Zoom Towns Gain Popularity in the United States


Online shopping is not the only “boom” caused by the pandemic. Another is the “Zoom Cities”.

Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve all become familiar with Zoom meetings. But do you know what a Zoom city is?

“Zoom Town is one of the cities where you can actually work remotely while you have a job in another city,” said Joel Schaub, vice president of mortgages at Guaranteed Rate, Inc.

For Dylan McDowell, that means swapping his Rogers Park condominium for a three-bedroom house in a small town just outside of Mattoon, Illinois.

“It’s cute and quaint,” he said. “And relaxing.”

“Easy access to the city or to Saint-Louis or to Indy,” he added. “Or where my friends are from.”

As a Chicago real estate agent, his job gives him the opportunity to live and work primarily away from his hometown, which is approximately 200 miles south of Windy City.

“Zoom Towns goes both ways,” Schaub said. “A lot of people are moving from big cities to the suburbs or just outside the suburbs.”

“But we are seeing a lot of people moving to Chicago,” he added.

This includes Damir and John Donlon.

Last month, they moved into a condo in Chicago’s Lake View neighborhood from a house in a spacious suburb near Villanova University in Pennsylvania.

“I work for this DC management consulting firm,” Damir said. “I am totally distant. I can work anywhere.”

Damir and John both work remotely while looking after their 2 year old twins. They chose Chicago as their Zoom City for several reasons.

“We wanted to sell our house and go back to living in the city because we realized that life in the suburbs was not for us,” Damir said.

“We wanted them to have other friends who have gay fathers,” added John. “Or moms, of course.

Overall, the main reason most people choose to relocate to a Zoom city is as follows.

“It’s all about the cost. A lot of people leave and go to a place where they know they can spend less money than where they are now,” Schaub said.

So who’s headed for a Zoom town?

One expert FOX 32 spoke to said the age range went from top to bottom, with people getting ready to retire by leaving the big cities while the younger ones move in.

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Now the question is, is Zoom Towns here to stay?

“A lot of people thought this was going to be a fad,” Schaub said. “It was something that was going to be heavy at the start of the pandemic, but Zoom Towns is here to stay.”

Laura Forlano agrees. She is a sociologist at IIT and studies the future of our way of working and living.

“Overall, I think people took the time during the pandemic to really think about their priorities,” she said. “A lot of people have come closer to their families if they can.”

Whether or not you can zoom in on the city of your dreams depends on the type of job you have. Not all professions allow employees to work remotely.

Forlano also says employers play an important role in whether or not that decision is made.

“More recently, we’ve seen discussions on topics like the four-day work week. There are a few large employers who have decided to move to a four-day work week and that might make that more possible for some workers. said Forlano.


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