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 how to lower 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” can make the research process easier. This new program is now available free on the Roche Realty Group website and gives a vast amount of information on cities and towns throughout the US. For information on everything from average home values to finding a local coffee shop, if you are moving to or from the Lakes Region, this tool is invaluable.
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, 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, and demographics. The “Lifestyle Finder” will also give you information on 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” also allows you to do a comparison of communities. As an example, in seconds you can compare the statistics for Miami and Stuart with regard to 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, the 2015 average home value in Stuart is $242,010 as compared to $317,070 in Miami.
If you are moving into the Lakes Region, you can use the “Lifestyle Finder” to compare the different towns of interest. For instance, if you know you want to live near Lake Winnipesaukee but you are not sure 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,” you will see they are similar in many considerations including population size, average income, and average age. Wolfeboro is slightly larger at 60 square miles versus Meredith’s 49 square miles. The average home value in Meredith is $286,413 and in Wolfeboro it is $296,748. According to the cost index, goods and services are 2% more expensive in Wolfeboro. Based on these factors, a person relocating to the area can focus on other parameters to determine which town he or she prefers.
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” will provide you with profiles on recent home sales and price trends specific to the city or town you are searching. In seconds, you can find average sale prices in the US ranging anywhere from the most to least expensive. You might think that the famous 90210 (Beverly Hills) has the highest sale prices for homes. This year’s average sale price certainly was high at $3,628,109, but even higher was Atherton, California at $6,950,880. On the other end of the spectrum, the average sale price of a home in Flint, Michigan was $35,121 in 2015.
Whether you are considering a move to the Lakes Region or relocating from the area to another part of the country, you can use the “Lifestyle Finder” tool to facilitate the process and lower the stress factor. In an article entitled “How to Handle a Move” written for the magazine Experience Life, author Jon Spayde quotes the psychologist and psychotherapist Elizabeth Stirling, PhD. She states that the number one barrier to overcome when relocating is fear of the unknown. Stirling points out that it is “natural to worry about the unforeseeable — what this new place will be like…any major change brings unpredictability, which is unsettling.” Her number one solution to combat this? Research. The “Lifestyle Finder” instantly and easily takes you from uncertainty to a place of knowing – a perspective that helps eliminate the stress of relocating.
The old expression “knowledge is power” is usually attributed to Francis Bacon. Yet Thomas Jefferson valued the wisdom of this statement and used it on multiple occasions. In correspondence to George Ticknor in 1817, Jefferson wrote that he hoped people would “possess information enough to perceive the important truths, that knowledge is power, that knowledge is safety, and that knowledge is happiness.” I would add that knowledge is peace of mind when it comes to relocating.
This post was written by Mary O’Neill. Mary is a sales associate at Roche Realty Group in Meredith, NH and can be reached at (603) 366-6306 (cell) or (603) 279-7046 (office). E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org