Working Remotely? You Must Also Consider Bi-Residential Living

Rose Morrison

Jun 10, 2024

small ranch style home with orange trees surrounding it

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The surge in remote working has blurred the boundaries between home and office, changing how people work and where they choose to live. For many, the ability to work from anywhere opens up exciting possibilities for a bi-residential lifestyle. Whether escaping the chaos of the city for the peacefulness of the countryside or splitting time between a beach house and a mountain cabin, bi-residential living can provide a perfect balance between work and leisure.

What Exactly Is Bi-Residential Living?

Bi-residential living is a new trend shaking up the U.S. housing market. This phenomenon refers to an arrangement where an individual owns two separate residences. This lifestyle can arise for various reasons, including work, family or personal preferences. Here are the most common reasons people may choose bi-residential living:

  • Work and commuting: Professionals might keep an apartment in the city during the workweek and a house in the suburbs for weekends.
  • Family commitments: Some people may maintain two homes to balance time between children from different relationships or to care for elderly parents.
  • Seasonal living: Some individuals prefer to live in different locations based on the season, such as having a summer and winter home.
  • Remote working: Remote work typically means no commute time, allowing workers the freedom to travel as they please. Bi-residential living offers the opportunity for a more regular change of scenery.
  • Personal preference: Simply enjoying the diversity and benefits of two different living environments can motivate some people to adopt this lifestyle. 
A second home for weekends among trees

Owning 2 Homes Comes With Benefits

Bi-residential living has several benefits that can make life more enjoyable and convenient. Here are some of the key advantages:

  • Reduced commute stress: The average American spends 26.4 minutes commuting one way each day. If you work in a city but prefer the tranquility of the suburbs, having a home in both locations can significantly reduce daily driving time and stress. 
  • Better work-life balance: This setup allows you to better separate your work and home life. You can focus on work during the week and relax or spend time with family on weekends. Approximately 60% of Americans admit to poor work-life balance, so this can be a great solution.
  • Family flexibility: It’s much easier to manage family commitments, especially if you have children from different relationships or need to care for elderly parents in different locations. 
  • Seasonal enjoyment: You can live in a place that suits the season. For instance, you can enjoy a beach house in the summer and a cozy mountain cabin in the winter. 
  • Diverse lifestyle experiences: Living in two places allows you to experience the best of both worlds. You can enjoy the vibrant city life and the peaceful countryside or different cultural environments. 
  • Expanded social network: Joining two different communities can build a broader social network, which can enrich your personal and professional life. 
Yachting at sunset as part of the biresidential lifestyle

What’s the Bi-Residential Lifestyle Like?

The bi-residential lifestyle is dynamic, offering plenty of flexibility and variety. Here’s what it could look like:

1. Frequent Travel

You’ll likely be moving between your two homes regularly. This can mean packing bags often, managing travel logistics and keeping track of what you need in each place. 

2. Diverse Environments

You get to enjoy the best of both worlds. Imagine weekdays in a bustling city with access to all its amenities and weekends in a peaceful rural setting or a cozy beach town. 

3. Less Stress

Typically, a bi-residential lifestyle can come with less stress. About 65% of workers feel more productive when working from home, helping them maintain that important work-life balance. This may be due to the lack of a commute. You also may be able to associate one property — perhaps your weekend home — with rest and relaxation and your weekday property with work. This allows you to separate your personal and professional lives, preventing them from overlapping. 

An interior of a house for your bi-residential living

How to Acquire a Second Property

Owning a second home is a major decision that requires careful consideration and planning. Here’s how you can make the process run more smoothly. 

1. Assess Your Needs and Goals

Determine why you want a bi-residential property. Is it work weekend retreats, investment purposes, seasonal living or job-related needs? 

Choose a location that aligns with your goals. Consider factors like proximity to your main home, climate, amenities and local attractions.

2. Financial Planning

Over 12 million American households spend more than half of their income on housing, so it’s vital to budget wisely. Set a clear spending plan, including the purchase price, closing costs, and ongoing expenses like property taxes, insurance and maintenance. Explore various financing options. You might use a mortgage, a home equity loan on your primary residence or other funding methods. 

It’s essential to understand the tax implications of owning a second property. Mortgage interest, property taxes and potential rental income can all have tax consequences. 

3. Choose a Property

Study the real estate market in your desired area. Look at property values, market trends and the potential for appreciation. 

Decide on the type of property you want. Each comes with its own set of advantages and responsibilities. It can be helpful to list must-have features and amenities, considering your immediate and long-term needs.

4. Get Professional Advice

Find a local real estate agent who’s knowledgeable about the area and can help you find properties that meet your criteria. Get a thorough home inspection to identify potential issues with the property. 

5. Visit and Evaluate Properties

Visit potential properties to get a feel for the neighborhood and the home itself. Consider spending time in the area to ensure it meets your expectations. Listing the pros and cons of different homes can help you decide.

6. Make an Offer

Work with your real estate agent to craft a competitive offer based on market conditions and the property value. It’s not guaranteed that the previous owners will accept your offer, but writing a home offer letter may increase your chances. 

Be prepared to negotiate with the seller on price and terms. This can include contingencies like repairs or closing cost assistance. 

Conduct the necessary inspections and appraisals. This ensures the property is in good condition and worth the price you’re paying. 

7. Close the Deal

Perform a final walk-through of the property to ensure it’s in the agreed-upon condition. Attend the closing meeting to sign the necessary documents. It’s crucial to understand all the paperwork before signing. 

An example of a second property

The Best of Both Worlds

As remote work continues to redefine daily life, the concept of bi-residential living emerges as a compelling option for those seeking a more balanced and enriching lifestyle. Maintaining two homes lets you enjoy the benefits of different environments, reduce stress, and create a clearer separation between work and personal time.

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