Another Top-10 List — U.S. Cities Where Americans Have Lived the Longest in The Same Dwelling Unit

More than 30 years ago when I was working for the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, the Executive Officer at the Lubbock Association of Realtors said we should do a study on how much a home sale impacts the local economy in addition to just the home purchase price. Great idea to track how much a home sale adds to jobs, sales and related services. Just think about all of the expenses involved.

The following expenses may or may not be included in and every transaction and do not in any way included all related costs and expenses.

Prior to the Sale

  • Home repairs and improvements prior to listing the property
  • Photographer for listing pictures
  • Expenses by the listing agent for advertising, signs, open houses and related marketing

Pre-Sale – and Closing

  • Real estate commission(s)
  • Loan application and related lender fees
  • Appraisal
  • Survey
  • Legal
  • Property inspection
  • Pre-closing required repairs
  • Title insurance and related costs including search and exam, title commitment, legal, closing costs, title premium, escrow fees
  • Legal fees
  • Mortgage insurance
  • Moving expenses (buyer and seller)
  • Document recording and potential transfer taxes (employing and supporting state and local governmental staff)
  • Utility disconnect, connect fees, related deposits


  • New home or apartment for most of the sellers (incurring many of the above expenses in a domino fashion)
  • Improvements by the new owner – paint, paper, appliances, hardware, remodeling, roof, HVAC, fencing, spas, pools……..
  • Carpet cleaning
  • Non-real estate related buyer purchases: garbage cans, throw rugs, lamps, new furniture to “fit the house”
  • Landscaping changes, tree trimming removal, new plantings, flower beddings, plants
  • Ongoing snow removal, spa and pool service, lawn service

Great research idea but difficult to track as the seller would need to have accurately reported all pre-closing and post-closing expenses. The buyer would need to be tracked to see not only added home costs but also other expenses that otherwise would not have occurred had it not been for the home purchase.

Obviously, the more frequently that homes sell, the greater the impact on the economy. So where do people stay the shortest time in their dwelling and where is the longest? To answer this, examined U.S. Census data for the 100 largest cities looking at:

Most Mobile – Percentage of households (renters and homeowners) that had moved since 2010
Least Mobile – Percentage of households (renters and homeowners) that have lived in their dwelling since prior to 1990

3-4-17 table1

And where have people remained the longest time in their dwelling? This one looks at the top-10 markets with the greatest percentage of people still living in the same dwelling since 1990.

3-4-17 table2

Want to find out why people do and not move? To read the entire article click

My last move was eight years ago. In addition to all of the closing costs we then had more than $35,000 of remodeling done, and since then have added landscaping, decks, new fencing, hot water tanks, energy efficient doors and windows, flooring, HVAC – just to name a few. And new furniture, garage door openers, throw rugs, appliances, window coverings ……..

Relocating from one-dwelling to the next does have a significant impact on the economy.



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