We are a year into the Covid-19 pandemic, and this virus has altered our lives in unmistakable ways. Millions of people have lost loved ones, or their jobs, or access to their in-person social networks. Millions more have fundamentally changed where and how they exercise, work, learn, and participate in religious services. And while the vaccines continue to wend their way into the bodies of Americans and a possible end is in sight, nobody knows just how much our lives will be impacted in the long run.
Ellie and Liz have been in the thick of it all.
As real estate advisors, they have seen some significant changes in real estate markets, clients’ wants and needs, and even home design. I asked them recently what their experiences have shown them, and here's what they said.
Shared spaces (condos with swimming pools, gyms etc), work spaces are no longer in high demand.
Mortgage rates fell to record lows, fueling moves, refinancing, equity projects, etc. (at least for now).
Walkability score importance is dropping as people move away from crowded areas.
People are buying larger homes to accommodate remote work and school, and many families are taking relatives in or re-introducing college students back into the home. Some are moving back in with their parents to save money, take advantage of built-in child care, or to care for their senior family members.
Online searches and tours of homes are now the norm in real estate. We’ve helped people sell (and, yes, buy) homes sight unseen with great success.
Location, location, well, not really:
Remote work is now normal, so people don’t have to live near their office anymore. Young professionals are moving to the suburbs (millenials in particular) where they can buy bigger homes with office space.
Home Design is more important than ever:
Hygiene is high on buyers’ radars. Homes with half bath additions for hand washing and more toilets are in huge demand, as everyone is home all day.
The kitchen is king! People want a large pantry space for all the kitchen gadgets, toilet paper, flour, yeast, and Clorox purchased this year. We’ve also noticed more touchless faucets. Even Liz has one!
People are seriously living in their living room. They want strong, fast internet for video calls and schooling. They’re looking for huge TVs for entertainment purposes: games, movies, and streaming services have replaced pub trivia night, theaters, and binge-watching parties.
Flexible spaces are fabulous. Our clients love those extra (“bonus”) rooms for exercise, and studying; and a home office with a door that closes!
Outdoor space is happy space:
Whether it’s a balcony or a backyard, homeowners are taking advantage of their outside areas. They’re adding patios, planting gardens, buying fire pits, and socializing outdoors. A yard isn’t just a pretty place anymore; it allows us to visit safely with friends and family. And it’s taught us that we’re tougher than we think! How many of you got together with others outside on a chilly February night, just so you could stop having conversations with random household objects? Yep, us too.
One year in, and real estate has shifted in small and large ways because of the pandemic.
Covid affects how we help our clients buy and sell their homes, but it also affects the homes themselves, and how we use them. Liz and Ellie are experts at this, so if you have questions, please contact us.