During the pandemic, Bakersfield’s housing market has seen big changes: more people are moving to town, more people are moving away, and home prices are at record highs.

While COVID has called people to stay at home, more people are thinking about where home is.

“They’re no longer dictated by where they work because they can work virtually,” said Ronda Newport, president of the Bakersfield Association of Realtors.

People in more expensive cities are realizing you can get more bang for your buck in Bakersfield.

“They’re leaving their expensive homes in the LA area, and they’re moving to Bakersfield, and they’re able to afford a much larger home with a pool,” Newport said.

As a result, bigger buyers are driving the price of homes to record highs.

According to local real estate expert Gary Crabtree, “We’re at $295,000 median price.”

“I can’t remember a time when we’ve been over 300,000,” Newport added.

So with the median house price so high, now is the time to sell.

“They’re placing their homes on the market to get that best and highest price,” Newport explained, “so it’s not uncommon to see people renting homes or putting all their belongings in storage and living in their RV until they are able to get that next home.”

Then there are people moving out of California at record rates. The most common destinations include Idaho, Arizona, Texas, and Tennessee.

“Most of those people, they’ve kind of had it with California and the high tax rates,” Crabtree said.

So the key is: if you want to make a move, the moment is now.

“We’re just seeing people that are making a different choice for their life,” Newport said. “If they want to live in another state, now is the time. They can put their house on the market for a great, great, fantastic price.”