28% of remote workers want to move house, but should you relocate?

28% of remote workers want to move house, but should you relocate?
(Image credit: Getty)

A rising number of Americans are considering a house move in 2021, spurred on by the realization that remote working is here to stay, even in a post-pandemic world. 

That’s the message being delivered by The NPD Group, which found that almost 20% of employees were working from home full time at the end of last year, and that a growing number of companies will continue to offer the option to work remotely in the future. 

Reassured by these flexible working promises, many Americans are now feeling emboldened to find new homes to better suit their new work/life balance, with 28% giving thought to relocating because of the pandemic. Some 20% more homeowners than last year have also revealed their intent to move in 2021.  

“For many, where you choose to live has often directly correlated with where you are currently employed or where you are employed has helped to determine where you choose to live,” said Leen Nsouli, Executive Director at The NPD Group. “This relationship is a common one for many – but that may be changing.”

Could you relocate? 

The good news for those contemplating relocating in the near-term is that interest rates at the best mortgage lenders remain either at or close to record lows. Even taking into account the sharp rise in house prices seen last year, the cost of home loans has fallen so significantly over the same period that many buyers will find mortgage payments are actually more affordable now than when real estate prices were lower. 

28% of remote workers want to move house, but should you relocate?

(Image credit: Getty)

And if you’re already on the property ladder, similarly low rates are available at the best refinance mortgage companies too, and providing the opportunity for millions of homeowners to save hundreds of dollars on their monthly loan repayments. What this also means is that existing borrowers may have the chance to switch to a new low-rate mortgage deal, and raise the extra funds needed to take a step up the ladder, without seeing their payments rise dramatically.

Should you move home? 

Whether you take the plunge or not will ultimately depend on your own circumstances and the priorities you have going forward. Many people who are thinking about moving as they can now work from home will be looking for additional living space in which to create a home office. They might also wish to consider the recent rundown of the best US cities for remote working, which saw Fishers, Indiana, come out on top, due to its affordable housing costs and widespread availability of high speed broadband. 

Others may simply want to relocate to escape the crowdedness of cities, and will probably have their eyes set on the best states to live in the US. More reasons to move might include a desire to live closer to family, to lower your cost of living, or to retire. For those whose occupation means they can’t work remotely, the needs of their job might also take them to places new. 

All of these are valid reasons for moving, but of course, your finances will need to allow too. This will mean evaluating the security of your job, and making sure you’re in the best position to secure a good mortgage deal, including seeking out credit repair services if your credit rating needs a boost. Remember as well to include things like the cost of truck rental for moving when making your calculations, and the other expenses that might come your way. 

And if it turns out that moving isn’t for you, perhaps you’re still in a position to finance a home renovation, and could freshen up where you live instead. 

Tim Leonard

With over 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry, Tim has spent most of his career working for a financial data firm, where he was Online Editor of the consumer-facing Moneyfacts site, and regularly penned articles for the financial advice publication Investment Life and Pensions Moneyfacts. As a result, he has an excellent knowledge of almost areas of personal finance and, in particular, the retirement, investment, protection, mortgage and savings sectors.