Beware The Temptation Of Low Cost Neighborhoods

After the pandemic hit, once lockdowns were over, many people took the opportunity to move to a cheaper neighborhood. It seems like a financially sound decision. But that may or may not be the case. A large percentage of such migrants found it didn’t work out for them, and moved back. So what went wrong?

One near universal quality of cheaper areas is that they also have lower wages and less opportunity for economic advancement. Of course, in the post-pandemic era, many people were working from home, so this wasn’t drastically felt. Now that a fair share of them have transitioned back to full-time on-site work, the math just wasn’t working out. They either needed to commute longer — with gas prices being rather high — or look for a job in their new home. And it was difficult to find one. It’s also worth considering why it’s a cheap area. Is it a nearby low income neighborhood that suddenly has an influx of people? In that case, it may be about to get more expensive to live there. Is it an undesirable area? It’s probably undesirable for you as well.

It’s also important not to overlook quality of life. Cheaper neighborhoods will also have lower tax revenue, which in turn means fewer public services. The roads could be worse and there could be less public transportation. You may not have good schools nearby. The available health care is often also of lower quality. And no matter where you’re moving, you’re going to need to reestablish your social network. People frequently report feeling lonely or isolated in new areas, even when surrounded by people, because they simply don’t know anyone.

Photo by Colin Lloyd on Unsplash