I hope you and your loved ones are continuing to stay safe and healthy. I also hope life is returning to some version of “normal” for you. As we’ve all spent a lot more time at home over the last few months, we’ve been re-introduced to our homes. We’re emerging from the stay-at-home order with a better appreciation of our homes or maybe a list of needed upgrades. Some have realized that it’s time to make a change and look for a new home altogether.
I’m seeing the whole spectrum in my business. Buyers I’m working with have different priorities than they did just a few months ago. At open house, I’m hearing different wants and needs than just a few months ago as well. What I’m seeing in my business is not unique. I’m hearing similar things from other agents here in Hawaii as well as other markets.
Developers have taken notice as well. “While the coronavirus still rages on, it’s hard to predict what post-pandemic abodes might look like,” according to Barrons. “Yet, developers around the U.S. are already rethinking projects, anticipating residents’ needs and preferences that Covid-19 would spur. In doing so, they are re-evaluating current in-unit aesthetics and in-demand amenities.”
If you are planning to list your home soon, this information may help you with prioritizing pre-listing projects and improvements, or what to highlight while marketing your home so you can best compete with other resale properties as well as new developments.
Here are some of the areas of home design that are more in demand and where trends will likely continue to shift in the coming years:
Homes had been trending smaller, but that may be over. With so many families spending more time around the home lately, there’s never been more need for additional personal space. Expect homes to grow in size accordingly. Some families I’ve spoken to wish they had the space for family to live together, mom and dad moving in with kids or vice versa, so they could be together and watch out for one another. A lot of my clients had college age children moving back home as colleges moved to online classes.
Return To Closed Floor Plan
In addition to home size, there are also some changes in how that space is designed. For some buyers, the appeal of the open-floor plan was already trending down prior to 2020. The past few months have only made the reasons for this trend more evident. Sharing more time and space at home demands privacy for work, schoolwork, hobbies, and entertainment. Unfortunately, some families found it difficult to find space for isolation and self-quarantine for sick family members.
As more and more businesses relax work-from-home policies, or shift to full-time remote work entirely, the home office will become a near-essential for many buyers. A space that was once an after-thought now will need to offer privacy, good lighting, and be pre-wired for telecommuting. Setting up a laptop in the kids’ playroom is fine if it’s temporary, but it’s not a great permanent solution.
Changes In The Kitchen
With more meals being cooked at home, people have gained a new understanding of what they want in a kitchen. For some, this is the first time in a long time that they have really used their appliances and are finding some do not work, or at least not the way they need them to. Another trend in homes will be extra freezer space – whether that’s in the kitchen pantry or garage. Many people are now prioritizing pantry or storage space for those essential items they want to stock up on.
Home Gym/Recreation Space
During the stay-at-home order most businesses closed, including gyms. Many people lost their ability to exercise and workout even though they had extra time to focus on their health. As we start to see businesses open up again, gyms and fitness facilities are some of the last being allowed to open up. Many buyers are looking for home gyms or at least extra space where they can add a gym or exercise space.
Before the pandemic, there was a trend of downsizing from single family homes to condominiums in “walkable” communities with all kinds of great amenities. During the stay-at home order many people felt “trapped” as amenities were shut down and there was no access to outdoor space. Private yard space is now a priority for many buyers, especially if there’s no indoor space for a gym or exercise room.
This is already one of the fastest growing trends in home design, but smart home technology will soon move from a ‘plus’ to a ‘must’. Touchless faucets, once thought superfluous, are now an inexpensive and health-conscious upgrade. As people order more and more online, systems like Ring video doorbells and other home monitoring systems are becoming a must have as well. Temperature and lighting control can now be voice or motion activated. Systems that filter air and monitor air quality will become more common and affordable.
I hope this information will provide some guidance in preparing your home for listing. If you are a buyer and have other preferences, I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below or a quick email.