The last year has been more than a roller coaster ride. It turned the world upside down and forced us to stay at home. We worked from home, learned from home, and even worked out from home. With so much time at home, we all reflected on what is essential to have at home. That’s why as we start to roll out vaccines and lower the number of cases, many are choosing to move, upgrade, and/or downsize. If you are considering a post-pandemic move, here are seven things to consider.
1.) Population Density – City vs. Rural
Many people are reevaluating the pluses and minuses of living in the city. After being confined to apartments, the appeal of having additional space, parking, and a yard is high. When you are thinking about moving, think about what is important to you not just now but in the long term. Do you envision having children? Perhaps you are considering adding pets? Maybe you want it all. In a rural setting, you would have more opportunities for swing sets, picnic tables, doghouses, and even a double dog kennel. Having more space and fewer distractions from the city can be great for quality time. This is great for recharging your batteries.
2.) Tourism vs. Off-the-Beaten-Path
When evaluating where to live, many times people daydream about living in Hawaii or Florida. They are beautiful places to visit. However, for much of the year, there are hundreds of thousands of tourists. If you like having an influx of visitors from around the world, this can be a bonus. If you don’t like increased traffic and lines at your favorite restaurants, you may want to consider places that are off-the-beaten-path. By being on the outskirts of a tourist destination can be a good move, especially if you work in hospitality. Plus, you can enjoy all of the attractions, but at your leisure and sometimes at a discounted, local rate.
3.) Real Estate Costs
Although many industries suffered from the global pandemic, real estate was not one of them. Real estate has primarily been about location, location, location. However, with many of us working remotely and learning remotely, the location wasn’t the number one factor. Space and price were top priorities. Most people are looking for more space for an at-home office, at-home gym, and at-home classroom. However, regardless of how much space you want, when buying a new home, you have to stick to a budget and what your lender allows you. With less location-dependent factors, you can compromise for a little more space, but within your budget. You can always get creative with home design to convert closets, mudrooms, and other nooks into useful spaces for Zoom meetings and at-home offices.
4.) Proximity to Transportation
Although many have been limiting travel and commuting over the last year, we will all resume more normal movement. If you plan on traveling domestically or abroad, you may want to consider how close your new home is to an airport as well as a mass-transit station. 2020 was the year of the road trip, but there are bucket list travel plans that can’t be reached by car alone. Haven’t you always wanted to take a cruise? Don’t you have a special anniversary or birthday coming up? To make those plans easier, why not choose a home that is under an hour from an airport? This way you can drive and park at the airport or hire an airport shuttle for your travel plans.
5.) Close to Nature
The stay-at-home orders certainly made all of us appreciate the ability to get outdoors. Mother Nature has a way of calming our nerves and quieting our minds. In fact, getting outdoors and a dose of Vitamin D is good for your health. So, if you enjoy hiking, kayaking, or camping, select a neighborhood or region that makes doing those outdoor activities easy. Check online or an old school map of where are the closest regional and/or National Parks. If you only need to hop in the car and take a short drive to enjoy the beauty of nature, it’s worth the investment in a home close to the great outdoors. Plus, it’s part of a healthy lifestyle.
The weather is an important factor when choosing a home. As a homeowner, your bills will be affected by harsh winters and hot summers. Also, you will need to consider buying equipment to remove snow: snowplow, snow blower, and shovels. There is a reason why many people flock to climates with mild seasons. They avoid the harsh weather, but reap the benefits of pleasant temperatures year-round with still seasonal changes. On the flip side, if you are an avid skier or snowboarder, you may want to live in an area with great snow conditions.
Although many of us have become accustomed to ordering a lot of our purchases online, having shopping close is a plus. Having grocery stores, home goods, and department stores within a short drive is great when you have a craving for home-baked cookies or need a new outfit for a wedding. When looking for a new home, do an online search of what’s nearby. Is there a hardware store close? Where’s the nearest car parts dealer? Is there a local beauty salon? Then, if time allows, take a drive-by tour of the neighborhood and surrounding area.
The last challenging year has forced us all to prioritize. First and foremost, our health is our greatest wealth. Without it, we have nothing. Secondly, our home is more than just where we hang our hat, eat, and sleep. Over the last year, our homes have been everything from the office to school and gym. With the increased roles that our homes play, many are choosing to move into a new home and even relocate. Moving is a big decision. By doing your homework with the seven topics to consider above, you are well on your way to finding your new home.