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What are Zoom Towns? Why Remote Workers are Moving

TLDR

What You Need To Know

  • A Zoom town is a city that’s seen an influx of remote workers
  • Unlike larger metropolitan areas, Zoom towns don't have the same hustle and bustle. And home prices are often more affordable than in urban areas
  • You can close on a house in your preferred location remotely with the help of a real estate agent

Contents

With the COVID-19 pandemic establishing a new remote work culture, more and more professionals are pursuing the Zoom town life as remote workers – making a living working from home or elsewhere outside of an office.

Thanks to the increased popularity of online meetings and virtual events, you can Zoom into work from anywhere. So what exactly are Zoom towns? And why are remote workers and digital nomads (people who move from town to town) flocking to these places? Let’s take a closer look. 

What Makes a Zoom Town?

A Zoom town is a city that’s seen an influx of remote workers, such as freelance writers, web developers and online marketers.

The coronavirus firmly established the work-from-home culture, which had already been underway to a lesser degree. In response to the pandemic, more people began looking for opportunities where they could work comfortably from home full-time. This work trend particularly favors young professionals, especially millennials and Gen Z, who are tired of long commutes and being confined to office space. 

According to a recent Gallup poll, 91% of American remote employees are hoping to continue to work from home long after the pandemic is a distant memory.[1] And “home” can mean anywhere in the world. 

Why are people moving to Zoom towns?

With more people working remotely, the allure of small towns and suburbs has increased dramatically. Consequently, towns that were once popular among retirees or families looking for a more rural lifestyle have become Zoom towns. 

But what exactly do Zoom towns have to offer that’s so appealing to remote workers and digital nomads?

Zoom towns are places with a high quality of life and plenty of activities to keep busy when you’re not working. Unlike larger metropolitan areas, Zoom towns don’t have the same hustle and bustle. And home prices are often more affordable than in urban areas.

What Are the Top Zoom Towns in America?

As the Zoom boom continues, more and more people are looking for the perfect Zoom town to call home. But with so many Zoom towns across the country, and an ever-changing real estate market, it can be tough to decide which one is right for you.

To help narrow down your search, we’ve compiled a list of some popular Zoom towns in America:

  • Centennial, Colorado: 

Centennial is a safe and friendly town with great neighborhoods and plenty of things to do. With a population just over 100,000 people,[2] it’s the perfect place to work remotely.

  • Raleigh, North Carolina: 

The city’s “research triangle” of universities, high-tech businesses and science parks contributes to its fantastic popularity.

  • Cary, North Carolina:

With excellent amenities and plenty of outdoor activities, Cary boasts of a low crime rate and outstanding quality of life.

  • Carlsbad, California:

Whether you’re looking for a place to raise a family or just want to enjoy a slower-paced Zoom lifestyle, Carlsbad is a great option. Featuring beautiful beaches, great weather and plenty of family-friendly activities, Carlsbad is a Zoom town with something for everyone.

  • Olathe, Kansas: 

With just over 140,000 residents,[3] Olathe is the fourth-largest city in Kansas. It has a diverse economy and is home to several large businesses.

  • Frisco, Texas: 

Located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, Frisco is one of the  fastest-growing cities in America.[4] The town has good schools and plenty of amenities.

Things To Consider Before Moving to a Zoom Town 

The decision to move to a Zoom town should not be taken lightly. There are a few things to consider before making the move:

  • The town should have good amenities while also maintaining a reasonable cost of living. Use the MoneyTips cost of living calculator to get a clearer picture of the cost of living in each Zoom town on your list.
  • The town should have a strong internet connection system to facilitate Zoom meetings, logging in to remote servers and other work-from-home tasks.
  • Make sure the Zoom town is a good fit for your lifestyle. Do some research and ask around to get a feel for the town before making the move. You’ll want to ensure there are plenty of things to keep you busy when you’re not working.

If you don’t have time to visit the town in person, it’s a good idea to consult a real estate agent who has knowledge of the areas you’re interested in. With their help, you can buy a home sight unseen.

Here are some pros and cons to consider before moving to a Zoom town:

PROS of Moving to a Zoom Town👍

Affordability

The cost of living in a Zoom town is often less than that of a big city, which gives you more money to save or spend as you please. In many American Zoom towns, you can buy a home or start a business for a fraction of what it would cost in a city.

More space

If you’ve always wanted more space and dreamed of owning a home with a backyard, Zoom towns could be the place for you.

No commute

You can’t beat the freedom of knowing you don’t have to take a bus, train or automobile to and from work – an advantage that can save you thousands of dollars in commute costs.

CONS of Moving to a Zoom Town👎

Your office reopening and requiring you to come in

Any change in your company’s remote work policy could leave you scrambling to find a new place to live closer to your office.

Possible housing shortages

The Zoom town boom has put a strain on the housing market in some towns, causing prices to rise and availability to drop.

Fewer attractions in small towns

If you’re used to living in a bustling metropolis, the slower pace of smaller, more rural Zoom towns can come as a shock. There could be fewer restaurants, stores and entertainment options available.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Only you can answer the question of whether or not moving to a Zoom town is right for you. 

Do your research to find a Zoom town that meets your needs in terms of affordable housing, nearby activities and job opportunities. Be sure to factor in the potential downsides of Zoom town living before you make your move. And remember that you can close on a house in your preferred location remotely with the help of a real estate agent.

  1. GALLUP. “Remote Work Persisting and Trending Permanent.“ Retrieved September 2022 from https://news.gallup.com/poll/355907/remote-work-persisting-trending-permanent.aspx

  2. United States Census Bureau. “QuickFacts Centennial City, Colorado.” Retreived October 2022 from https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/centennialcitycolorado

  3. United States Census Bureau. “QuickFacts Olathe City, Kansas.” Retreived October 2022 from https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/olathecitykansas/PST045221

  4. United States Census Bureau. “Fastest-Growing Cities Are Still in the West and South.” Retrieved October 2022 from https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2022/fastest-growing-cities-population-estimates.html

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In Case You Missed It

  1. The cost of living in a Zoom town is often less than a big city, which gives you more money to save or spend as you please

  2. If you don’t have a lot of time to visit the town, it’s a good idea to consult a real estate agent who has knowledge about your area(s) of interest

  3. Use MoneyTips’ cost of living calculator to get a clearer picture of the cost of living in each Zoom town on your list

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