Where to Start Your House Hunt when Location isn’t First
Recent social distancing efforts have given millions of Americans their first experience with the growing trend of working remotely. The coronavirus pandemic, and an eagerness to avoid similar outbreaks in the future, are likely to create even more opportunities to work from home most of the time, if not entirely.
As advances in technology and a shift in expectations begin to eliminate geographical restrictions for employees, will location still be the priority in your next house hunt? And what other factors could be the driving force behind your decision?
Location Always Matters
While being close to an office may drop off your checklist, it’s unlikely that location will become an afterthought anytime soon. The ability to work remotely may provide more flexibility than homebuyers have traditionally enjoyed, but proximity to an employer was only part of the equation anyway.
Particularly among younger buyers, being close to friends and family plays a substantial role. And, working from home doesn’t eliminate your interests or free time. If you plan to begin a home search that isn’t tethered to a radius surrounding your employer, you’ll want to take the time to consider which amenities are essential to be near. Is it loved ones, outdoor activities, restaurants and entertainment, or something else? In any case, there will still be significant ways to refine your geographic options.
Of course, the element nearly every homebuyer must confront during their search is budget. Fortunately, working remotely can be a welcome advantage when it comes to housing affordability. Rather than being limited to one particular market or having to balance the cost of commuting to expand your search, you’ll be able to explore an even broader set of options.
Just remember, housing costs don’t end with the sales price. Taxes and insurance can vary significantly by area and quickly offset any initial savings. Also, additional square footage can often be more costly to maintain, so stay conscious of how a budget that goes farther may impact your long-term financial goals.
Finally, regardless of where your home search takes you, it’s critical to take a forward-looking approach. The costs associated with buying a home typically mean that staying put at least five years is in your best interest. In the event that your work-from-home situation changes, you’ll appreciate having additional employment options nearby that won’t make selling the property and relocating your only choice.
Depending on the stability of your industry, and the likelihood of finding another remote-working opportunity, you may want to consider buying in an area where you’ll still have a comforting number of job options. Additionally, new parents or those with plans for a family should not ignore the schools in an area before making it their home. Even older homebuyers would benefit from evaluating the medical services available and consider whether the offerings will meet their needs later in life.
No matter where you are, Open Mortgage can help you find the mortgage opportunity that best fits your situation. Speak to an experienced originator today, or visit OpenMortgage.com to find out how to get started.