Location was the main priority when finding a home before the pandemic hits. These days, the deal maker is the price. Location no longer drives buyers, it’s all just about making the most out of your money. As kids are learning online, Colleges are moving lectures online, and many businesses remain closed, we can say 2020 is the era of staying and working at home. We are already witnessing the implications of a world after COVID-19 that will endure far longer than the virus itself, and the home buying process is certainly not immune to these changes.
According to realtor.com housing prices aren’t coming down anytime soon. In its latest housing report, the take-away is housing prices around the country remain at record highs as we move towards year-end. The U.S. median home price hit $350,000, a 12.9 percent year-over-year increase. Consider that’s the largest annual price growth since 2017. The “trendy” neighborhoods that have been on buyers’ wish lists forever are no longer the most requested. With no pressure to work or live in highly populated area in the immediate months and years to come, the housing market could see demand spike in suburban and rural areas, regardless of which neighborhood it’s in. This activity opened up a world of opportunity for people planning to move. Most buyers are relocating to towns they never would have looked at before, and placing a higher premium on the home itself than the zip code.
In the face of unemployment, reduced hours, and furloughs, the steep costs of rent in a large city may not fit many household financial equations. This made moving to quieter areas of the country a wise decision, both in terms of economic and physical wellness. The choice to move back to expensive cities, especially while lacking months’ worth of salary, isn’t the most enticing option for many.
If you’re not returning to work anytime soon, and your kids aren’t returning to school anytime soon, the ideal location is now any location where you can get the most out of your budget.