How the Pandemic is Changing What People Want from their Homes

I was recently having dinner with a friend of mine and she asked me, " How has COVID affected how people view their homes?" I answered with some statistics of home sales in the area. I explained how hot the market has been for sellers and lack of inventory of homes and other business sounding data. But she didn't want to hear all of that necessarily. She wanted to know if people had changed what they wanted in a home. Does our current environment change what people want in a home? And I would say, yes. Months of being at home has made us think differently about what we want in the space we live in. So here are a few of the things I have observed.

1. Let the work begin! - While many have struggled with steady employment, others have easily shifted to working from home. They do not fear for their job stability and those people are home ALL DAY LONG. So they have decided it is time to remodel that bathroom, or change the front door. All the contractors I know are so busy. For the people who are home and now seems like a great time to have someone come and do the work they have been putting off. 

2. Home Office - Now that we are all working from home, people are looking for a good workspace. Maybe it is an office on the main level or an extra bedroom. Spending all day working from home has made people consider what kind of space they want to work from. They would rather not be at the kitchen table all day long. They are looking for a place with room for a desk, chair and a spot to do virtual meetings. 

3. Rethinking the Open floor plan -  Yes, we all love open floor plans when we all want to be together. We like the idea of being with the family hanging out in the family room while making dinner in the kitchen.  But when both adults need to Zoom at the same time while the kids are making yet another snack in the kitchen it can be difficult. I have had some clients who are looking for a little more privacy in their spaces. A door on the office or a room for the kids on a different floor have become a little more important. Some are looking for a large basement with enough space to play and study. I have also seen some fabulous upper level lofts that work as a space for kids to hang out or work on the computer. 

4. More outdoor space - If we do not need to be that close to the office, then why not move a little further out and get some more outdoor space? I know some people who are selling the condo and buying a much larger home further out that has more than an acre of land.  The outdoor space is a bigger consideration when looking for a home. Homeowners are making improvements to the outdoor living space.  They are adding decks, patios, and fire pits so that they can entertain outdoors. I have even seen a surge in the popularity of pools. People are using their yards more than before so they are spending time to improve them. And people are no longer paying huge premiums to be close to public transportation.

5. Closer to family - I recently had someone call me wanting to sell their house so they could move closer to family. Those who have aging parents are thinking about the difficulty of caring for them from so far away.  Before COVID, travel was relatively easy. It is a little more challenging now and is constantly fluctuating. So some are electing to move closer. 

How about you? Has being quarantined changed what you want in a home? Have you started a new home project or put a door on your office? I would love to know what you think about your living space and what you are doing. Me? Well, Jeff is building a new patio and fire pit.

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