The Nomadic Advantage: Why Virtual Workers Should Embrace Homeownership

As of 2023, close to 13% of full-time employees work from home and 16% of companies operate fully remotely. These percentages will only increase with Upwork estimating that 32.6 million Americans (about 22% of the workforce) will be working remotely by 2025. Part of the appeal of virtual work for many millennials and Gen Zers is the ability to be a digital nomad, working anywhere an internet connection can reach them.

To these wanderlust-fueled people who often travel overseas and to multiple locations throughout the year, renting seems like the ideal living situation to keep their lives flexible while the concept of settling down and becoming a first time home buyer may seem impractical or financially out of reach. But homeownership doesn’t have to anchor a digital nomad to one place, and the benefits are numerous. 

Why Should a Digital Nomad Consider Becoming a First Time Home Buyer?

Before taking the plunge into homeownership, all first time home buyers, not just digital nomads, should ask themselves what their long term plans are. How do you envision your future? What is your primary driver for buying a home at this time?

Answering these questions will help you decide if now is the right time to buy a home, where you want to live, and what type of home you want to buy.

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Flexibility of Location

Most people choose a location based on proximity to work, family, or suitable schools. As a virtual worker, you have increased freedom in choosing where you want to live. You can choose to live outside of the city center without worrying about the  commute or other job-based considerations. You can put your family’s needs first.

This flexibility helps many digital nomads and their families save money on overall home expenses, cost of living, and taxes because they’re not forced to choose a home based solely on its proximity to an employer. 22% of virtual workers (fully remote and hybrid) are willing to relocate to a new area if the homes are more affordable, and digital nomads can, and should, consider finding more permanent homes outside of city centers to use as home bases outside of their peak travel times.

Tax Benefits

Owning a home can provide tax deductions and credits, which puts money back into your pocket to fund a nomadic lifestyle. While some of these benefits may differ based on location, the following deductions or credits may be available to most first time home buyers:

  • Mortgage interest: when you pay your mortgage throughout the year, any portion of the payment toward interest rather than principal counts as a mortgage interest deduction and decreases your taxable income.
  • Property taxes: when you own property and pay taxes on it, you can receive a property tax deduction of up to $5,000 if you’re single or filing separately from your spouse, or up to $10,000 if you’re married and filing jointly. 
  • Certain home improvements: by making energy-efficient improvements, such as solar water heaters, and geothermal heat pumps,  you can claim a residential energy-efficient property credit for a certain percentage of the expenses. 

Fixed-Expenses

While the housing market ebbs and flows, rent prices will consistently trend upward, subjecting renters to the unpredictable whims of the market. In contrast, purchasing a home offers a sense of stability and secures a consistent payment over the long term, shielding homeowners from the unpredictability of escalating rents. In some cases, you might even find that your new mortgage payment is lower than the rent you were paying–an instantly tangible savings. 

Additionally, if you’ve been renting with roommates, you can consider purchasing a home and having those same roommates live with you to help pay the mortgage, which will give you a fixed, predictable payment and help with the overall cost of living. If roommates aren’t your gig, but you want help with the mortgage, consider buying a multi-unit home, like a duplex, instead of sharing your space. 

Interested in finding out what you can afford as a first time home buyer? Check out our mortgage calculator & affordability calculators

Leveraging Homeownership for Future Plans

Digital nomads often see homeownership as a trap instead of recognizing the financial benefits for their future plans. One key benefit for digital nomads of becoming a first time home buyer is the future income possibilities and how your home can become the linchpin of your investment portfolio. 

Turning your home into a rental property or an Airbnb can provide additional income to help a first time home buyer feel less trapped by a home or location. Depending on your homeowners insurance policy and local laws, most properties can be converted into rental properties after 12 months to 2 years. Or if you’re considering turning a home into an Airbnb while you aren’t living there, such as during the summer when you’re traveling abroad, find out whether short-term rentals are legal in your city and the minimum amount of time to legally rent your place short-term. 

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Let Moreira Team Help You as a First Time Home Buyer

Are you a virtual worker interested in becoming a first time home buyer and in need of help navigating the process? The Moreira Team is here to guide you.

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Our team of expert brokers and lenders can help you find the right mortgage loan for you.

  • Conventional Loans are the most common type of mortgage. They come without government backing or special requirements. 
  • FHA Loans are common for first time home buyers and backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), with specific qualification requirements. 
  • USDA Loans are government-backed mortgages designed for eligible rural and suburban areas. 
  • VA Loans are designated for active-duty service members and veterans, and were created as part of the GI Bill of Rights. 

Outside of our different financing products, we also offer our Approval Guarantee as a competitive advantage in the housing market. Our guarantee provides you with a fully underwritten approval for a mortgage amount as close to a cash offer as you can get without having cold, hard cash in hand. Let Moreira Team help you become a first time home buyer. Get a quote today.