New research helps us understand our true motivations for moving

1st September 2020 posted in Home Lifestyle Sellers Buyers

According to a new research study, the decision to move home goes much deeper than we may first realise.

This year many of us have seen both our home and work life change beyond all recognition. While living through a global pandemic has presented many challenges, it has also offered the opportunity to reflect on many aspects of our lives. 

For some, this period of reflection will bring about significant life changes, from choosing a new career path to retiring, from starting a family to moving home.

Oftentimes it is a practical consideration that starts the ‘let’s make a change’ conversation. When it comes to moving home this could be something we’ve been living with for a while but not yet prioritised, like an emptying nest, or it could be a relatively new development, such as the need for a home office space.

But while the practical is often the prompt, new research shows that it is in fact a complex mix of our attitudes, motivations, instincts and thoughts which guide our decision making. Moving Minds is a study conducted by marketing agency Cogent and research specialists Ragdoll in collaboration worth Professor Richard Crisp, Head of the Department of Psychology at Durham University; it discovers that our ‘move mindset’ is a powerful influence over our home move choices, often without us fully realising it is even happening.

By framing the decision to move home in a question, it is clear to see the difference between the practical ‘what do I want or need in a home?’ and the more instinctive ‘why am I moving?’. 

While there will be countless answers to the first question, from a smaller garden to an extra bedroom, a shorter commute or a school catchment area, researchers found significant commonalities between the answers to the second.  In fact so much so that they were able to group home movers into one of just eight ‘tribes’ each with a very clear ‘move mindset’:

  • Seekers, who are looking for an area with a community that better reflects them and their values. 
  • Nurturers, who need a home with enough space for their family to develop and grow.
  • Couplers, who are looking for a home they can style as an entertainment hub where they can show off their ‘couple life’ to friends and family.
  • Idealists, who are incredibly house proud and are keen to enjoy the peace, quiet and comfort of their new homes. 
  • Showhomers, who are looking for more space, access to better schools and to take further steps up the property ladder.
  • Balancers, who typically don’t develop deep emotional connections with their home, seeing it primarily as a crash pad to facilitate their work hard, play hard lifestyle. 
  • Pragmatists, who are looking for something lower maintenance and that costs less to run.
  • Reconnectors, who are seeking to re-establish family ties, adopt an active role in their new communities and seek to actively explore and enjoy their new environment.

Each of these home mover tribes acts on its own powerful combination of attitudes, instincts and thoughts that determine what’s important when choosing a home, rather than the checklist of practical considerations that determine what’s important when choosing a property.

When chatting to your Hunters estate agent, any information you can share about your moving mindset, as well as your checklist of practical requirements, will ensure we can help you find your perfect home.