Your Mortgage: COVID drives suburban renaissance

Charity Ohlund from Fountain Mortgage knows a thing or two about mortgages.

By Charity Ohlund

If you’re among the nearly 44 percent of American workers who are working from home for the foreseeable future as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, you may have started to look around your home and your neighborhood with a fresh perspective on what you like about it – and what you don’t.

Maybe your kids are sitting in the same room with you all day while you work and they attend school online. That’s not great. Maybe your neighbor has a dog that won’t stop barking. Ever. And as Covid cases surge yet again, you may be facing the prospect of many more months of lockdown in a space that is not ideal for 24-hour living.

So, is now a good time to start looking for greener pastures?

We could be on the precipice of a work-from-home revolution, and it’s driving many renters and city-dwellers to the suburbs. Without the added time and expense of a commute, many remote workers are finding more space, better balance, and lower payments outside the city circle.

Here are a few statistics from a recent survey from PwC:

  • Office workers say they’d like to have the option to work from home more frequently, even after COVID-19 is no longer a threat. They also want help setting work-life boundaries to improve their own productivity.
  • Employers need to prepare for flexible workweeks, as the majority of office workers would like options to work remotely at least one day a week. More than half (55%) of executives expect to offer that option.
  • The office isn’t obsolete yet, but it is changing. While the COVID-19 crisis showed that staff can interact well when apart, people still want to engage with colleagues in person. It’s why 50% still go into the office.
  • While 30% of executives foresee the need for less office space due to remote work, 50% are anticipating an increase due to longer-lasting requirements for social distancing or growth in their workforce.

Whether it’s finding new downtown digs with a balcony, a house with a bigger yard, or a new home with a dedicated classroom and separate office, there are many benefits to the work-from-home moving trend. But before you consider a major move in response to a relatively new reality, experts suggest thoroughly thinking through possible downsides. How will you feel when life returns to something resembling “normal” and your friends and colleagues start to get together for lunches again? What type of networking opportunities will exist for your future career advancement if you are somewhat isolated?

Whatever your new normal looks like, our team at Fountain Mortgage is here to help you understand the financial details of your dreams. Give us a call to discuss any changes you are considering, whether it’s across town or to a small, bedroom community. While we can’t get that neighbor dog to shut up, we can run the numbers on a new home (and office, and classroom) for you.

This weekly Sponsored Column is written by guest columnist Charity Ohlund, director of business development at Fountain Mortgage. Located in Prairie Village, Fountain Mortgage is dedicated to educating, and thus empowering, clients to make the best financial decision possible for their situation. Contact Fountain today.