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Simple Living is the New Trend

Simple Living is the New Trend

There are a great number of real estate articles that come across my desk, but one recently caught my attention. In the WSJ, the article follows a new trend that has taken this country by storm – simple living. LA and New York City had their time, but now people are looking for the slow lifestyle…and I see first-hand how Macon County fits the bill.

This trend is no different than what we are seeing here in our own backyard of Macon County. The city life of Chicago, Indy, and St. Louis are great for a multitude of things, but this year has proved one thing…smaller cities like Decatur, Illinois are safer. 

To ensure safety, those living in big cities have been seeking temporary homes outside of city limits since the beginning of the pandemic. What started out as a two week vacation for some, has turned into an 8 month (and counting) staycation. These locations include suburbs, small towns, and rural areas, just like Decatur, Illinois.  This time spent living the small town life has left big city people seriously considering making the move permanent. Factor in the new normal of remote work, the lost charm of city life, and safety concerns – a small town is the perfect next move.

Don’t get it twisted – it’s not just the wealthy that are being charmed by small town life. Younger adults who made the move to a city with big dreams have found themselves craving small town life once again as many have lost their jobs and were quickly evicted because they could not pay their overpriced rent. Though rooftop gardens, bike lanes, Instagram brunches, and the like are all “City-life norms”, many believe it is the beginning of the end of  those trends in the city and finding these joy in smaller areas. 

For Decatur alone, there are a total of almost a dozen cafes, coffee shops, or restaurants that provide the perfect spot for the very thing found in the City. Places to work from, wifi that is reliable, and friendly faces that are excited to see you during questionable times. Anyone that says city coffee is better than our local shops, are out of touch. 

The WSJ article references Scott and Linda Strasburg, a couple that are a perfect example of this crazy movement. The couple has been working in the Doylestown, Pa. real-estate business since 1981. Bucks County has something that everyone wants: the ideal location. Not only is it 25 miles from Philadelphia, but it’s 65 miles from New York City. 

Everyday, I hear from people exactly like “Scott and Linda”. They are the couple that is looking to be near family or grandkids. They are the couple the is downsizing post retirement. Or they are the couple that is getting something larger because they want to safely host family holiday dinners and summer barbeques.

Living in Macon County is ideal for those that are still looking to benefit from bigger cities. Since Decatur is about 2.5 hours from St. Louis, Chicago, and Indy. Should someone want to get away for the weekend, they still would be able to do so. The added bonus is that we don’t have the congestion and the commute which means someone is able to spend more time doing what they love whether it is walking the trails at Rock Springs, playing mini golf with the kids at Overlook Adventure, or just quickly venturing to the grocery store. 

The Great Safety Migration may see its end once the pandemic comes to a close. For the first time ever in August, the Manhattan apartment-vacancy rate topped 5%. Everyone could move back to resume pursuing their big city dreams or they main to remain choose small town simplicity. There is one sure thing about this trend – urbanites are experiencing first-hand the appeal of a small town charm, just like Decatur, Illinois has to offer.

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