Work From Home Workforce Choosing Texas Coastal Bend
Corpus Christi and the Surrounding Waterfront Communities Becoming Hot Spot for Remote Workforce Relocation
by Mady Peetz
2020 has brought on more changes than many people could ever foresee, but as we navigate these unprecedented times, finding new ways to thrive in the home environment becomes more important than ever. 2020 will forever be remembered as The Year of the Great Pivot. Due to the risks of COVID-19, many people have made the switch to the online workplace, getting most of their work done from a home computer and connecting with coworkers through a virtual office. Moreover, many of these same workers have found that working from home presents a new and improved lifestyle, creating a seamless blend between their previously separated work and home lives. Benefits such as greater productivity, less travel time, money saved on gas, and of course, working in sweats and flip flops, has led many people to feel dread when thinking of returning to the office post-pandemic.
The shift to work-from-home can work for some people; people in an office setting especially, people who work on knowledge-based services to their clients. It is obviously harder, impossible even, for people working, construction or physical product delivery, to be able to shift to working from home. That said, it’s become a factor and a movement that has crystalized in 2020, if it can be done, people are going to do it. A trend that was starting to play out, and would have taken a decade to take root, has taken hold in only a few months.
Corpus Christi and the surrounding beach communities of Port Aransas, Rockport, Ingleside on the Bay, and Aransas Pass had already surfaced as a hot spot for telecommuters before the pandemic- which has vastly accelerated the trend of people heading to smaller communities for a better work- life balance. With Houston’s population now over three million, traveling 90-minutes to work, accessing schools and daycare programs, and even a night on the town involves long commutes. The San Antonio to Austin corridor are experiencing infrastructure-taxing growth.
Living in the Corpus Christi region with a population of around 450,000, allows for citizens to have the benefits of a large city economy combined with less travel times and a cheaper cost of living. Right now, Corpus Christi is a hotspot for home buyers, and price and size are an overall better value than both San Antonio and Houston. For example, the median value of homes in the Corpus Christi MSA rounds out to about $157,000, with a median listing price of $220,000 as of August of 2020. Working from home with a tropical view in Corpus Christi is now more alluring than ever
Many large corporations are finding new ways to accommodate the lifestyle of those who want to generate creativity from the comfort of their couch. Travel times to bigger cities, like San Antonio and Houston, are minimal and easy, allowing for employees to work from the location of their choice. Corpus Christi also surpasses its competitors in percentage of homes with bandwidth Wi-Fi connection, allowing for work to be done in the most efficient manner. With lower housing prices, less big city hustle and bustle, and a wide range of local cuisine, Corpus Christi offers the much-needed escape from honking horns and crowded spaces. Many people have already made the switch to the remote office while living on Padre Island and still working for their large Houston or Austin businesses.
Marcus Veazey and his wife Emily moved their family of five to the Coastal Bend in 2014. “We spent 10 years in DC and seven in Atlanta. We moved here specifically because of quality of life and cost of living. I work from my house and wasn't tied to one location for that reason. We chose Corpus because of its size and its proximity to the water and the "outdoors" because that is what we like to do and what we wanted our kids to grow up around. We wanted to be away from traffic and congestion but still wanted certain levels of comfort that a city this size offers.”
They are not alone. Since the pandemic and its consequent shutdowns began in March, Coastal Bend realtors have observed a vast increase in new families moving to the region. “They’re moving here from big cities, putting offices with large monitors and high-speed internet. This is the best market I’ve seen in 30 years in the industry,” says local realtor Gene Guernsey.
A lively and eclectic downtown, a 20-minute drive from the center of town to hundreds of miles of Gulf Coast, a family-friendly culture with a vibrant art and music scene- the Sparkling City by the Sea is capitalizing on the great Texas economy while still celebrating life on the coast.
Corpus Pop: 312, 469
Median Home Value: $160,597
Median Price per square foot: $127
San Antonio Pop: 712, 341
Median Home Value: $187,718
Median Price per square foot: $124
Houston Pop: 3,413,262
Median Home Value: $191,907 / Median Price per square foot: $141
Houses with a Broadband Internet Subscription: