Relocating for Your Health

Health issues are a common reason people relocate. Here are some tips and insights if you’re thinking of moving for your health.

Nearly 31 million people moved within the U.S. in 2019. While not everyone went far, they each had a different reason for packing up and going somewhere new. One prominent reason that can cause someone to relocate is an illness. Heath issues encompass a wide range. From mild to severe, chronic to temporary, health problems can permanently change your way of life, and force you to move.

If you’re considering relocating for your health, these tips are for you. Say goodbye to your neighbors and prepare for a change of scenery.

Reasons for relocating

In general, motivators to relocate fall into three central buckets.

  1. Upsizing or downsizing – You’re upgrading your living situation, and relocating allows you access to a home that better suits your needs.
  2. Economic reasons – You’ve landed your dream job, but it’s only open if you move. Or, you’ve lost your job and need to cut costs.
  3. Life-related changes – You’re relocating for a reason related to a big lifestyle change, which might include marriage, death, or being closer to someone you love.

Relocating for these reasons allows you to upgrade your life in some way. You improve where you live, who or what you are near, or how you spend your time.

Why Americans Move


Family matters

Digging deeper into the third bucket, a wide variety of family-related situations often compel people to move. Family and healthcare go hand-in-hand. Moving closer to your family when you’re suffering from any health issue gives you a built-in support network. It can greatly improve your quality of life if you’re struggling to maintain your daily well-being. If you’re suffering from health issues, you might also relocate to be closer to the medical facility or hospital providing your treatment. Many also move to live in a more ideal climate for general health.

Relocating also provides you the opportunity to downsize. When you’re dealing with health issues, a big house can be a lot to care for. A smaller home is much easier to maintain. It makes it much easier to live alone without the worry of cleaning and keeping up a house with a lot of rooms.

Pick your location

Before relocating anywhere because of health issues, consult your doctor. It’s important that where you move won’t make your specific condition worse. This could happen either by a lack of speciality care in the area or even the local climate. Your doctor should advise you on where the best treatment centers are for your healthcare needs, allowing you to tailor your relocation plans to those areas.

After you talk with your healthcare provider, do some research on your own. Find out what hospitals specialize in your illness and add those cities to your list of possibilities. Once you’ve collected a few options, make a more exclusive list, evaluating things like:

  • Climate — Will the weather agree with you and your condition?
  • Infrastructure — Is the area urban enough for you? Are there open spaces and places to walk and get around comfortably?
  • Accessibility – Is the area close to businesses, treatment centers, or other places you will need access to? How’s the airport for when family wants to visit or you want to travel?
  • Cost of living — Does it cost less or more to live in this new location? Can you afford to live there?
  • Employment opportunities — If you will be working, how easy will it be to find a new job that pays enough?
  • Lifestyle — Are there enough of your favorite types of restaurants to eat at? What about everything else you like to do; museums, sports, parks, etc.? Does the area cater to all your interests?

This will help you narrow things down even further until you can choose one place where relocating will be best for your health. Once you’ve made a decision on location, think through what you need to do to choose a new home.

Notify your employer

Now that you know where you’re going, it’s time to tell your employer. It’s a good practice to give them decent notice that you plan to move. The conversation may feel awkward, but it’s important you don’t put it off too long. Remain professional and respectful, and if you are leaving your job, give at least two weeks notice. Up to six weeks is still okay, although you don’t need to get any further ahead of yourself than that. With many jobs more open than ever before to remote work, consider keeping your job and working from home.

Have an in-person conversation with your boss, if possible (video conferencing counts). This will make it easier to explain your rationale behind this choice. Since health reasons are motivating the relocation, your employer shouldn’t take issue with your decision. Be honest and explain how relocating will improve your well-being.

What to do with your current home

Of course, part of relocation requires deciding what to do with your current home. If you’re renting, you’ll like want to schedule your move for when your current lease is up. If you need to do it sooner, be ready to negotiate with your landlord. Most landlords will charge you a penalty fee to terminate your lease early. However, some medical conditions may allow you to break your lease without having to pay, particularly if the property doesn’t allow the comfort or care recommended by your doctor. Check local tenant laws to see what options you have.

Average Days on Market to Sell a Home - Bob Ashworth

If you own your house, you’re probably going to need to sell it. There are a number of ways to sell a house. The most common way is to put it on the market and use the services of a traditional real estate agent. However, you should know that selling a house this way means spending time and money to get the house ready to sell, as well as commissions and fees at the closing table. As houses typically take a couple months to sell, this may not be your best option if you need to move quickly.

The other popular way to sell a house is via an off-market cash buyer. Selling off market is less costly and much faster than selling through a traditional real estate agent. It does require you to choose a buyer and negotiate the deal yourself. Consider learning more about Sundae if you’d like to sell your house off market.

How to move while sick

Once you’ve found a solution for your current home, there is the actual move to worry about. Moving is stressful on its own, even without a preexisting health condition. Your body may have a hard time getting everything done. Still, moving day is coming so try not to feel anxious about it. Instead, give yourself permission to take things slow. Avoid the frantic rush that often accompanies a move, and go at the pace that works best for you. If you can swing the costs, hire movers who will move fast for you. Professional movers can handle all the heavy lifting of relocating, literally. They can also help you with almost any moving-related issues.

It’s also okay to lean on family or friends for extra support. Relocating while having health issues can complicate certain pieces of the process. Having an extra set of hands you trust beside you on moving day will make things go more smoothly.

Lastly, schedule time to rest throughout the day. You don’t want to arrive at your new home and immediately get stuck in bed recovering. Squeeze in a short nap or two when possible, or even turn over a portion of your move to that trusted helper so you can sneak off for some rest. Make sure you give your body what it needs to complete your relocation without incident.

Once you get to your new home

Starting out in a new place is all about discovery. You’ll find your new favorite grocery, take-out place, coffee shop, and more. Having health issues, you’ll also need to find new doctors rather quickly. If you don’t have referrals from your previous doctor, begin your search by what’s around you. Check out small practices close by to track down possibilities for all the doctors you see regularly. Pinpoint the closest hospital and think about going there for treatments. Make sure to cross-reference what you find with your current insurance to ensure you’re covered.

Relocate even with health issues

Relocating with health issues can make moving harder, but it’s not impossible to manage. Just remember to make self care a top priority.

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Kyle Spearin

Kyle is Sundae's Real Estate Editor. As both an investor and content marketing professional, Kyle combines his passion for real estate investing and educational background with his love of helping others. His experience with real estate tech companies, including contributing to BiggerPockets Pro, gives him insight into markets across the United States.