The coronavirus pandemic is transforming where we live and work.
According to a recent OwlLabs survey, nearly seven in ten U.S. workers are working from home. With this uptick in remote work, more people are deciding to move. From February to July 2020, MYMOVE reported 600,000 more mail forwarding requests than for the same months in 2019 – 15.9 million vs. 15.3 million.
And this trend is showing no signs of slowing.
An October 2020 Upwork report found that between 14 and 23 million Americans are planning to move because of remote work. To put those numbers in perspective, that’s two to three times more people than normally move in any given year for any reason.
In what other ways is the pandemic transforming where we live and work? And what lessons can be gleaned from these trends to help guide your search for the right place to move?
I’m glad you asked!
In this post, we’re going to examine 4 moving trends that are being fueled by the pandemic and accelerating shift to remote work. I’m also going to highlight 3 key takeaways from these trends that you can use to illuminate your own search.
First, let’s take a look at some of the emerging moving trends.
More people are moving out of certain cities.
The majority of Americans moving during the coronavirus are leaving a handful of the most densely populated and expensive cities. Residents of cities like New York City, Chicago, and San Francisco actually started moving to less densely populated areas several years ago. However, the number of moves has increased during the pandemic as more people look to trade crowded big city living for more space and fewer people.
The distance from home to work is growing.
Freed from the need to live close enough to commute to work, many people are electing to move farther out. Over 54% of people surveyed by Upwork reported they are moving two to four hours away from their current location. That’s beyond what would be considered a reasonable commuting distance to work.
Not everyone is moving to the suburbs.
Upwork’s recent survey of remote workers found that one in five people currently living in a major city are planning to move. But, contrary to popular opinion, the mass exodus to the suburbs is a myth. A fair number of big-city dwellers are moving to the suburbs. However, more are either moving to other major metropolitan areas or to smaller cities around the country.
Most people are seeking more affordable housing.
The advent of remote work and a stalled economy are prompting major city dwellers to move to cities with more affordable housing costs. More than one in five people surveyed by Upwork are planning on moving into homes that are at least 50% cheaper than their current home. More than half are planning to move to a house that is at least 10% cheaper.
So, what do these trends tell us? And what lessons can we take away from them?
Stop to consider compatibility.
The continuing trend of people moving out of major cities like Manhattan or Chicago to less densely populated cities and suburbs means that, pandemic aside, a lot of people are having to adjust to an entirely different way of life than they are accustomed to. Making this kind of move works for some people. Others regret their decision to give up big city amenities for more space, lower cost of living and less hustle-bustle.
If you want to avoid mover’s remorse, it’s important to realistically consider how compatible the type of place you’ve chosen is with you and how you want to live. An easy way to know if you’ll be happiest living in a city, suburb, small town or countryside is to find out your place personality type. Take the free Place Personality Type Quiz here!
Get the whole picture.
It makes sense for major city dwellers to move to where housing costs are lower, especially given the precarious state of the economy and historically low interest rates. But, it’s also important to try to balance consideration for affordability with other community attributes that are equally, if not more, important to your happiness, health and well-being.
How do you know which community attributes to research in addition to affordability? And how do you know you won’t forget to research something that could come back to bite you later on? Now you can get a handy companion tool to support your research, so you can feel confident nothing important is falling through the cracks. Download the free PlaceFinding Cheat Sheet here.
Avoid making a hasty decision, if possible.
Since the pandemic and economic crisis hit, many people decided where to move very quickly. Understandably, not everyone has the luxury of time and money to do the research and planning necessary to make sure they move to the right place. But it’s worth pointing out that choosing where to move is one of the most important and expensive life decisions you’ll ever make – one that’s worthy of careful deliberation.
If you can avoid rushing to decide where to move, you’ll be more likely to avert a costly and hard-to-fix moving mistake. And with the data-driven prospect identification and research tools and consulting expertise included in the PlaceFinder program, you’ll have a short list and a plan to scout out and evaluate your top place prospects in person in just 6 short weeks!
Ready to reimagine where you live and work?
Let Your Place Finder help take the guesswork out of your search for the right place to live. Book your free 20-minute consultation today!