Finding a Place to Call Home: A Guide for Remote Workers to Secure Housing When Relocating

By Natalia Wolting  • May 14, 2024
Apartment building where you can live in Abilene, Texas

The freedom of remote work opens doors to exciting possibilities, including the chance to relocate to a brand new city. But the thrill of a fresh start can be tempered by the anxiety of finding housing from afar. However, with the right approach and resources, you can make the process smoother and increase your chances of securing a comfortable living situation. Let’s explore various housing options and valuable tips to help you navigate the process.


Step 1: Embrace Remote Research


Become a Digital Explorer - Before diving into listings, embark on a virtual city exploration. Utilize city government websites, neighborhood association pages and local news outlets. These resources offer valuable insights into the neighborhoods within your target community.

Harness the Power of Data - Leverage online resources like niche.com that provide in-depth demographics, school ratings and neighborhood safety statistics. This data helps you identify areas that align with your lifestyle preferences, whether you crave a vibrant downtown scene or a peaceful small-town oasis.

Embrace Virtual Tours - Many apartment complexes and rental properties offer virtual tours online. These tours give you a valuable first impression of the layout, amenities and overall feel of the space. Don't underestimate the power of these virtual walkthroughs – they can help you narrow down your shortlist and avoid wasting time on properties that don't meet your needs.

Prioritize Your Must-Haves - Consider what's essential for your comfort and productivity. Do you need a short commute or access to reliable public transportation? Are pet-friendly options a must? Knowing your non-negotiables will streamline your search and prevent you from getting sidetracked by properties that aren't a good fit.


Step 2: Explore Your Housing Options


Apartments - Apartments are a popular housing option for those relocating to a new city. They offer flexibility, amenities and often a more affordable option than purchasing a home outright. When searching for apartments, consider factors such as location, rent prices, square footage and amenities like fitness centers, pools, or covered parking.

Utilize online apartment listing websites and apps to search for available units in your desired area. Many of these platforms allow you to filter your search based on your preferences and budget. Additionally, reach out to local apartment complexes directly to inquire about upcoming vacancies or waitlists.

Condos - For a more permanent feel, consider condos. They offer greater ownership potential than apartments but often come with homeowner association (HOA) fees. Be sure to factor in these extra costs when evaluating your budget.

Houses - Single-family homes offer privacy and potentially more space but require more maintenance and yard upkeep. Consider your comfort level with homeownership responsibilities before committing to a house. Websites like Realtor.com offer comprehensive home search tools, allowing you to filter properties based on your specific criteria. Additionally, local real estate associations and government websites can provide valuable information on homebuying assistance programs, tax incentives and other resources available to prospective buyers.

Short-Term Rentals - Consider a short-term rental like an Airbnb for the first month or two. This allows you to explore different neighborhoods and get a feel for a community before committing to a long-term lease. This temporary solution can be especially helpful if you're unfamiliar with a community or have multiple neighborhoods under consideration.


Step 3: Think Local and Avoid Scams


Check Out Local Listing Sites - Don't neglect local listing platforms and Facebook groups dedicated to rentals in your target community. They can offer unique options, including listings that may not be on national platforms. Engaging with local groups also allows you to connect with current residents who can provide valuable insights and recommendations.

Be Wary of Scams - Unfortunately, online scams exist. Always be cautious of listings with suspiciously low rent or those requesting upfront payments without a signed lease agreement. Trust your gut and avoid sending money or personal information before verifying the legitimacy of the listing.


Step 4: Partner Up


Leverage Relocation Platforms - For a more streamlined and personalized approach, consider utilizing platforms like MakeMyMove that specialize in relocation. MakeMyMove assists remote workers by helping them find the right community to call home while also securing incentives for their move.

Utilize Mover Guides – An additional benefit to using MakeMyMove for your relocation is access to their Mover Guides who serve as relocation specialists and can assist with your housing search and connect you with local experts who can answer all your questions about your new community. Their local expertise saves you time and ensures a smoother transition to your new city.


Step 5: Secure the Deal


Prepare Application Documents - Have scanned copies of your ID, proof of income (paystubs or recent tax returns) and any required references readily available. This allows you to move quickly on promising leads and avoid missing out on your dream home.

Be Financially Ready - Have the necessary funds for a downpayment, security deposit or application fees. Some landlords may require first and last month's rent upfront.

Remember, preparation is key. Start your housing search well in advance of your move date and be prepared to be flexible and adaptable. With the right mindset and approach, you'll be settling into your new home in no time.


About MakeMyMove

Remote work has freed millions of Americans to live where they want, and many are making the move to places that better match their lifestyle. In turn, cities and towns across the country are offering incentives like cash, perks and programming to remote workers who move and work from their communities. At MakeMyMove, you can explore all the places, get personalized help to find the one that’s right for you, connect with locals, and access support to make your move a piece of cake.