Joe Rogan Moves to Texas — and the Greater Real Estate Implications

Joe Rogan Moves To Texas

Joe Rogan is moving to Texas and he’s taking his million-dollar podcast with him. The announcement came at the end of July, a few months after it was revealed that Rogan had inked a $100 million, an exclusive licensing deal with Spotify for The Joe Rogan Experience. Though the podcaster has not yet announced where specifically in Texas he is moving, he has already posted several progress shots of his new podcast studio under construction. 

The Decision

The podcast host’s decision to leave Los Angeles after 26 years was motivated chiefly by a desire for a “bit more freedom,” and frustration with the overpopulation issue of Los Angeles. Los Angeles is overcrowded, has some of the worst traffic in the country, and issues have become even more apparent as the COVID-19 pandemic has taken hold of the U.S. 

Because of the taxes?

And one reason Rogan didn’t explicitly mention, but no doubt contributed to his decision, is that Texas has no state income tax. Had Rogan moved to Texas prior to his recent deal with Spotify, he likely could have saved some $13 million in taxes to the State of California.

Rogan is far from alone in seeking greener pastures away from America’s biggest, most crowded cities. City dwellers have put up with the drawbacks of city life because arts, culture, and tight-knit communities are important to them. But with no galleries, no live music, no restaurants, and no shopping, many have found themselves questioning the sanity of living in an expensive, tightly-packed city. 

A few years ago, a suburban friend of a New Yorker may have envied their action-packed city life. Now, that New Yorker finds themselves envying the friend who lives out in a suburb or the countryside, with multiple home offices, a gym, and ample play space for their kids, in a home that is incredibly affordable.

Leaving Small for Something “Smaller”

Some have always dreamt of moving to the center of the country or somewhere smaller. With the pandemic acting as a catalyst for them to take action now, instead of someday. For others who formerly viewed themselves as lifelong city folk, the pandemic has forced them to seriously consider the negatives of city living. People were leaving cities before the pandemic began, due in no small part to the housing affordability crisis, but the sudden outbreak of COVID-19 has hurried a trend that was likely inevitable. 

Many people tolerated their tiny apartments because they were constantly out and about, working and enjoying their cities. Now, with everyone forced into lockdown, the drawbacks of low square footage have become painfully apparent. Even for those who can afford decent square footage in the city, it’s hard to beat the extra space afforded by suburban or countryside estates.

“50% Will Move Away”

Some might prefer to hang on to their city dreams, thinking that the pandemic will end soon, and things will go back to normal. This is doubtful — work from home is reshaping how we view where we live, with companies and employees alike realizing the ever-diminishing need for a physical office space. 

A recent report from Redfin shows that 1 in 4 workers who began work from home at the start of the pandemic expect to continue working from home indefinitely, and 50% of the site’s users from Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, and New York said they would move away from their city if their work from home arrangements become permanent. 

Work from home has been increasingly prevalent in recent years, but its rise has been massively accelerated by COVID-19. For millions of people, work is no longer tied to a physical location. The decision to shift a high paying city job to a home office in an affordable location that provides lots of space and enjoyment seems obvious.

Getting Ahead of the Wave (or in the case, “flights.”)

For buyers, the time is now to understand these trends and act accordingly. The market will eventually equalize our new reality, but for the time being buyers with cash on hand and the right mindset can set themselves up for healthy appreciation down the line. 

According to Redfin, home shoppers across the country have increasingly begun to look at real estate outside of their home metro since the start of the lockdown, with many of these respondents looking to move to a smaller city. For the time being, many are still staying away from flying and not able to view homes in person. When people get comfortable with flying again, it is likely we will see buyers flying to new areas and shopping for homes, driving up prices, and soaking up inventory. 

Buyers interested in making a small-city play should act soon — prices are already being driven up by city deserters who have the means to enter into bidding wars and pay full price, or more. Homes that have sat for months or years are suddenly getting full-price offers. Buyers fleeing cities are often in a hurry, eager to get away from the city and reconnect to a sense of normalcy in these uncertain times. 

This sudden and unexpected demand is rapidly gobbling up inventory in many attractive small cities. The development will take time to catch up to these trends, so in the short term, supply won’t be able to match this spike in demand. In particular, activity has begun to heat up in the suburbs of New York and Florida, with demand in both locations being driven largely by New Yorkers eager to escape from the insanity of the pandemic. 

Building Your Own Dream

For someone looking to buy real estate in a smaller city as an investment, it’s important to consider the qualities that will be desired by the new, city-escapee class of buyers. 

One of the main things these buyers will need is flexible square footage — rooms that have the potential to be a gym, a home office, or a kids’ play area. Families with the means to do so are increasingly embracing the idea of building a compound, a place where they would be comfortable and secure in the event of another pandemic. 

Making the home a happy place that enables a wide range of work and play activities is critical. For the savvy investor, the massive influx of big-city folk into America’s smaller cities and towns has resulted in some incredibly lucrative opportunities.

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