Is the coronavirus pandemic making homeowners and renters move out of the city and into the suburbs? It seems people who moved to the city have changed their minds and are now slowly moving out because of social-distancing and various COVID measures that are meant to flatten the curve of the virus infection rate. Are there any more reasons behind moving homes during a pandemic? What are the benefits of moving out of the city?
Firstly, why live in the city?
Short travel time
Most people who work in the city want their travel time to the office to be as short as possible. Whether it be within a ten-minute walking distance or a single 30-minute ride on a bus, an Uber, a cab, or a subway, one of the benefits of living in the city, is the short commute. Not having to waste an hour or more of commuting time gives them extra sleep time.
Great social engagement
A city is a great place for socializing. Especially after work and on weekends when you can have brunch with your friends or hit the bars and clubs at night.
Shopping and entertainment
There’s an entertainment choice for everyone. There are cinemas, restaurants, and theater shows that are easy to get to, and there’s an abundance of shopping areas and unique boutique stores and cafés to keep you busy every day of the week.
Secondly, why not live in the city?
Life in the city is not all it’s cracked up to be. It’s not that conducive to healthy living.
Population and your mental health
There are too many people. The population is dense; there’s traffic on the streets and noise everywhere, which can cause anxiety to some individuals, especially those who enjoy their peace and quiet.
The square footage of affordable homes or condos available in the city is small, and the choices can be limited. It may not matter too much if you’re single, but if you’ve got a partner and kids, under lockdown, with restricted outdoor movement and working from home, and the kids taking classes remotely, it may mean a very crowded and even less private environment than usual.
Until all transport vehicles are electrified, exhaust fumes are everywhere, so you’re exposed to air pollution, not to mention noise and light pollution daily.
Why leave the city now?
The cost of lots for sale and homes for rent in some places has dropped due to the pandemic and the quarantine action imposed by the government. At the start of the health crisis, self-isolation forced people to stay in their homes for long periods, and that did not bode well for the real estate industry. However, that restriction is probably one good side effect of the quarantine, causing homeowners and renters in the city to look further beyond their comfort zone. Many of them consider moving to homes with larger and more open spaces and away from the dense population. They want to relocate to more suitable surroundings for self-isolation with their loved ones. So the reduced cost in homes prices for sale and rent are a bonus during the pandemic.
Work from home
More people are choosing to move out of the city to buy or rent homes in the suburbs, so they can set up better-functioning home offices. After all, the new normal of working remotely have come into play for many employees. And some of them can no longer tolerate working on their couch or their kitchen counter in their studio apartment or have three or four kids climbing over them while they’re on a Zoom meeting with colleagues. Some buyers have bought homes with the sole purpose of giving themselves a dedicated space where they can do their work undisturbed.
Some choose to move out of the city to avoid human congestion on the pavement, not having to concern themselves with a long line at a store or worry about COVID-19 exposure from those who refuse to wear masks indoors or outdoors. A home in the suburbs reduces their anxiety.
As a COVID-19 vaccine is yet to be discovered (and when it does, who knows how long it will take to be distributed to the masses), the uncertainty of how long the pandemic will last has led some people to decide it’s time for them to move on and change their lifestyle to accommodate the new normal. It’s a choice that only some of the lucky ones can make, and if you’ve got the finances, that may be something to think about.