Remote work has become a popular option for businesses and workers alike — and this trend was gaining steam even before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since the pandemic, however, the number of remote workers has skyrocketed. What began as a quick solution to stay-at-home orders has gradually become permanent for many businesses.
Whether employees are fully or partially working from home, remote work is changing home buying patterns in ways that favor space and location above all else.
Let’s look at five ways remote work has influenced home buying preferences, from leaving the city to staying in one place longer.
1. Remote Workers are Leaving Cities to Buy Homes
Big cities generally provide the most job opportunities. But as more of these companies allow remote work, their employees may be free to live wherever they choose.
Even if a company requires employees to come in one or two days of the week, it may be worth it to drive an hour or even two hours to get to work on those days.
This means remote workers can trade small city apartments or homes for larger homes with sprawling backyards and room to grow.
As a result, perhaps one of the first trends housing experts noticed during the pandemic was a seemingly collective move out of big cities and into suburban neighborhoods.
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2. Home Office Space is Essential
Part of the appeal of finding a bigger home in the suburbs is the potential for a great office space.
Remote workers want to buy a home that either has office space, or has an extra room or finished basement that can serve as one.
Some experts have even noticed a move toward less open-concept spaces and more closed rooms that can offer a quiet and private space to get work done.
These private spaces also help remote workers to more effectively keep their home and work life physically separate.
3. First-Time Buyers Have Freedom to Search
Many people renting in cities with a high cost of living were only doing so because they couldn’t afford a home in those cities, yet they needed to be close to work.
If these renters are no longer required to go into work, they are free to finally purchase their first home in a location of their choosing.
This isn’t true for all cities, but it’s enough to make a noticeable shift in buying that caught the attention of market experts.
According to the National Association of Realtors, 34% of all buyers who purchased a home in 2021 were first-time buyers.
Lower mortgage interest rates during the pandemic have also helped first-time buyers to make their big move.
4. People are Staying in Homes Longer
In 2010, the typical homeowner lived 8.7 years in a home. In 2020, this average rose to 13 years.
While this might be for several reasons, one of them is due to the increase in remote work. Finding a larger home in a town with a better quality of life will lead to long-term satisfaction.
A Realtor.com survey found that four out of 10 workers are remote as a result of the pandemic. 20% of people worked remotely since before the pandemic.
Purchasing larger homes with office space also allows families to comfortably grow without the need to move for more space.
And if a company relocates to another city or state, there’s a good chance that a remote worker won’t need to move, either.
5. Remote Workers Can Live Anywhere
Remote positions before the pandemic were often established that way from the start.
This means that those workers were seeking remote positions, and this work often was not in the same town, state, or even country.
While remote work during the pandemic may still be finding its balance, many companies have established permanent work-from-home positions in efforts to save on office space and utilities.
As a result, many of these companies are now hiring remote positions, and as the number of remote jobs grows, the more people will have the freedom to live wherever they choose.
Remote work is changing home buying by allowing these workers to find homes in locations that fit their unique lifestyles and interests, rather than just choosing a home that’s the best choice and the closest to work.
Take the First Step in Searching for Your Dream Home
If you’re a remote worker seeking the perfect space to live and work, take the first step today by connecting with a River City Mortgage loan officer.
We can get you quickly pre-approved and set up for a stand-out home offer.
Our team values building relationships and serving as a guide throughout the loan process. We aim to provide the exact level of support you need as you navigate this life-changing investment.
We look forward to being a part of your journey to the perfect space for your work and life goals.