COVID’S Impact – Why Northerners are Heading South

Mirtha Barzaga
Mirtha Barzaga
Published on November 2, 2020

For nearly three decades, Mike and Felicia created memories and raised five children in their colonial home in Beverly, MA. With every passing winter and as it turned into spring, the Waldrons would begin to daydream about what life would be like living in the Sunshine State. As their two youngest children “flew the coup” as they say, and headed off to college, the Waldrons, looked around their 3,500 square foot home filled with years of memories and felt confident it was the right time to pack up, downsize and head south. “We wanted to move near my parents and my sister and her family who live in Bradenton,” shared Felicia Waldron, “We were ready to escape the hard winter weather of the northeast and the higher cost of living.”

The research began and the Waldrons landed on a move to Northeast Florida. Like most who relocate here, they appreciated the friendly and welcoming community, the weather which includes some cooler temperatures during the winter months and of course, the close proximity to the beach. “As we were touring a home in World Golf Village, we happened to meet Mirtha Barzaga, a Davidson Realty Agent,” Felicia said, “We stayed in contact with Mirtha while we prepared our home in Beverly for market, then listed during COVID.” Mirtha showed the Waldrons many homes in the area as they waited to list their home up north. “This pandemic has caused so much anxiety for people and I wanted the Waldrons to feel confident that when they were ready to move to Northeast Florida, we were here to assist them and they could feel good about the quality of home we would be able to find them,” shared Mirtha.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an interesting impact on the real estate market. While inventory is low and homes are selling quickly in most markets, the National Association of Realtors is reporting an influx of people moving to more rural areas from larger cities and moving south for more moderate climate. These often cross-country moves are a result of a few reasons all COVID related: corporate offices have allowed employees to work from home as a measure to help stop the spread of the virus, homeowners living in congested areas are seeking rural life where COVID cases are typically significantly lower, and families have reprioritized and are looking for a slower pace of life.

Mike and Felicia were primarily moving to downsize and be closer to family but they didn’t expect the homebuying process would be as easy and enjoyable as it turned out to be and they credit their Realtor for that. “Mirtha is a dedicated, knowledgeable professional who worked tirelessly for us as we searched the St. Johns County area for the perfect home,” Felicia said.

“It took us more than four months to sell our Beverly house because COVID was ramping up and things were pretty closed down in MA,” Felicia continued, “Mirtha sent us uplifting notes and emails as we were becoming more dejected wondering if our dream of moving to Florida was ever going to come to fruition.”

During the early months of the pandemic, the Waldrons found themselves packing up and moving across country. But more importantly what they found was a good friend in their Realtor, Mirtha.

“Mirtha’s experience and expertise helped take some of the stress out of buying a property long-distance. She went above and beyond by recommending home and pest inspectors, title company, arranging for deep cleanings before we arrived, and being present at the walk-through when we were not able. All in all, Mirtha became a trusted friend.”

The Waldrons have happily traded in their boots for flip-flops and are enjoying the Florida lifestyle in their Marsh Creek Country Club home. Despite the challenges COVID continues to bring, they are enjoying welcoming neighbors, golfing and social events. And are beginning to create new memories in their new and perfect Northeast Florida home.

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