Changes in how we look for and live in our homes that are here to stay

Changes In How We Look For And Live In Our Homes That Are Here to Stay

It appears that the end of our surreal COVID-19 distanced way-of-life may be in sight! But, we believe that some of the adaptations that we have made will remain -- think streaming first-run movies and gourmet meals delivered to your door. The pandemic has accelerated the shift to technological tools to make life easier for all involved in the real estate transaction process. For home hunters, features that were once ‘nice to have’, have moved to the ‘essential’ column. Having stayed home for a year now, we have prioritized what is really important to have.

These are the changes that came to real estate
in 2020 that are likely to remain:

Cities Are Out/Suburbs Are In | As it turns out, staying at home for long periods of time is a great way to discover what you really DO LOVE about your home, and the ability to telework means that you have options if you really DON’T LOVE your home. For a long while city dwellers have justified the expense of tiny apartments with the many perks of urban life… until those perks became unavailable. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the trend to look to the suburbs for more affordability and space. Prices in the suburbs have increased faster than expected, boosted by the surge in demand. If employers continue to allow eligible employees to work remotely, the shift to the suburbs is here to stay. 

Technology In House Hunting | We have come to rely on technology more than ever, especially for our preliminary home searches. Why drive around with an agent when you can preview (and eliminate) many options from the comfort of your couch? Some folks even purchased homes that they never saw in person. We do not recommend that, of course. Some things are harder to perceive in a virtual/video tour. There are many aspects of the home buying process that are commonly facilitated by technology now. There is no need to sit with the mortgage broker to decide on loan options, or to sign paperwork. Remote mortgage originations, appraisals, inspections, and closing are becoming the norm. The sheer ease of the process indicates that it is here to stay. 

Expecting More | We now know that we need to be prepared to spend time at home. We have found new value in having our own space for our work, school, exercise, and enjoying fresh air. 

If you are a home seller, you will need to get your home in shape for a new generation’s expectations. Homes with a dedicated home office sell faster and for more money than those without. Sanitary features have come into focus as well. Smart, touchless features for lighting, faucets, and locks are convenient and cut down on germ transfer. Pets, allergies, and climate change have us thinking about air quality, so whole-house purifiers and filtration systems are becoming more popular too. 

I Can DIY | Many homeowners discovered that to reduce exposure to additional people, they would ‘DIY’ simple home maintenance and upgrades. And, once these skills are developed, you are less likely to look outside when something needs fixing. Doing things yourself is good for the bottom line too. Along with conquering home maintenance, this new found self-reliance has brought about other projects around the home. Victory gardens have been rediscovered as we find ways to enjoy fresh air and manage stress. And, we all know that homegrown tastes better. 

What changes have you found over the last year? Will you maintain those habits once the world opens back up? Let us know in the comments below. 

 

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