With COVID changing lifestyles dramatically; millions of Americans are moving. According to a new Pew Research Center survey about a fifth of U.S. adults moved due to COVID-19 or know someone who did. Overall, around one-in-five U.S. adults (22%) say they either changed their residence due to the pandemic or know someone who did. Huge demand when there is less inventory for sale or rent in key locations can be tricky.
So, what are some of the key drivers of this movement?
Financial Strain People who have lost their jobs and/or benefits are moving back in with other family members or room mates. They may also be moving to less expensive locations to try to build back their nest egg and/or seek new employment.
Working from Home is now Permanent Many companies have realized their teams work just as well, if not better, at home vs the office. The savings on corporate office locations as well as the increased prod activity have lead to many companies closing offices and allowing for a work from home business model. This allows people to live wherever they chose.
Improved COVID Lifestyle Those with the means are seeking larger, COVID retreats. Sales in Florida are up over 250% as people from NY, NJ and CT seek homes that allow then to work and play in luxury during the winter months. Real estate agents report that these buyers seek 1-2 home offices, pools, yards, large kitchens and home entertainment space.
Concern for High Risk Family Members or Elderly Parents There is no doubt that the elderly (even healthy elderly) have been hit hard. You could argue that the active retired individuals have been faced with the largest challenge. My Mom is in this group. She did water aerobics 5 days a week, volunteered at the church regularly, belonging to 2 book clubs and took trips with a retired group. With COVID, all of that has stopped leaving her less physical and a bit lonely. I have seen my mom lose years of youth in months. For high risk individuals it is equally challenging and being unable to help due to the distance makes moving a consideration.
People may be moving for more than one reason. After all, it’s a unique situation so it’s enabling us to think differently and consider major lines changes.
We recently moved Amalie from Charlotte NC to Wilmington DE so for those of you considering a move I thought I’d share some general tips.
Research the markets
Study up on the market where you live as well as the market(s) you may be moving to. Many markets are competitive due to low inventory so you need to be prepared to act quickly on offers Tip: Be prepared to meet or exceed asking prices.
Renters can get the Edge
Some markets that used to get high rents are now collapsing and offering discounts. Renters are used to paying the asking price but depending on the market, you may be able to negotiate.
Be Prepared to Pay Way too Much for Movers
The combination of COVID and the number of people moving have driven moving costs sky high. Even after paying a huge sum of money you may have trouble with pick up and drop off schedules. COVID also adds some complexities like: You have to wrap your beds in plastic for the move, it is preferred that you pack and unpack yourself prior to the move and masks for all with minimal exposure can make the move unique.
Just Do it
If you’ve had thoughts or dreams about moving, you should seriously consider making the move. The pandemic fatigue is real so making a move may be just what you need to brighten your outlook and prepare for the future. I like the idea of using COVID for a positive life change vs COVID controlling all of us.
In summary, the pandemic has spurred Americans to seek a brighter and better future by relocating. Much like our ancestors before us we seek the best lifestyle possible. Increased relocations are expected to continue through the Spring of 2021.
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