COVID-19 Pushes Chicago Couple to Make the Move

Review Journal
June 12th, 2020

David Wilkinson epitomizes a new type of luxury buyer that’s going to be relocating to Las Vegas in the aftermath of the COVID-19 era.

Not only are he and his wife, Brenee, attracted to Nevada’s lack of a state income tax compared to states like California, but COVID-19 has changed the workplace where he realized he can work from home rather than commute or travel to an office.

David, 61, managing director of Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management at Willis Tower in Chicago and Brenee, have bought a $2.1 million Vu Estates home that’s under construction by Christopher Homes in MacDonald Highlands.

The Wilkinsons sold their home in Chicago and have rented there with the intention of finding a primary residence outside the state where David could work from home. The couple has also had a second home in Irvine, California, for five months.

Wilkinson said the COVID-19 quarantine taught him that his business of managing $1 billion for 25 families wasn’t enhanced by going into the Chicago office. He said he communicates with his team and clients just as easily from home, aided by technology of Morgan Stanley investing billions of dollars over the last few years to enable home systems to mirror those in the office.

“Had the COVID issue not happened, we probably would have moved to Dallas because of the proximity back and forth to Chicago,” Wilkinson said. “Now, I realize I don’t have to go back and forth to Chicago into the office, and I’m working entirely from home. … Due to my experience during the COVID-19 quarantine, going into the Willis Tower office now seems like a complete waste of time. Even getting to my office on the 92nd floor (via two elevators and limited crowding inside them) will take much more time. … That’s what accelerated the viability of Las Vegas.”

Wilkinson said he and his wife have been thinking about a move out of Chicago for years to a more tax-friendly state.

Before the coronavirus factor entered the picture, their decision had long centered on three important factors.

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