We move plenty as military families. Every few years, most of us receive orders to uproot and relocate. Or, if your spouse is in training, you may move every few months like my husband and I do!
Although you may despise the thought of another move in your future, there are reasons why it may be time to move without PCS orders in hand.
7 Signs It Might Be Time to Move
1) Growing Family
When you start a family, whether it be one child or many, your space is going to change. While we all know you could make it just fine in your one-bedroom apartment, you may consider expanding into a larger home to maintain your current level of comfort.
2) Empty Nest
Maybe you're on the other end of the spectrum and your kids are all grown and out of the home, making you and your spouse “empty nesters” with a whole bunch of house.
As much as we like to think how wonderful it would be to have so much space, you may find it more practical to downsize. By downsizing, you have the opportunity to either upgrade to a new home with amenities that you've been dreaming of or save money on an equally nice but smaller home. The best part is, you now have the freedom to choose!
3) Shifting Finances
Military members receive a housing allowance each month to provide for their family's current cost of living. However, that doesn't eliminate the fact that there are other variables affecting your finances, which can cause a little tightening of the budget.
For example, if you're used to working and helping financially, you may have been able to live beyond what the housing allowance enables for you. However, if you are no longer able to work due to children, tight job market, health, etc., you may find your previous lifestyle stressful and difficult to maintain. At this point, it may be time to move into a less expensive home rather than stress to live beyond your means.
4) Changing Community
As much as some of us do not like change, we have to accept that things around us are constantly changing. Perhaps you bought a home in a nice area of town when you moved to your most recent duty station. After years of living there, however, the area has become run down and the property has lost value.
It may be a good idea to consider moving to a better area of town. If you haven’t put a lot of money into the home, this may be a good time to sell and try to break even on your finances.
5) Issues with the Home
Enough is enough! If the home you moved into has had one thing after another wrong with it, it may be time to consider moving. My brother and his wife moved into a gorgeous home that needed just a few renovations to make it comfortable for their family. Unfortunately, the “to-do list” never stopped.
After constantly putting money into the house whose problems never seemed to end, they decided to cut their losses and move into a newer home with less maintenance required.
Another reason to move is your home's equity. Hopefully, you've taken care of your home since you moved in, maintaining its value over the years. If you made any improvements to the house during your time spent there, it's possible that the house is worth more now then when you purchased it.
With these two factors and a healthy housing market, you should be able to walk away with more money leaving your home than you had going in. With the money gained, you can choose whatever housing route you want. Do you want to start building a home, buy land, live in a nicer home, nicer community? With more money on your hands, you will have more housing options as you embark on your new move.
Military retirement is huge! For possibly the first time in 20+ years, you and your spouse get to choose where you live. Now is the time to be picky deciding where you live, what you live in, if you build, if you buy… the options for you at retirement are nearly endless.
None of us like the idea of moving unnecessarily. However, after years of living in your home, it may be time to consider moving even if it IS without a new set of orders. Reevaluate your current situation and see if any of these seven reasons to move apply to you and your family!