COVID-19 Pandemic Made People Flee from Big Cities

black and white photo of city overhead view

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the disadvantages of living in a big city. Every place, especially public transportation, is crowded with people. The apartments, although very expensive, are tiny. There are not many places where one can sit outdoors and pass the time under the sun while still physically distancing. The cost of living continued to be high as millions of people lost their source of livelihood because of the pandemic.

Living in the city felt very suffocating when lockdowns happened. They felt trapped in their small apartments and longing for a wide, open space where they are free to roam and breathe in the fresh air.

Seeking Greener Pastures

The global public health and economic crisis in 2020 convinced many Americans to leave their lives in the big city and settle down in small towns,

One recent survey found that nearly half of all respondents prefer rural living. The number was up by 9 percent compared to two years prior.

Because they have started working remotely, which the lockdowns proved was possible for more workers, they had no other reasons to stay in an urban area.

The largest cities across the U.S. have already started seeing swaths of young people fleeing from urban landscapes, a trend that has been observed before the pandemic but exacerbated by COVID-19.

Before making the move, here are some things you need to know.

Becoming a Homeowner is Within Reach

The cost of buying a real estate property is far more affordable to most households outside of state capitals and other major cities. Because there is lower demand, prices remain low.

People who have perennially lived as renters in big cities can transform into capable homeowners in a small town.

Buying land in a quiet area outside of a major city costs less. Of course, you will need to spend more to have a house constructed, but because you are building it from the ground up, you better control what goes into it. You can keep the cost down by using affordable building materials or opt-out of trendy home features.

If owning a house is part of your dream, then it becomes possible in a small town. Moreover, you might get a larger lawn, a house designed based on your specific needs, and a chance to grow your wealth by acquiring tangible investments.

Your Expenditures Will Change

Cities are magnets for spending. Everywhere you turn, you see a poster announcing a huge price reduction or a billboard featuring products you do not need. It is difficult to shut off the noise, so you may become tempted to buy impulsively.
In cities, there is also more pressure to always look good and to be trendy. That does not happen in small towns.

When you move to small towns, your expenses will be far lower than what you used to spend when you were still living in the big city. Moreover, the costs of goods are lower. You can expect to spend less when you buy your groceries and other household necessities. Even healthcare and childcare will be lower.

Households that have found it challenging to budget every month might live comfortably and even build an emergency fund when deciding to move out of the cities.

However, in some places, the cost of transportation might go up. The options that you have for public transit are limited. Places are far apart, making you drive long distances.

overhead view of metropolis

You Will Learn to be Independent

As a homeowner, you are expected to take care of your own house. When something breaks, you will be in charge of calling for a repairman or fixing it on your own.

The same is when you move to small towns, but you might be forced to learn to DIY. While there are capable hands everywhere, because of brain drain, there might be limits to the types of services that are available to you.

That means you will have to get down and dirty. Fix what you can fix because there might not be a repairman available the exact moment you need them. You might not have immediate access to parts; you have to wait for a local store to replenish its supply or for your online purchase to be delivered.

Living in a small town versus a big city is very different. It is quieter and safer. The community is more tight-knit. Moreover, the real estate properties are more affordable, and the cost of living is lower. It will not always be easy. Sometimes, you have to figure out how to do things. Not everything is accessible to you immediately.

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