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As Markets Like New York, San Francisco Run Cold – Is Remote Rural Investing the Future of Real Estate?

The coronavirus pandemic has significantly affected all major industries from travel to e-commerce, and now real estate. The US housing market is booming and surprisingly, it's the rural real estate that's heating up and attracting the most investors.

According to the CEO of real estate brokerage Redfin, Glenn Kelman, the demand for homes has shifted to rural areas as people look to move out of dense urban areas due to the effect of the coronavirus pandemic.

A recent Harris Poll found that more than 3 in 10 people in America say the pandemic makes them want to live in a rural area. And, 1 in 4 now wants to live in a suburb exterior to a major city. In a separate Harris Poll, it was found that nearly 40% of city dwellers are considering leaving the city due to the pandemic.

There are several factors that are attributing to the mass exodus toward rural real estate.

Impossible-to-Afford Urban Housing

While major cities saw a great economic and real estate rise after the 2008 recession, with more people moving to cities to search for jobs, that also made them unaffordable to invest in 2020. Last year's data from Redfin confirmed that the urban real estate is losing its sheen with bidding wars in the hot San Francisco housing market tanked from 75% of offers to just 22% in Q2 2019.

Remote Work

With major companies like Twitter shifting to full-time remote work, a large number of millennials are shifting base and moving to quieter suburbs and rural areas. This not only enables a pandemic-proof housing but also gives early retirement aspirants a chance to explore the affordable yet experiential rural living.

Related: How Millennials Are Retiring Early by Investing in Turnkey Real Estate

Rise of Remote Rural Real Estate Investing

"Since March 15, searches for homes and towns with population under 50,000 people increased 71%," said Kelman. He added that "more people will leave San Francisco, New York, and even Seattle, some for nearby towns like Sacramento and Tacoma that are close enough to support a weekly office visit, others for a completely remote life in Charleston, Boise, Bozeman, or Madison."

So, what does this mean for investors?

Going by the real estate market cycle, more and more experts are recommending investing in real estate in Q4 of 2020 – when the mortgage rates are historically at their lowest and it's becoming easier to invest in rural rental properties, remotely.

And Roofstock is one such company that is leading the remote investing trend. It's an online rental marketplace that allows investors to buy and sell turnkey properties online.

"I live in New York City where the upfront costs of investing in real estate are extremely high and Roofstock helped simplify the process of investing in other markets," says Bryce H., an investor who purchased a rental property through Roofstock.

Through features like detailed property photographs, floor plans, inspection reports, estimate gross rent; investors don't need to physically visit the properties, ergo, making it easier to invest in several out-of-state rental properties.

"Roofstock makes remote single-family home investing almost as simple as using a robo-advisor for stocks," says Colin Walsh, another Roofstock Buyer from San Francisco Bay Area and who owns 2 properties – 1 in Memphis and 1 in San Antonio – with a total estimated 5-year cash return of $11,375.

Roofstock is an ideal place to start - whether you are looking for affordable rural housing in over 70 US markets or wish to invest in rental properties to earn passively.

You can sign up for a free account here with Roofstock.

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