I don’t have the skills to have a remote job yet or move anywhere I want. Also, my business is not off the ground, so I can’t move anywhere I want. So I’m moving to Chicago where the jobs are at, proximity to smart people is there, and eventually I’ll want to move to a more preferred city. (Chicago is still great though).
Significantly cheaper cost of living.
I am a startup entrepreneur and currently CRO of a Portland based company. We always worked remote some days, but we went fully remote due to COVID. At that time, I asked myself if my Portland 1 bedroom apartment was worth it. My company’s software is an essential tool for remote workforces, so I’ve been research WFH statistics heavily lately, so a move was top of mind already. Between state income tax, car insurance, home insurance, and grocery differences, my cost of living adjustment is well over $700, not even including rent / mortgage differences. I plan to work fully remotely, spend time with family in the midwest, and travel in the winter (if countries decide to allow Americans in).
My wife and I have been eyeing a move out of Chicago for as long as we can remember. We're both very fortunate to have amazing bosses and great jobs that can be done 100% remotely. Once the lock-down occurred, we had proved that remote working is feasible (and actually preferred) so we kicked our search outside of Chicago in high-gear. My wife grew up in Chicago and most of her family is still in the area. While we contemplated a move to the south (Austin/San Antonio) for awhile, we ultimately decided it's best for us (and our future children) to be in between our two hometowns. Texas is still the long play. At about the 60 day mark of being quarantined inside our downtown Chicago condo, our time on a popular real estate sales app increased exponentially. My brother lives just south of Indianapolis, so our search ended up being limited to a 30 min driving radius of his house. After additional filters for price, school quality, land size, house size, etc. we had our parameters in place. I had woken up in the middle of the night sometime in late March/early April and was browsing the app when a particular place caught my eye. It had been listed for a day and checked every single one of our boxes. Instead of driving down to look at a place that may or may not still be on the market by the time we arrived, we had my brother and sister-in-law walk through the house with our agent, a friend of my brother's, and FaceTime with us. We put in an offer and won, sight unseen. A risky and impulsive decision indeed, but overall we are extremely happy with our decision. We're both outdoorsy, crafty, people with two large dogs and a passion for cars. Having a fenced in back yard, a third of an acre, and a three car garage is something most of America takes for granted - we couldn't appreciate it more. I take that back - our dogs appreciate it even more than we do. It certainly helps that our 4 bedroom house on a third of an acre here costs about 50% of our 1k sqft condo in Chicago. Our quarantine time now is spent growing a massive garden, doing landscaping, home improvement projects, and woodworking (we've built a TV stand and a dining room table - thanks YouTube!). This beats our quarantine time in Chicago spent watching Netflix and masking up every time we need to take the dogs out. Our risk of catching COVID was significantly higher while living in a building and sharing elevators with ~1500 other residents. Being able to open the back door and let the dogs run freely makes this move worth it by itself.