Let’s be perfectly honest; moving is a hassle. It’s not fun. It’s expensive. It is time consuming. And no matter how organized you think you are, it is never easy. It is a wonder that any of us ever moves. Yet move, we do. Citing census data, mymovingreviews.com says that the average person moves once every five years. Of the 36 million movers in 2012-13:

  • 23,150,000 moved within the same county
  • 6,961,000 moved to a different county within the same state
  • 4,770,000 moved to a different state
  • 1,036,000 moved to a different country

That is an awful lot of people who felt like they had a good enough reason to pack up and relocate. Not all reasons are created equally. Some people move because they can, and they want to experience something different. While this is not a bad reason, it can be a costly one. But sometimes, it really is cheaper to move than to stay. Here are a few such occasions when economics requires us to pack our bags:

A Better Paying Job

According to the census data, work-related moves are only the third most common reason people move. That said, it is still one of the best when considering the bottom line. Once you are convinced that you will do better financially some place else, it’s time to call the moving company. When finances really matter, we tend to follow the money wherever it might lead.

Gaining income is not the only job-related reason to move. Losing income can be an equally strong motivator. If the place where we live has a high cost of living, losing a job might make it necessary for us to move some place that is less expensive, and with more public services.

Even when moving for economic reasons, moving is still not fun, cheap, or easy. You need to reduce some of the frustration of moving by finding the best DIY moving companies in your area. Doing a little shopping around can pay huge dividends in the end, especially if you are moving due to lost income.

Family Ties

The second most common reason that people move is family. It might be to move back home due to a broken marriage. Or it could be to be closer to a sick or aging parent. Either way, economics plays a huge part of that particular moving decision.

In 2012, 36 percent of young adults between 18 and 31 have either moved back in with their parents, or never moved out in the first place. CBSnews.com reports that this is the highest percentage in four decades.

Not only is it a tough time for young adults, but for older adults looking for ways to take care of aging parents. Few can afford to place their parents in a quality nursing home. And the cost of in-home nursing can be prohibitive. Many are finding it better to simply move in with their parents so that they can provide care, or move near their parents to alleviate excessive travel expenses for visits. Either way, it is still mostly about the money. Taking care of aging parents is a very good reason to relocate.


Topping the list of reasons to move is housing. It is unclear what all this category entails. After all, the average mortgage used to be 30 years. That assumes that with routine maintenance, houses would at least last that long. Still, there are many housing related issues that could prompt a move.

Houses built before 1980 might be home to life-threatening levels of asbestos. We know that asbestos was a common building material in all types of structures. We also know that asbestos exposure over time is the only known way of contracting mesothelioma. How much will it cost you to remodel your house and remove all known poisons and carcinogens? This is one of those situations where selling may not only be cheaper, but life saving for you and your family.

Although people may give a plethora of reasons for moving, in my experience, it usually comes down to money. When viewed in that light, it is easier to see why we feel we have to move once every five years.