The pandemic has had a far-reaching effect on our daily lives, and has changed what homebuyers are looking for in a new home.
As the pandemic continues, more and more employers are allowing employees to work from home indefinitely and/or permanently and the numbers of work-from-home employees will likely increase over time. The shift from the office workplace to work-at-home allows people more flexibility, and those that were previously tied to a certain geographical for employment now have freedom and flexibility to roam and relocate. Second homes that serve as a safe space/retreat/staycation for the family are also in great demand.
Buyers are seeking homes with amenities that promote healthy living at home and that are in close proximity to basic needs. These amenities are at the top of homebuyers’ list:
1. Homes with Private Spaces
People are turning away from apartments, condos and townhomes and seeking single-family homes in the suburbs because they offer more space and privacy. With the home now becoming the main hub for working, virtual learning and entertainment, homebuyers are looking for a home that offers distinct and separate spaces to suit individual family needs. The once sought-after open floor plan is losing its luster.
The multi-generational household is on the rise. With people bringing elderly family members home, additional dwelling units are in demand, especially homes that offer an in-law suite or granny unit with a kitchen, bathroom and private entrance. Even if the space isn’t used for personal reasons, it can be an investment property.
2. Home Office
Buyers are looking for homes that have a separate office space with privacy. Using shared spaces such as the kitchen table or family room for the occasional work from home day is no longer feasible. Buyers want space with privacy and reduced noise to conduct business, along with space for kids to log in to their virtual classrooms.
3. Home Gym
Many people are forgoing the gym during the pandemic, preferring to work up a sweat from home. That means additional space to house gym equipment, from yoga mats to treadmills to stationary bikes. Also desirable are outdoor gym areas and/or sport courts for the entire family to enjoy.
4. Space for Entertaining
With the home becoming the main source of entertainment, buyers are looking for homes with additional square footage or rooms that can be converted into a game room, gym, home theater, etc.
5. Outdoor Space/Extra Acreage
Families want a place where they can destress, and where the kids can enjoy activity and exercise, and where everyone in the family can be home doing their own thing in the comfort of their property. Buyers are seeking substantial outdoor space, including swimming pool, private gardens or terraces, yards, access to beaches, walking or biking trails, or play spaces for children or grandchildren. There’s also a preference for having more space between neighbors and a yard to enjoy year-round.
6. Close to Amenities
With the ongoing shelter in place restrictions, buyers are looking for amenities and options that are somewhat close to home or within walking distance to grocery stores, take-out restaurants and outdoor entertainment/activities.