Has the pandemic prompted you to move? What Chicagoans told us.

People told us mostly about moving away from Chicago — to the suburbs or out of state. Some stuck around but took advantage of low mortgage rates to find a better place.

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Among the reasons people gave for moving: low interest rates, a need to improve their mental health and having always planned to and figuring: Why not now?

Among the reasons people gave for moving: low interest rates, a need to improve their mental health and having always planned to and figuring: Why not now?


With some people taking up new residences temporarily or permanently since the coronavirus hit, we asked readers to tell us about moving because of the pandemic. Some answers have been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.

“Definitely, with no regret, it prompted me to move. I eagerly decided to move, retiring earlier than I originally anticipated. Happy to obey the stay-at-home order due to the pandemic.” — Deborah Betancourt

“I moved from Michigan to Chicagoland. This area has always been one of my favorite places to visit, and I feel so blessed to call it home. I met my significant other before this pandemic, and his passion for his hometown was a part of his charm. Before this pandemic, none of this would have been possible. I feel so grateful.” — Abby Oliver

I moved to a farm in Michigan and haven’t left. It was the best decision of my life.” — Ricky Lee

“Knowing that i was going to be spending more time at home, I decided to move to a better apartment in the city.” — Ian M. Tobin

“The market and rates were very favorable. We took advantage of that and sold the condo (first showing, sold!) and bought a single-family in the same suburb. It was stressful because of the high demand, too many families interested and moving stress, but it all worked out in the end!” — Erika Hoffmann

“We moved from the city to Glenview in June 2020. Between the riots and the shutdown, we moved to more open air and safety.” — Cheri Paul Haut

“I’d rather not move during a pandemic, but the low mortgage rates were tempting. I daydreamed about it but decided that I didn’t want to bother having close contact with strangers like real estate agents and movers.” — Rachel Fischer

“Yes! Couldn’t stand the open floorplan anymore once COVID hit. We needed separation and space to do other things away from each other.” — Tina Maltese Gio

“It put me in a depression, which prompted me to change my behaviors and lifestyle. Leaving Chicago and headed towards Clearwater, Florida. Accepted job today.” — Tiffany Dunlevy

“My mental, emotional and physical health tanked. Angeleno transplant in Chicago for 11 years — it was a city I called home, familiar. I moved to Salt Lake City in March with a rough transition. And, though I miss Chicago deeply, I can thrive here instead of barely surviving.” — Colee Wong

“Interest rates were amazing, so my husband and I bought our first home in the middle of the pandemic.” — Kimberly Cunningham

“I’d love to sell and move, especially lately. But my kids don’t want to switch schools.” — Amanda Gaylord-Bentley

“We always wanted to move to Florida when we retired. Illinois has been high taxes across the board, anti-business and cold winters. But the lockdown Gov. Pritzker put into place was just too much. So we moved. The best thing we ever did.” — Elaine Presbitero Naso

“I’ve been planning even before, but the pandemic has accelerated my eagerness to find sunnier, warmer environs. Being cooped up under quarantine for a year has taken its toll. Moving southwest in September or October.” — Robert Michael Jones

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