering a move, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re thrilled with their home: 18% say they’re not planning to move because they’re uncertain about the economy, for instance. Another 21% say they can’t afford to buy with today’s housing prices and/or interest rates — particularly Gen Z respondents (26%).

Altogether, 31% of respondents not considering a move say they’re in their “forever home” — a figure that matches the number of these respondents who don’t know when they’ll move next.

3 more factors to consider when moving

While cost is often top of mind for those considering a move (for good reason), there’s more to such a big decision than money. Here are a few more factors to consider when mulling over a move.

  • Understand the area. Although most people considering a move don’t plan to venture far from home, those who may should spend time researching the new location. After all, even a great deal on a mortgage or lease is worthless if you figure out you can’t stand the climate or the commute (or the politics). It’s worth figuring those things out ahead of time.
  • Keep moving costs in mind. It’s easy to get so caught up in the price of housing that you lose sight of the cost of getting yourself (and your stuff) to that house. “Hiring a mover, especially for a long-distance move, can cost several thousand dollars,” Channel says. And even if you DIY your move, there’s the moving van, gas and opportunity cost of missed work to consider.
  • Consider job prospects. Even if you love a city’s geography and culture, you may find yourself in a sticky situation if you don’t have a way to make an income. While some movers have the luxury of working remotely, many others don’t. And if you lose your job, you’ll want to be able to find a replacement gig. All told, it’s worth scoping out potential job prospects in your new area, or having a backup plan that you can carry along with you wherever you go.


LendingTree commissioned Qualtrics to conduct an online survey of 2,017 U.S. consumers ages 18 to 77 from Jan. 6 to 12, 2023. The survey was administered using a nonprobability-based sample, and quotas were used to ensure the sample base represented the overall population. Researchers reviewed all responses for quality control.

We defined generations as the following ages in 2023:

  • Generation Z: 18 to 26
  • Millennial: 27 to 42
  • Generation X: 43 to 58
  • Baby boomer: 59 to 77

This article originally appeared on LendingTree and was syndicated by MediaFeed.

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Your essential guide to moving to a new state

Your essential guide to moving to a new state

Moving to a new state is a huge, multifaceted process. On one end, you’re selling your home, packing up everything you own, and hitting the road. If you’re under time pressure, you may even have to sell fast, which can steer you towards some unconventional buyers.

On the other end, you’re buying a house, starting a new job, and making new friends. And who knows how long it’ll last? You might be doing it all over again in a year.

But with a little planning, you can make your out-of-state move a relatively non-stressful affair. From working with the right real estate agent to reduce your commission, to looking into selling your home as an FSBO (for sale by owner) transaction, there are a ton of things you can do to put more money in your pocket (boxes and bubble wrap aren’t cheap!) and make your move a success.

Read on for 31 essential steps to take when moving out of state!

Related: The hottest housing markets of 2022

Before you begin your moving process, create a high-level master plan. Ask yourself:

  • Do you want professional movers handling your belongings, or can you move all your stuff in your own vehicle?

  • Figure out a rough budget. Will it accommodate movers, rental vehicles, rental insurance, and so on?

  • How long of a trip are you looking at?

  • Do you have friends or family who can help you with the move?

  • Do you need to schedule your move around work, school, or social obligations?

Once you get a general idea of your move’s logistics, other details will be much easier to take care of.


If you don’t hold yourself to a specific date, you’ll likely keep pushing it further out. A hard deadline will serve as great motivation.

The date you choose will affect your move in many ways. Summer is the most popular time to move, so you may end up paying higher rates if you move in the summer months, and you’ll have to plan further ahead to secure movers. The same applies to weekends and holidays, when demand is high or the supply of movers is low, so plan accordingly.

If you’re trying to keep your moving budget down, consider a weekday move in the cooler, off-peak seasons.

You’re going to need a lot of boxes, rolls of tape and bubble cushioning, markers, and other supplies. Don’t wait until the last minute to pick them up. The sooner you get all your moving supplies, the sooner you can start packing.

If you’re going to move with free or discarded boxes, start gathering them as soon as possible, since their availability can be unpredictable.

If you’re not already moving for a new job, you’ll need to arrange to keep the one you have or find a new one when you arrive.

Ask your current employer if they’ll let you work remotely. Employers have become much more flexible about remote work since the beginning of the pandemic. If you decide to stay on at your current job, ask if they’ll cover some or all of your moving costs.

If you’re looking for a new job, start immediately. Job searches are unpredictable, and it’ll make your move much less stressful if you know you have something waiting for you on the other end.


A move can be a great opportunity to get rid of things you no longer need or use. Before you start packing, decide what you REALLY want to take with you.

One good system is to sort your belongings into three categories. Keep the absolute necessities, such as furniture and clothes you wear. Things you can donate, such as quality clothes that you haven’t worn in a couple years, can go in a charity pile. You can use a Marie Kondo-inspired standard to further whittle your belongings down, asking yourself if each item you’re considering actively brings you enjoyment. If the answer is no, toss it!

Once you’ve sorted all your items, you can sell them on Craigslist, or donate them to charity. Many charities will pick donations up from your doorstep.

If you just randomly throw all your belongings into a bunch of boxes, you’re going to have a very frustrating time when you get to your new home.

A good general rule is to pack nonessentials first: books, artwork, out-of-season clothes, and so on. Pack the items you’ll need immediate access to, like food, toiletries, and kitchen equipment, last.

Once you’ve packed everything up, write the contents and what room it belongs in on the outside of each box. Color-coding boxes can make sorting even easier.

Moving is expensive, but you can keep your costs controlled by making a moving budget.

You’ll need to allocate money for moving supplies, movers, and rental vehicles (if you’re using them). Don’t forget to take time away from work into account, as well as incidentals like gas, hotels, and food while you’re on the road. You may also want to purchase moving insurance.

There will likely be more charges on the other end of your move, too: For example, when you open new utilities accounts.

This one may sound like a bit of a no-brainer, but in an era when “sight unseen” home purchases are common, it bears repeating that you should try to visit your new neighborhood before you move there.

So many things don’t show up in listing photos or online message boards, and if you discover a deal breaker after you’ve already moved in, it’s too late.

You probably wouldn’t visit a restaurant or bar without checking their online reviews first, so you should do the same for your new neighborhood. Websites like Google Maps, Great Schools, NeighborhoodScout, and Nextdoor can give you an on-the-ground perspective on everything from crime, school quality, traffic, and general vibes.

The cost of living varies wildly between different regions of the country. Look into your destination’s cost of living so you won’t be surprised by how far your dollar will (or won’t) go in your new home.

Don’t forget to take state taxes into account. Some states, like Florida and Texas, charge no state income tax, while other states charge high levels of state taxes that can really cut into your paycheck. If you’re a business owner, look into local payroll and business taxes.

Related: The largest mansion in every state

Considering three main factors when hiring movers or handling your move yourself: cost, convenience, and comfort level.

Cost is obvious: Professional movers cost money, especially if you’re moving over long distances, and doing it yourself is cheaper (or free if you have a vehicle big enough to transport all your things).

The convenience that comes from hiring pros means you won’t have to deal with packing, loading, transporting, and unloading.

Comfort level relates to how comfortable you are letting strangers handle your belongings. Maybe you have expensive items that need special handling (most professionals can be trusted with fragile items, but accidents do happen), or you simply don’t want a crew of movers going through your stuff. If not, you’ll have to take on that labor yourself. That includes heavy lifting, hours of packing, loading, unloading, and time away from work.


The moving company you hire is going to be responsible for all your worldly possessions, so check them out beforehand.

Personal referrals are the gold standard, so ask friends and family if they have a company they can recommend. When you settle on a few candidates, check out their online reviews.

When you’ve settled on one company, ask them for local references, and a detailed fee table, so you aren’t surprised by any charges tacked on at the end. Also ask if they offer packing and loading services, which can further simplify your move. Finally, ask the moving company if they plan to subcontract your move; if they answer yes, that means your belongings could be split up among several different moving trucks. That means your belongings could arrive days apart, and could be tough to track down if they’re lost in transit.

Companies that handle interstate moves are subject to regulation by the Department of Transportation and will need to display accreditation like industry registration, a DOT identification number, and motor vehicle and liability insurance. These should be viewable on the company’s website, or at their offices. If a company you’re looking at can’t provide these credentials, tread carefully.

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If you rent a moving truck, or are moving farther than you’d prefer to drive, you’ll need to transport your car (or cars) to your destination. Some options include hiring a driver, shipping it via Amtrak, or paying to have it transported via carrier.


If you hire professional movers, don’t assume that a cross-country drive is the best or cheapest option for getting yourself to your new home. When you take gas prices, hotel prices, food, and time away from work into account, you may realize it’s cheaper just to fly.

Nothing’s more demoralizing than arriving at a dark, waterless, powerless, Wi-Fi-less house at the end of a long trip. Call ahead and activate your basic utilities so you can arrive and unpack in relative comfort.

You’ll also want to update your address and have your mail forwarded so you don’t miss any bills or important documents.

If you can’t transfer your gym or fitness memberships, cancel them before you move so you don’t end up paying for months you don’t use. Many of these businesses require at least a month’s advance notice, so don’t wait until the last minute!

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If you have children in school, you’ll need to enroll them in a new school, and notify their current school of their departure. This will also require transfer of their educational records, as well as immunization forms and other local requirements. Make sure you coordinate a smooth transition so your child can pick up where they left off.

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If you have children, talk to them about what’s about to happen well ahead of the move.

This will give them time to say goodbye to their friends and classmates, as well as emotionally accept the relocation.

» READ: Average Real Estate Commission Rates by State: 2021 Data

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If you don’t plan on going back to your current location, you’ll want to clean out your storage units. Throw out, donate, or pack up your stored belongings, and notify the storage company that you’re vacating your unit.

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Get a detailed floor plan of your new home, and carefully measure all your furniture to make sure it’ll fit. Paying to transport a sofa to a new state, and then finding out it’s too big for the living room is demoralizing, as well as a waste of money.

If you have to order new furniture, double and triple check that it’s compatible with the dimensions of your new home.

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If you’re a renter, you’ll likely need to do a deep clean of your current home if you want to get your full deposit back. Many landlords will even ask you to paint and fill holes before you move out. It can be tough to conduct a comprehensive cleaning of your old house while you’re also packing and coordinating a move, so hiring professional cleaners can be a great use of your moving budget.


In the chaos of a move, it’s easy to forget to hand off your house keys to your landlord or your real estate agent, who’ll pass them on to the next tenant. Make a point to pass your keys onto the right person before you leave town, to save everyone a lot of inconvenience. You can always mail them if you forget, but keep in mind there is a small chance they’ll be lost in the mail.

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Keep your most indispensable items with you when you move. That can include passports, identification, Social Security cards, tax, financial, medical, and insurance documents, valuables, and prescriptions. Experts also suggest taking a bag or box that contains everything you’ll need for the first night in your new home, just in case the rest of your belongings lag behind.

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Contact your movers the week of your move and make sure they have the correct address, destination, and pick-up time.

» READ: 16 Best “For Sale by Owner” Websites in 2021

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You’ll want to stay in close contact with your movers while you’re both en route, especially if one party gets delayed. Make sure they have all your contact information, and confirm that you’re both heading to the same destination.


Just as you’d let your children know you’re moving, let your friends and neighbors know you’re leaving so they can adjust to the idea. You might be pleasantly surprised at the outpouring of emotion and farewells, and people may even offer to help with the move.

If you’re moving to a different state, your health insurance will undergo some changes. Even if you’re staying with the same employer and keeping the same insurance company, your benefits will likely undergo some adjustment, and you’ll have a new network of healthcare providers.

You can make this a smoother transition by arranging with your current doctors to get a hard copy of your medical records. They’ll probably electronically transfer your records later, after you’ve settled with a new doctor, but having hard copies on day one can make things a lot more efficient.

One last thing: If you expect a rocky transition, or you’re changing to a whole new insurance plan, try to stock up on essential prescriptions before you move so you have a little cushion.

Steve Debenport

States require you to get a new driver’s license and vehicle registration when you relocate. Make sure you keep all the necessary documents together. Most states require, at a minimum, proof of citizenship and residency, and your Social Security card.

Once you’ve taken care of that, update your auto insurance, too. You may end up with lower rates!

If you want to participate in local elections, you’ll have to register to vote in your new state. In many states you can do this online; other options include registering through the DMV or at the USPS.

» READ: How to Calculate a House Buyout in a Divorce

Even homes that are “move-in ready” usually need a little touching up, even if that means small cosmetic changes. Your move-in will go a lot smoother if you hire a professional to help you handle things like changing light fixtures, rehanging doors, making small repairs, hanging pictures, and giving your appliances an inspection.

Once you’ve unpacked and settled in, it’s time to explore your new home. If you’re a sociable type, you might want to introduce yourself to your new neighbors. Websites like Yelp and Nextdoor, and Facebook groups are a great source of things to do in your area. It’s even better and if a friend or family member can connect you with a local!

This article originally appeared on Clever  and was syndicated by

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