Moving out of big city and working remotely

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nimo956
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Moving out of big city and working remotely

Post by nimo956 »

I’m thinking of moving out of NYC and buying a house in the Berkshires, which is a small rural part of western MA just under 3hr away. My current job will allow me to work remotely, but I worry about how this change will impact my next job, should I be let go or decide I want to switch companies.

I would be nervous being so far away from a major job center like NYC. I work in a finance role in the media/education industry. Do people think the future of remote work is strong enough that I wouldn’t have a problem finding a new job, or is this seriously risky?

My biggest worry is that I buy the house, get let go, can’t find a new job, and need to sell the house (potentially at a loss) to move closer to a big city so I can commute to an office.

Edit: mid 30s, married (though spouse not working), no kids, $1.1m assets, $160k income, looking at ~$650k house
Last edited by nimo956 on Wed Nov 24, 2021 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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LittleMaggieMae
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Re: Moving out of big city and working remotely

Post by LittleMaggieMae »

You don't mention a spouse or kids or pets, so I'm going to assume you are single. You don't mention having to sell your current house - so I am going to assume you are a renter.

With those assumptions - why do you want to buy a house? Why not just move where you want to move to and rent a house and then work remotely and if you lose your job - you can then move to where ever you need to move to, to work?

If my assumption that you don't already own a house is true - are you just feeling the FOMO on "buying a house" or are there legitimate reasons you want a house?
Last edited by LittleMaggieMae on Wed Nov 24, 2021 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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whodidntante
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Re: Moving out of big city and working remotely

Post by whodidntante »

Highly situational, but I know someone who did this and is now lamenting it because it is limiting the next step in her career.
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nimo956
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Re: Moving out of big city and working remotely

Post by nimo956 »

LittleMaggieMae wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 3:28 pm You don't mention a spouse or kids or pets, so I'm going to assume you are single. You don't mention having to sell your current house - so I am going to assume you are a renter.

With those assumptions - why do you want to buy a house? Why not just move where you want to move to - work remotely and if you lose your job - you can then move to where ever you need to move to, to work?

If my assumption that you don't already own a house is true - are you just feeling the FOMO on "buying a house" or are there legitimate reasons you want a house?
I am currently married, though spouse doesn’t work at the moment. No kids for the foreseeable future.

We are mainly looking to do this so we can have more space. Looking at a 12 acre wooded property near trails, a stream, and a lake. We’d like to get dogs and have enough space for them to run around. We’d also like to be able to have a small garden.

There may be a bit of FOMO as well on wanting to own a house. I realize that I can get most of the above renting, so that may be an option to consider.
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THY4373
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Re: Moving out of big city and working remotely

Post by THY4373 »

Love the Mass Berkshires (other than winter) as one part of my family was from there and I spent a lot of summers up there decades ago. As others have posted this is going to be highly situational. My current team has been remote for years and we are spread over the country. The group vice president over my team is remote and despite this has been on a career fast track for sometime. My remote work (nearly 10 years) has also had no negative impact on my career. Or course if you need to change companies and/or even teams within my org to some degree things could be different.
Point
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Re: Moving out of big city and working remotely

Post by Point »

Based on your lifestyle goals I’d say do it. It will be a lot healthier and that’s worth a mint! Some future jobs will be remote, some not.
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Re: Moving out of big city and working remotely

Post by LadyGeek »

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (where to live).
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JoeRetire
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Re: Moving out of big city and working remotely

Post by JoeRetire »

nimo956 wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 3:21 pm I’m thinking of moving out of NYC and buying a house in the Berkshires, which is a small rural part of western MA just under 3hr away. My current job will allow me to work remotely, but I worry about how this change will impact my next job, should I be let go or decide I want to switch companies.

I would be nervous being so far away from a major job center like NYC. I work in a finance role in the media/education industry. Do people think the future of remote work is strong enough that I wouldn’t have a problem finding a new job, or is this seriously risky?
Nobody really knows.

- I'm guessing that some companies will decide that productivity requires office presence, just as some that experimented with work from home did pre-pandemic.
- I'm guessing that some companies will continue to embrace remote work, but will decide that "remote" can easily take advantage of lower wage locales, just as some did pre-pandemic.
- I'm guessing that some companies will allow remote work, but at a salary discount when compared to commuters.
- I'm guessing that some companies will allow remote work, but the salary will be based on where you live, rather than where the office is located.

It will likely take at least a few years to see what the future of remote work brings.
My biggest worry is that I buy the house, get let go, can’t find a new job, and need to sell the house (potentially at a loss) to move closer to a big city so I can commute to an office.
I guess I could see that happening. The "potentially at a loss" part seems unlikely today, but these things do change.
Last edited by JoeRetire on Wed Nov 24, 2021 7:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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mikejuss
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Re: Moving out of big city and working remotely

Post by mikejuss »

Join the club. Yours is the $64,000 question. For now, I'm staying put, but I've had the same thought as you.
quantAndHold
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Re: Moving out of big city and working remotely

Post by quantAndHold »

How’s the internet there? A lot of rural America doesn’t have very good internet.
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SuzBanyan
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Re: Moving out of big city and working remotely

Post by SuzBanyan »

What can of career options are there for the spouse if he/she decides to go back to work?
jlawrence01
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Re: Moving out of big city and working remotely

Post by jlawrence01 »

quantAndHold wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 7:55 pm How’s the internet there? A lot of rural America doesn’t have very good internet.

That is a very valid point that MOST people do not consider. Rural areas have little competition. Even when you have access to a decent provider, their service is NOT as good as you will find in large cities. On more than one occasion, I have had to head to a local library, Starbucks or the like to find decent coverage. This is particularly true in areas in and around mountains.
manatee2005
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Re: Moving out of big city and working remotely

Post by manatee2005 »

mikejuss wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 7:44 pm Join the club. Yours is the $64,000 question. For now, I'm staying put, but I've had the same thought as you.
Same with me. I even worked from Airbnbs in a couple of different states during WFH to test it out, but in the end I prefer my city. I also wouldn't move NYC to go to MA, maybe Florida or California would be worth it, but not MA.
eric321
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Re: Moving out of big city and working remotely

Post by eric321 »

I'd say go for it.

Check the internet situation when deciding on the town, but there has been significant high speed internet being built recently. Just pretend to shop for internet and you will see the speeds. In a rural area now and I have faster internet and more choice than in my NYC apartment (that was a bulk coop cable deal)

Yes, it's potentially career limiting to be remote, but that's overstated. The fact that jobs can be hybrid means employers are casting a wider geographical net. It maybe harder to move up at your firm, but there are other options.

You should run the numbers and compare lifestyles. NYC is a high tax place, particularly at higher incomes. Massachusetts is relatively lower tax. Housing cost is cheaper 650k gets you a house vs a 1 bed room apartment in Manhattan. Garage/car costs if you ever want to leave the city. The other overlooked part is health benefits of a slower paced career and more outdoor space/activities.

The other question is could you afford two homes eventually. House in the Berkshires and a pied a Terre in NYC. Allows you to be in person whenever you want. Watch the 183 day rule if you want to avoid NY taxes. Without kids you could be geographically mobile.
onourway
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Re: Moving out of big city and working remotely

Post by onourway »

This is a lifestyle choice. Will it potentially have some effect on your career? Who knows. We can't predict what the future will hold for remote work - although I doubt it will be as bleak as some make it out to be here. Remote work was already a thing pre-covid and it's going to remain a thing in the future. Our company has been hybrid and in-person for most of 2021 and back to travel, yet we continue to do many meetings virtually that would have previously required a trip now that it has become normalized even in our relatively old-school industry. You know your particular industry and prospective career path best. Sure, if you need to change direction in an unexpected way there will be more options if you can be in-person in a major city. That's the case now and it will continue to be the case in the future. The question is whether there will be enough options for you to choose from remotely? I think, unless you are set on a very specific career path with significant plans for advancement, there will be.

Another point is that there are plenty of places in the region where you can have the kind of house and land you are looking for, yet be in reasonable proximity to a small to medium sized city, perhaps with a college presence which often provides some level of job opportunity in the surrounding area - in other words it won't necessarily be a complete black hole.
Lou Sevens
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Re: Moving out of big city and working remotely

Post by Lou Sevens »

quantAndHold wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 7:55 pm How’s the internet there? A lot of rural America doesn’t have very good internet.
This is very important- I saw some carriers such as TMobile and Verizon have LTE internet; I would like this in my area as fallback.

A few weeks ago we had that comcast nationwide outage, I was going to use my phone as a temporary hot spot. Luckily, I am 20 minutes from my physical office for when I need to go in.

Does anyone have some sort of backup internet for emergencies?
Dave55
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Re: Moving out of big city and working remotely

Post by Dave55 »

What does your spouse say about this move? Are they behind it 110% no matter the outcome?

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Last edited by Dave55 on Thu Nov 25, 2021 11:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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muffins14
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Re: Moving out of big city and working remotely

Post by muffins14 »

I would never do it because I value the life in the city, and also do think being remote might limit future options.

If you explicitly want to be rural, then go for it
ThankYouJack
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Re: Moving out of big city and working remotely

Post by ThankYouJack »

Another vote to go for it. If you ever have to move again (for a job or whatever else), so be it, but enjoy the space and remote lifestyle while you can.
squirm
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Re: Moving out of big city and working remotely

Post by squirm »

I have been back at work full time for the past six months, there is much much better communication being in the office. I think it was a pipe dream people envisioned working from a remote log cabin in the woods connected to their jobs. My wife says the same, she manages people and says Zoom meetings a joke.
stan1
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Re: Moving out of big city and working remotely

Post by stan1 »

Network of peers and your reputation become even more important for remote workers, especially moving away from technical heavy jobs to ones where personal relationships are more important. Consider how you got where you are. How would you replicate that virtually? If you've built your professional reputation based on always delivering an accurate spreadsheet or report when it is due with accolades from senior executives that's one thing. If you've built your reputation through countless brainstorming sessions with your boss and company executives followed by happy hour and dinner make sure you have a way to replicate that virtually. Likewise if your trusted professional contacts who would hire you and vouch for you if needed is limited to the number of fingers on one hand you are in a much less enviable situation than if there are dozens of people in critical positions who appreciate your skills and contributions.
retire2022
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Re: Moving out of big city and working remotely

Post by retire2022 »

Op

This is a personal question, where and how you would raise your family, how you desire to live your life.

Lots of folks during 911 left NYC for the suburbs, or rural areas part of the state, then it stopped, some folks returned some have not in a sense "reversion to the mean" was the average number of folks did not post 911.

We have yet to see the full effects post Covid as "work from home", Financial companies relocated to New Jersey, ie their respective back offices post 911, we have yet to see where the results of commercial offices buildings would do post Covid.

William Rudin, one of the largest Commercial landlords in NYC has advocated for changing commercial offices as residential, the city did so in the financial district post 911.

Once midtown and other areas of NYC change zoning from commercial offices to residential, and offer lower rents, there maybe a return to NYC.

Single people, may return to NYC and make this a charming place, this is what happened to white flight during the 1970's and hence, their children returned from suburbs to places like, to low rents Village, East Village, Williamsburg, Dumbo, Greenpoint and Fort Greene (Clinton Hill & Bedford Stuyvesant).

If you currently own your own apartment, or your own building in NYC, you may not obtain the same rate of appreciation as you would in the suburbs or rural areas, therefore you maybe locked out of NYC in the future.

Vacant buildings during 1970's and 1980's caused a vacuum and post-Covid may cause another renaissance yet to be determined.
EddyB
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Re: Moving out of big city and working remotely

Post by EddyB »

whodidntante wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 3:33 pm Highly situational, but I know someone who did this and is now lamenting it because it is limiting the next step in her career.

Agreed. It’s hard to have everything.

On the other hand, I know many people who found that once they were away from the expense and (immediate) societal expectations of “the city,” they didn’t care about career “advancement.” These are people who by most standards are quite successful already, though.
quantAndHold
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Re: Moving out of big city and working remotely

Post by quantAndHold »

jlawrence01 wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 2:18 am
quantAndHold wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 7:55 pm How’s the internet there? A lot of rural America doesn’t have very good internet.

That is a very valid point that MOST people do not consider. Rural areas have little competition. Even when you have access to a decent provider, their service is NOT as good as you will find in large cities. On more than one occasion, I have had to head to a local library, Starbucks or the like to find decent coverage. This is particularly true in areas in and around mountains.
My cousin’s kid is a college student. When COVID happened and he got kicked out of the dorm, he had to rent an apartment near the school because he couldn’t get enough internet to do his coursework in the small town he’s from. This is fairly common. He’s from rural Kansas, but I know people in the rural parts of San Diego County that have the exact same problem.
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sandan
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Re: Moving out of big city and working remotely

Post by sandan »

squirm wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 11:55 am I have been back at work full time for the past six months, there is much much better communication being in the office. I think it was a pipe dream people envisioned working from a remote log cabin in the woods connected to their jobs. My wife says the same, she manages people and says Zoom meetings a joke.
It depends on the team. Some people have more disruptions at home while others have more disruptions in the office.
clip651
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Re: Moving out of big city and working remotely

Post by clip651 »

Lou Sevens wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 11:29 am
Does anyone have some sort of backup internet for emergencies?
I have cable high speed internet as my primary internet. My backup for internet is a TMobile hotspot (actual hotspot made by Samsung, cell service from TMobile). I haven't had great luck using my phone as a hotspot (maybe others have?), but the stand alone cellular hotspot has allowed me to work when the cable internet goes out, and/or when the power goes out.

Since I have TMobile for my cell phone service, it's another $10 or $20 a month for the cell line for the hot spot. It tends to come in handy a few times a year, and it is very nice to be able to just reach over and turn that hotspot on, rather than ponder packing up and going to the library or wherever, especially during the pandemic, so I don't mind the cost. This works well anywhere that I have good cell reception (home, hotel while traveling, etc).
Last edited by clip651 on Fri Nov 26, 2021 10:54 am, edited 2 times in total.
59Gibson
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Re: Moving out of big city and working remotely

Post by 59Gibson »

You're making a trade. 12 acres- clean, less congestion, less crime, less daily aggravations, less expensive cola for possibly fewer future career opportunities. I would do it, neither decision needs to be permanent. You're mid 30s with $1.1M and options.
fortunefavored
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Re: Moving out of big city and working remotely

Post by fortunefavored »

You didn't say what career you're IN.. some careers are obviously much more suited to remote working and I don't see that changing soon. Any job that is 95% heads down "working" is probably going to have decent remote opportunities. The classic being software engineer - but there are others.

If most of your day is spent in zoom meetings, networking and connecting people.. or you're primarily a people manager (or sr. leader) - then being remote will likely be a negative in the mid/long term.
Valuethinker
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Re: Moving out of big city and working remotely

Post by Valuethinker »

Definitely spend a year doing this before making a permanent commitment?

Rural life is ... different. One cannot really say "better" or "worse". But it is very different.

And it's a big difference in the middle of the winter blahhs than during a heat wave when the city is unbearable.
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