Some studies place moving to a new location as one of the top ten most stressful situations in a person’s life. Whether it makes the top ten list or not, no one would question that moving to a new state, city, or town is stressful. Books and other sources give a myriad of advice on lowering the stress factor of a life-changing move. One piece of advice that ranks high, if not first, on the advice scale is researching before you relocate. The “Lifestyle Finder” (City/Town Comparison) can make the research process easier. This innovative program is available free on the Roche Realty Group website, www.rocherealty.com. It gives a vast amount of information on any city or town in the USA, including average and median sales prices and the number of properties sold over the three most recent years. It also provides information on everything from population, demographics, schools, ect. This tool is invaluable if you are moving to or from the Lakes Region. It is located on the first page of rocherealty.com; scroll down and click on the box that says City/Town Comparisons.
Let’s say you are planning a move to Florida. You are considering several cities, including Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Sarasota, Stuart, and Daytona. Within seconds you can have information on each place to help in the decision process: population, average income, average age, gender ratio, number of households, the percentage with children, property ownership and rental percentage, education levels, crime rate, age breakdown, annual precipitation, analysis of employment fields, cost index of goods and services, details on the school systems including information on all the public and private schools, enrollment, demographics, and most importantly average home prices sold with detailed statistics over three years.
The “Lifestyle Finder” (City/Town Comparison) will also inform you about some of the businesses in and around the town or city. If a local hospital, golf course, or your favorite store is a must in the criteria for relocation, the program will give you a good start on some of these details. Information on parks, sports facilities, medical services, hotels, transportation, places of worship, restaurants, and shopping is embedded in the program.
The “Lifestyle Finder” (City/Town Comparison) also allows you to compare communities. For example, in seconds, you can compare the statistics for Miami, Florida and Stuart, Florida, regarding population, average income, average age, gender, education, employment, weather, average home value, housing inventory, and other factors. The data provided under buying power alerts you to the fact that goods and services in Stuart are 36% more expensive than in Miami. On the other hand, Stuart’s 2023 average home value is $479,775, compared to $601,499 in Miami. It also shows the population for Miami at 1,870,300 versus Stuart at 72,234, and the average income in Stuart is $96,110, were in Miami, it’s $87,816.
If you are moving into the Lakes Region, you can use the “Lifestyle Finder” (City/Town Comparison) to compare the different towns of interest. For instance, if you know, you want to live near Lake Winnipesaukee but are unsure what side of the lake you want to be on, you could compare the towns of Meredith and Wolfeboro. When you put these two towns into the “Lifestyle Finder” (City/Town Comparison), you will see they are similar in many considerations, including population size, where Wolfeboro has only 343 more residents, and average income, where Meredith has an average income of $118,870 versus Wolfeboro at $115,082. Wolfeboro is slightly larger at 60 square miles versus Meredith’s 49 square miles. The average home value in Meredith is $594,957, and in Wolfeboro, it is $552,975. According to the buying power index, goods and services are 6% less expensive in Meredith. Based on these factors, a person relocating to the area can focus on other parameters to determine which town they prefer.
One of the most valuable features of this tool is the search mode on home sale prices. It is important to have some idea of what your dollar can buy in prospective relocation areas. “Lifestyle Finder” (City/Town Comparison) will provide profiles on recent home sales and price trends specific to the city or town you are searching for. In seconds, you can find average sale prices in the US ranging anywhere from the most to least expensive. You might think the famous 90210 (Beverly Hills) has the highest home sale prices. This year’s average sale price certainly was high at $6,907,329; however, the average income was $333,534, but even higher was Atherton, California, at $10,215,548, and their average income is $449,870. On the other end of the spectrum, the average sale price of a home in Flint, Michigan, in 2023 was $81,412, with an average income of $57,110.
Beverly Hills, California
If you pull up Gilford, NH, you will see the average selling price for 2023 was $488,558, and the average income is $117,127. Let’s compare Gilford to San Francisco, CA. In San Francisco, the average selling price is $1,608,711, and the average income is $140,660. So you can see from the above comparison of Gilford to San Francisco there is not much difference with regard to the average income. However, the cost of purchasing a home is substantially higher than in Gilford. The staggering cost of acquiring a home in the “Bay Area” is obviously the reason why there are so many couples and families moving out of San Fransico to outlying suburbs or different states with more affordable housing. Major cities throughout the country are experiencing similar “out-migration” trends due to crime, overpopulation, traffic, high cost of living, property values, taxes, traffic congestion, and quality of life. Just like we have seen “out-migration” trends from Massachusetts into New Hampshire, metro areas like New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Seattle, Chicago, and Los Angeles are seeing similar trends. These trends were accelerated by the Coronavirus pandemic and all of the factors noted above. In the long run, I feel the Lakes Region of New Hampshire will always be a “go-to” location for the northeast because of our quality of life and abundant natural resources. Additionally, New Hampshire was fortunate to be named the “most livable state in the nation.”
The “Lifestyle Finder” (City/Town Comparison) instantly and effortlessly takes you from uncertainty to a place of knowing – a perspective that helps eliminate the stress of relocating. To access the “Lifestyle Finder” (City/Town Comparison), please visit our website, www.rocherealty.com, click the buyer tab, select compare USA towns and cities, and you are on your way to exploring thousands of cities and towns!
This article was written by Frank Roche. Frank is president of Roche Realty Group with offices in Meredith and Laconia, NH, and can be reached at (603) 279-7046. Please feel free to visit www.rocherealty.com to learn more about the Lakes Region and its real estate market