COVID-19’s Potential Impact on Buyers’ Wants vs Needs List

American’s have watched their homes transform into much more over the past few months. Nearly overnight we witnessed our humble abodes morph into our child’s classroom, our new office space, our workout facility, our date night restaurant and more ‒ all while being our constant shelter and safe haven.

Most of us have come to terms that our “new normal” may linger for months to come, and this has sparked questions for homeowners and homebuyers alike. Is where you work still a deciding factor in choosing where you live? Is a commute even in existence anymore? Does my family have enough room to make this new lifestyle work? There’s no question that how we use our square footage is changing.

Here’s how we think COVID-19 may impact buyers’ must-haves:

Open/Closed Concepts
While open concept homes are still highly sought after, some homes are so open concept that there is little to no privacy. In normal times, all the “togetherness” is often viewed as a positive thing… But during times where home is where we always are, some time apart may be needed. We think open concepts will still be high on the list, but with french or barn doors included so families have the option to close themselves off when needed.  

Rooms With Room to Improvise
Kitchen tables aren’t just for eating anymore. For many families meals, work and school all happen at the same place. This leads us to believe adequate office space is high on the list for buyers. Finishing garages, attics and basements to create an extra room may become a popular renovation as well. With that and the potential for hybrid or distance learning, more and more people may be calling in the grandparents to move in and assist with the kids while parents work. Plus, after the spike in COVID-19 cases among assisted living facilities, adult children may opt for mom and dad to live with them instead. All scenarios call for additional rooms, go figure.

Ample Storage and Accessibility
During COVID-19, families found themselves cooking at home together more than ever. We are expecting large, open kitchens with storage solutions to continue to be high on the list for homebuyers. Families desire a kitchen space to come together without feeling so together – room to comfortably mingle is a must. Plus, with less trips to the store being the norm, the need for spacious pantries is more evident as buying supplies and food in bulk has become a habit.

Wide Open Spaces and Amenities
In neighborhoods with an HOA as well as in multifamily buildings, common amenities used to be a bright spot in the “want” category for buyers. But, with the pandemic came closures of many amenities like fitness centers and pools. We think we will see increased desire for in-home/in-yard amenities such as backyard pools and patios, at-home gyms and more open spaces for pets and kids to roam. With these wants comes bigger lot sizes and spaces, even if it pushes buyers further into suburbia. 

Energy Efficiency
Collectively, people have spent way more time at home than usual during this pandemic. The effects add up in terms of electricity, water and gas use. We envision future homebuyers looking for more energy efficiency in a home, with simple fixes like weatherstripping, insulation and double-pane windows. Going green has been a hot button topic among home buyers for some time, so we can only imagine it amplified now.  

Smart Home Features
In light of all the recent talk of germs and viruses, we think keeping a clean, safe and healthy home may now be on the top of the list for buyers for sure. Smart, touchless technology for things like lights, doorknobs, faucets and toilets will become increasingly popular. A focus on health and wellness won’t go away when the virus does.

This pandemic has quickly shifted what home really means to many American families; things once considered “wants” may turn into “needs”. If you desire to find a home that fits your “new normal”, visit CambriaMortgage.com or call 952-942-0110 to connect with a mortgage professional and begin the home loan process today. 

SOURCES:

Anas, B. (2020, June 29). This is how COVID-19 could affect homes of the future. Retrieved August 06, 2020, from https://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-is-how-covid-19-could-change-our-homes-in-the-future-2020-06-29

Crew, K. (2020, August 05). How Is Remote Work Changing Homebuyer Needs? Retrieved August 06, 2020, from https://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/2020/08/06/how-is-remote-work-changing-homebuyer-needs/?utm_campaign=Blog_Promo

Johnson, H. (2020, June 22). The End of Open Floor Plans: How Homes Will Look Different After Coronavirus. Retrieved August 06, 2020, from http://zillow.mediaroom.com/2020-06-22-The-End-of-Open-Floor-Plans-How-Homes-Will-Look-Different-After-Coronavirus

Mastroeni, T. (2020, May 18). New Study Explores How Coronavirus Has Impacted Buyers In The Real Estate Market. Retrieved August 06, 2020, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/taramastroeni/2020/05/18/new-study-explores-how-coronavirus-has-impacted-buyers-in-the-real-estate-market/

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