How Staying Home Has Changed Home Buying Trends
Realtor- The Vanderblue Team/Higgins Group
Over the past few years home buyers have consistently had their eyes on move-in-ready homes with an open floor plan that incorporates the kitchen, dining and family room. And while that appears to be an ongoing trend, the Covid 19 stay home, stay safe orders have many reevaluating the home features they need, potentially for the next few years. After speaking with both homeowners and buyers, we learned that spaces need to be both functional and fluid in their purposes.
HOME OFFICE While it is questionable when or how many will return to their work in a traditional office, many companies have realized that employees are even more productive working from home. The problem for some employees was there was not a private workspace in their home. New home buyers want a dedicated home office where they can hold Zoom meetings and conference calls without disturbances. Families have converted large closets and corners of their finished basements to work nooks to fulfill that need for home productivity for work and school.
LARGER PRIVATE OUTDOOR SPACES During the initial phases of the pandemic, long walks became our main source for emotional and physical rejuvenation. While we longed for social connections, many homeowners quickly discovered a renewed appreciation for privacy of their own backyard. Patios with outdoor kitchens, fireplaces and firepits extend the home living area to the backyard. Many homebuyers want a larger lot that provides more space between neighbors and privacy.
FINISHED BASEMENT Now more than ever, home buyers want a finished basement for either a playroom, media room, crafting space or gym. Additional storage space in the basement is highly desirable as well.
LARGER, FUNCTIONAL KITCHEN Our kitchens became school cafeterias and short order diners during the pandemic. Many homeowners found that their pantries and refrigerators were not large enough to stock the groceries and staples they found necessary to have on hand. Home buyers, especially those moving from city apartments have always ranked a large kitchen high on their list but now, they want that space to be highly functional with a spacious pantry.
POOLS Both homeowners and home buyers have an increased desire to have a pool. Countless numbers of city dwellers who left the city early on in the pandemic were searching for rentals with pools. Social distancing restrictions at beaches and waterfronts have both homeowners and buyers wanting their own pool to cool off in during the warm summer months.
ACCESSORY BUILDINGS Not at the top of the list, but a feature that evolved for many homeowners and buyers. Whether it be a hobby shop, a she shack, man cave or an office, having space for an small outer building has been a request from more than a handful of homebuyers.