Save. Spend. Splurge.

Is a future housing crisis on the way?

Solomon came out with this, and it got the hamsters in my brain turning about this whole “new normal” work from home WFH business.


People selling their apartments to move to the country

I count myself in this group as we plan on buying some land and building a home, but I am fully aware that I will be limited in taking contracts that are able to be driven to within a reasonable amount of time.

I’ll also be taking less contracts because a new stipulation of mine would be that I am at home 3 days a week and only 2 days MAXIMUM in the office (wherever that is).

The only reasons why I can do this are:

  1. I don’t need to work because I don’t really need the money, this is just for fun stuff like a YOLO trip to Japan
  2. I get to dictate the terms of my contract as a freelancer
  3. My job allows me to work from home for the majority of the time

The problem is people are thinking their companies will let them be WFH 100% of the time but I suspect this will not last.

Many companies have decided to be permanently WFH but those companies are not the norm; they’re doing it to save millions on rent, utilities and so on, but also because their jobs are covetable and if you don’t deliver, they’ll just fire you.

I’d also say your home setup has to be pretty amazing. We have all 3 of us in one living room right now which was fine before when Little Bun was in daycare, but even with just the two of us, I am really highly annoyed when I hear clinking in the kitchen or talking when I am on a call or presenting.

We need separate rooms, big monitors, a better laptop, better servers to handle all of the traffic, higher internet speeds….

I already spent this year alone, almost $800 in work gear from cables to stands, to a monitor to new keyboards (I need one for French because these accents are killing me).

Companies will ask everyone to go back to the office

In other industries, being in the office is needed 100% of the time.

Even in my job, I will acknowledge that some meetings are better done face-to-face with a piece of paper or a whiteboard than over a call, so while I can do most of MY work at home without being with anyone else, that doesn’t mean that I don’t find in-person collaborations easier.

Managers, are eventually going to want people back in the office. My guess would be that the WFH policies will be relaxed, but it will be maybe 1 – 2 days WFH at best for most companies.

Working from home works now rather than being in the office because of the pandemic, but in the long run, I suspect we will move back to the office if out of pure need/desire to be with other people.

I can already feel myself slowly sliding into becoming anti-social and depressed because of this self-isolation (and we go pretty far, I will say), but this is not a unique feeling I have.

WFH is not a good solution long term because we have a lack of competition now. It seems to me like when you have to compete against other people, it’s when you see them and you feel the need to work harder. None of this matters or feels as relevant the less you connect with your fellow colleagues.

There’s no more team spirit, there aren’t any small bonds being formed outside of work itself like when we all hang out in the cafeteria and chat about ANYTHING BUT WORK, to find out more about each other – none of this is done now, as we don’t do these chats with colleagues as it feels weird like we’re wasting company time.

Everyone will migrate back to city life…eventually

It only sucks now. Even I am sort of wishing I could go to the office at least once or twice a week, and I am certain I am not the only one.

Everyone who has sold off their city apartments to buy homes in the middle of nowhere, may regret doing so because their companies may very well ask them to return to the office, and here comes the long and dreaded commute.

It’s just that now that everything is closed. 

People aren’t going out to bars, restaurants or hanging out, but once people get vaccinated (eventually), and life slowly returns back to normal.. as much as it can be, people will be going back out again.

Eventually, like even after a big fire, things will grow grow back. It may take years, but it will happen again.

Humans like to congregate together, and that’s why cities form. They enjoy being with other humans, as this pandemic has painfully outlined.

Not many of us want to live in the middle of nowhere without anyone at all for months on end, we want to be with other people (even if for me, it is only okay for short periods at a time and I cannot live in the middle of NOWHERE because I will go stir crazy).

I like being near people for short doses at a time, and I like being near cities even if I may not really want to live in one any more (I am moving towards my pre-retirement dream maybe, of having a full garden…)

Is a future housing crisis on the way?

When this happens (eventually), will homes basically be sold left and right as people migrate back into the city?

The trends seem to be to try and shift out of living in the city until the cost of homes rises and they are unable to afford it, so they stay in the city.

It doesn’t seem sustainable in the long-term and maybe that’s why some companies are now focusing on real estate to pick them up at depressed prices and to wait it out.



  • NZ Muse

    We are 2 days in person and 3 days WFH, which I love. it feels like the perfect balance. Could maybe swing 1 day in person but can’t see TPTB going for that ratio…

  • SP

    I do think there will be a permanent shift to MORE work from home positions. It just makes sense to save the office rent and it works well for some jobs/people. But it won’t apply to all people and all roles. I have almost no commute and a nice working environment, so I don’t really have a strong desire to remain WFH in the long run. I definitely would prefer to have at 2 days a week in the office. We’ll see, though. Like you, much of my work can be done independently, but collaborations and meetings seem smoother face-to-face.

    It will be really interesting to see how cities rebound from this. I think the hardest part is that many people were happy to use the city as their “backyard” but the lack of outdoor space in apartments is pretty difficult in a pandemic. Especially for families with kids.

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Yes – I think you’re right, there might be more work from home positions, but overall I think people like myself are happy to go in a few days a week or at least have the choice versus being 100% in the office or 100% at home.

      Meetings are just so much easier in person if I can hear them speak, especially in French as it is not my langauge.

  • sandy

    Humans are creatures of habit. I realized this when I decided to become a full-time work-from-home freelancer (13 years ago, and never went back). It took me years to get used to not going to an office at all – not because I missed the office socialization (I don’t need that, myself – personality trait), but because suddenly being so free and not having a routine imposed by others felt very strange. I also wondered what people would think of me if they saw me outside taking a walk when others were at the office. Maybe they would think that I was not working… Useless thoughts. I don’t care about any of that now. Such is the power of habit!

    I think some people will discover that they don’t like going/commuting to an office so much, that they prefer the comfort of their own working space, that they would like to focus on their family and children more (than with what’s left after 6PM every working day). When things go back to normal, those who can afford to work from home, will continue to do so or negotiate 1 or more days of working from home. Those who like to go, or have to go, will go just like before.

    Of course, the guy in the article is a CEO. A CEO usually LIKES going to the office (a comfortable, private office) to rule over other people. He doesn’t feel as significant if he stays at home and is not seen and revered by others. He isn’t interested in child raising. But the plebe who works in a noisy, crowded open space and sees his kids only 1-2 hours a day, although he would like more, might have different ideas.

    People do what they like to do or need to do.

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      You’re so right. I do think however, a lot of big companies have shifted to work from home, decided it wasn’t for them and then shifted back to ” EVERYONE IN THE OFFICE NOW ” … as a mentality trend in the past few years.

      I suspect companies will do a 3-day work week, working from home as a choice on any 2 days you’d like or less. At least one WFH day. I have had clients before, balk at having me WFH even though I had zero reason to be in the office and worked with international people… It’s so strange how the pandemic has shown how all of that is really not even a real “thing”, when they were citing “lack of work, loss of collaboration”….

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