In 2020, a lot changed with office work. For many people, the rise in remote jobs and the virtual assistant has influenced what they’re looking for in a home and created a greater appetite for a dedicated home office. Suddenly, the distance from Guelph (the 519 area code) to the Greater Toronto area on commuting days makes a hybrid work from home arrangement a viable option.

So why a move to the 519 area code?

Geographically, moving to Guelph isn’t very far outside of the GTA. In fact, during the peak of the pandemic sales rush, we saw a huge influx of people from Brampton and Mississauga move into the 519 area code. Why?

It’s because Guelph has a lot to offer in terms of lifestyle, but your money also goes further. And, for those that needed to commute semi-regularly, it’s still a relatively reasonable commute by car, train or bus.

The largest influx we noticed was into the East Guelph and South Guelph areas, which were a natural fit. This is because these are the eastern and southern edges of the 519 area code, enabling easier highway access.

In terms of home styles, we noticed that multi family homes such as a duplex were very desirable. Additionally, homes that had a finished basement or home office setup were particularly desirable.

Is a home office still desirable?

A house with a home office has been desirable for years for work from home positions. But now, if you’re searching for a home in 519 area code, it’s likely even more of a priority. It’s important to realize that continued remote workers may give you opportunities you didn’t realize you had.

And, since many people don’t need to be tied to a specific area for your job full time anymore, your “home office” can double as a TV room or rec room.

This is the reason Guelph housing prices are on fire, particularly in neighbourhoods in South and East Guelph. Buyers here can get from Guelph to Toronto in less than an hour.

If you’re one of the nearly 23% of workers who will remain 100% remote: 

Consider Guelph and 519 area code: It’s far enough west to feel like you’re out of the “Big City”. But it’s also close enough to the Greater Toronto Area that you can get to most places in an hour.

Since you’re moving away from the city, housing is cheaper and you’ll be able to get more home for your money. This frees up more options for your dedicated office space and additional breathing room.

If not Guelph, you could also move to a location where you’ve always wanted to live. A cottage on Lake Huron or the mountains of BC. Additionally, simply a market that features the kind of weather and community amenities you’re looking for. Without your job tying you to a specific location, you’re bound to find your ideal spot.

If you are working from home, you’ll likely want amenities around you. This will allow you to get out of the house and recharge. Need to run errands like look for Guelph used cars? No problem, go when it works for you. Dentist appointment? Easy.

Things like proximity to gyms, Guelph restaurants and coffee shops are key. However, the closer you are to these amenities, the pricier your home purchase may be. (related: Tim Hortons near me: business impact on residential real estate)

Home offices are now a key selling feature

It used to be that a number of bedrooms, or a finished basement or large lot were key selling feature. But now with work from home jobs, people put a large value on home office space.

Somewhere that you can take phone calls quietly from the comfort of your own home. That doesn’t need to be a dedicated room in a house. It could be from another great place in the house such as a finished basement, an extra bedroom.

Even an outdoor getaway like a finished garage is a popular option.

During COVID, the term “the Great Resignation” became popular in the United States.

This refers to the number of workers who made the decision to change. Whether searching new job openings in a similar field or starting your own business, things are changing.

Looking for a change?

Not interested in working from home but still want out of the Greater Toronto area and into area code 519? There are many City of Guelph jobs available.

Guelph offers a wide range of industries from manufacturing to retail and everything in between. Many of these companies offer full remote to full in person, all depends on your position and company policy. The City of Guelph is always hiring various position.

A full list of all current open positions at the City of Guelph can be found here.

There is always the option of looking for a University of Guelph job. The University of Guelphs employs thousands of people in varying roles. Forbes ranked University of Guelph Canada’s top university employer and one of the best employers in all of Canada.

A list of all current open positions at University of Guelph can be found here

Bottom Line

Is ongoing remote work changing what you need? Will it continue? No one knows for certain. However, if you need someone to answer questions, just get in touch.

Beth and Ryan’s team are Guelph real estate agents and can help if you’re considering a move to the Royal City.