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Local survey reveals moving money nightmares

Written by Contributor. Posted in Featured, Home & Garden

Published on August 27, 2014 with No Comments

In today’s world, moving to a new home may leave a larger dent on your wallet than your personal belongings.

A new, local survey reveals that new movers face thousands of dollars of moving expenses, at times $5,000 or more–expenses that cause a debt disaster for 1 in 6 movers.   To make matters worse, more than 2 in 3 new movers say busy and unapproachable friends and neighbors add to their emotional and financial stress.

The recently-released local survey, commissioned by Our Town America, comes at the start of the busiest moving time of the year.   More than 40 million Americans are expected to relocate this year and most will make their move during the summer months when the weather is favorable and kids are out of school.

According to the local survey of more than 300 men and women who have moved in the past five years, all 40 million of those movers should brace for:

Lasting and debilitating financial issues:

• The move to local communities will likely cost at least $2,000. Nearly half (48 percent) of the respondents said the average move costs $2,000 or more.   One in 10 said that the average move costs $5,000 or more.

• Local residents going into debt after the move is a distinct possibility.  Nearly 1 in 6 respondents (15 percent) said they have gone into debt due to moving costs.

• And it’s unlikely local companies will help bear the cost burden.  Only 2 in 5 respondents said they’ve ever relocated for their career.   Of those respondents, nearly half (46 percent) said their company did not help pay for relocation.

Stressful conversations/decisions with family and friends:

• Asking friends to help will be stressful for local movers.  More than two-thirds (69 percent) of survey respondents said it is stressful to ask friends to help them to move.  Seventy-five percent of those respondents said it’s hard to ask because they know they’re busy.

• Local movers will avoid asking for help because they don’t want to owe favors.  More than 1 in 3 (36 percent) respondents said they don’t ask friends to move because they “don’t want to owe them a favor.”   Additionally, more than 1 in 4 (29 percent) respondents have personally turned someone down who asked for help with a move.

• Local movers will need to offer incentives for friends to help with moves.  More than half (53 percent) of the respondents said they have to offer an incentive if they want friends to help them move.   Naturally, the top three incentives were “pizza,” “a six pack of beer” and “cash.”

• And it’s unlikely family/friends can afford to move with local movers. More than 3 in 5 (62 percent) of survey respondents said they would move somewhere else, but don’t believe they have the money do so.

“These survey results show that it’s critically important for neighbors and local businesses to welcome new movers to town with open arms,” said Michael Plummer, Jr., Our Town America president and CEO.  “The emotional and financial stress associated with moving takes a heavy toll on new movers.  They desperately need a helping hand to limit stress, minimize costs and feel comfortable in their new home.”

Unfriendly neighbors add to moving stress:

• More than half (53 percent) of the respondents said that today’s neighbors are not as friendly as the neighbors they remember as a child because they “seem too busy.”

• This is unfortunate as nearly half of respondents (49 percent) also voted “meeting new neighbors” as a top three requirement to feeling comfortable and settled in a new home.

Housewarming gifts matter:

• More than half (54 percent) of survey respondents have moved six or more times and more than 2 in 3 (67 percent) have moved out of state or out of the country – today’s movers need a helping hand to feel comfortable and learn more about their brand new surroundings.

• Eighty-eight percent of respondents said that receiving a housewarming gift would make them feel more comfortable in a new home/neighborhood, yet less than half (46 percent) have ever received a housewarming gift when new to a neighborhood.

• Eighty-one percent of respondents said they would have liked advice about their new community upon move in.  And 93 percent say they would take advantage of an offer from a local business that took the time to welcome them to the community.

All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle.  For more than 40 years, Our Town America has been providing new movers with traditional hospitality by mailing housewarming gifts from local neighborhood businesses.  For more information, visit www.ourtownamerica.com.

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