There’s nothing like a pandemic to completely turn your lifestyle upside down and change everything. Among changes in habits, schedules, and working arrangements, there’s also been a change in living arrangements and home buyer priorities. Whether buyers want more space or more amenities, the pandemic has categorically shifted what they are looking for in a new home.
- More space for more activities
First, there’s the matter of all the people who have suddenly switched to working remotely – temporarily, or possibly forever. In the latter case, they probably need extra space for an at-home office, says Computerworld. That enables you to separate your work life and your home life as much as possible in a house that is now multi-functional. You’ll be grateful for having a door you can close.
In addition, there are other activities a lot of us are doing from home now. Let’s take exercise – with gyms being closed, more and more people are purchasing exercise equipment and getting their movement for the day within the confines of their own home. That requires some extra space most of us don’t have but would like to.
Adding entertainment options is another aspect to consider. Home cinemas, game rooms, and other such spaces have been popping up everywhere as people feel the need to diversify their activities and bring entertainment home. Big screen TVs, gaming consoles, and a living room that can accommodate them all is a huge plus.
- A modern, tech-based home
In 2021, one feature is on most buyers’ minds, and they’re willing to pay extra for it – smart tech equipment. According to Z-Wave Alliance, “65% of U.S. homebuyers are willing to spend more for smart home technology packages.”
A modern home is a smart home, and young families are specifically looking for properties that are already equipped with features like smart doorbells, smart cameras, smart assistants, and even smart lightbulbs and thermostats. Not only are these devices extremely convenient, but they’re also cost-saving, long-term.
Especially if you’re working from home permanently, you’re probably looking for properties that have access to strong Wi-Fi for those long, frequent Zoom calls. Buyers who work remotely often opt for high-speed connections, so they’re partial to areas covered by providers who offer fiber internet. With remote work and smart tech, spotty internet is a no-go.
- Farther from the city, closer to the suburbs
Then there is the move from cities to suburbs, en-masse. The pandemic has created some real fears related to proximity – with neighbors, strangers, or even friends and family. Pushed by this, or perhaps an accumulation of factors, families have been fleeing cities and seeking homes in the safety of the suburbs.
Not only are homes more spacious, but they also have another important advantage in this environment; they come with a yard. Suffice it to say that outdoor space is scarce in the city. Most people want and need access to the outdoors for some fresh air and a little sun, but the pandemic made that exceptionally difficult. It’s no wonder buyers are prioritizing yards in their home searches.
What else are they looking for? Homes with outdoor amenities, according to Forbes. The National Kitchen & Bath Association reports that outdoor kitchens are on the rise, with 76% of surveyed respondents planning to update theirs.
In addition to that, pools, hot tubs, lounge chairs, grills, and children’s toys – they’re all extremely popular. Since entertainment opportunities outside the home are few and far between, people have taken to bringing the entertainment home, in their own backyard. A grill and a pool can make the difference between spending a miserable time in quarantine or making the most of it.
The pandemic was bound to bring some changes to our lifestyle, whether we like it or not. It shifted our priorities in a lot of different aspects of our lives, including house buying. Buyers are now looking for different things than they were before.
Proximity to work or friends doesn’t seem to be an issue anymore, but space and entertainment are. Today’s buyer wants a flexible, multi-functional space where they can work, play, and exercise, some outdoor space to get some air, and to be far away from the city. Whether this will change again post-pandemic remains to be seen.