Why So Many Families Have Decided To Move During COVID

An unconventional year and global pandemic has meant major changes in lifestyle, employment, and education for many people. More families than ever are making...
a man carrying a woman on a truck

An unconventional year and global pandemic has meant major changes in lifestyle, employment, and education for many people. More families than ever are making big decisions to move across the United States and away from big cities as the pandemic lingers. From the newly-discovered ability to work and learn remotely, to layoffs and career changes, these families are finding a new appreciation for their homes and large backyards where they can spend time together safely.

There are no right or wrong answers on whether to move during the pandemic. Still, many people are finding that the pandemic has forced them to rethink their priorities and goals. For some, it’s even challenged them to reimagine what they value most. Like it or not, the pandemic has deeply impacted all of us.

If you’re curious about why so many families are making moves and becoming homeowners during the pandemic and what doing so might mean for you, read on.

Remote Work


The global pandemic has shown many workers just how easy it is to get in a productive day’s work from home. This has opened many people’s eyes to new possibilities. From single adults to those with families, the idea of being able to work from home in places they thought was out of reach is becoming more appealing.

The pandemic is changing the way we do business. In many places, what was once a brick and mortar store that sold memory foam mattresses is now a retail outlet complete with an online store. Where customers once had to walk into a store to try out a new mattress, more and more mattress sellers are giving customers the option to order the perfect queen size mattress, bed frame, and box spring with a click of the mouse. The employee who once drove to work to talk to customers about their sleep style and mattress types is now able to do the same through online customer service.

The result of all this sudden change is that many workers still have the security of their original jobs but no restrictions on the locations they work from. This situation is making it tempting to leave higher-priced cities for areas with a lower cost of living, better climates, better schools, or that are closer to family.

Educational Opportunities


Like with employment, the pandemic has shown us all that’s possible with online learning. As students continue to navigate the school year online, some parents are seeing that their children are doing okay in virtual schools. Again, this is opening up possibilities. On the contrary, for parents who aren’t happy with how their State Board of Education is operating, it’s becoming time to pick up roots and look at enrollment in a town that’s managed to put together virtual schools more successfully.

For parents with kids in the California traditional public schools, for example, longtime lockdowns have some parents rethinking not only their zip codes but alternative types of education that might work for their children. A move to Oregon could mean entrance into Oregon charter schools where restrictions are different from traditional public schools.

Even for parents who aren’t able to work from home, are unemployed, or who have rededicated their time to helping their children with online schoolwork, both hybrid and online models have made parents stop and take a second look at their child’s individual needs when it comes to education. For example, where parents are more involved in their children’s schooling, they’re more aware of their student’s strengths and weaknesses. Some parents are filling learning gaps or encouraging strengths and breaking up the boredom with real-life reinforcements.

A parent with a child showing a strong interest in ocean sciences might be taking that child to the water for oceanography field trips. Someone helping a child learns about astronomy might be staying up all night with that student for star gazing, and so on. All of these changes are leading families to reconsider the place they call home.

Backyard and Home Safety


The pandemic has also taught us the importance of the place we call home. Some families are opting to move to more rural parts of the country for bigger backyards or homes. Without high pressure, in-person city jobs, these families are hoping for a new start with quieter lives in smaller towns.

The pandemic has changed how we spend our days in other ways, too. Parents are choosing to spend a day teaching their children about roof repair or how to clean a gutter on an older roof instead of working long office hours and picking them up after school. They are finding peace in the quality of life country living affords as well as saving money by living in places where the cost of living is lower.

The reasons people are moving are nearly as limitless as the reasons others are staying. For some, moving back to hometowns in smaller places is a way to stay closer to their extended family or even done out of need. Regardless of their reasons, the pandemic has caused people to stop and think about their overall lifestyles and goals. A rare silver lining, many are finding happiness in their reimagined new normal after moves.

Sam Fisher joined Urban Tulsa as a contributing writer, before taking on the associate editor role. He graduated is a Boston University graduate and resides in Austin, Texas.