How stay-at-home mandates have changed what people want in their homes

We have all spent more time in our homes than ever, have seen what works and what does not work for our lifestyles, and are ready for some adjustments

The year 2020 has brought with it many changes that have impacted all of our lives.  As we are no longer able to go to a restaurant, a store, or the gym, we have found ways to adapt.  Others have even been forced to move their offices to their homes.  Sheltering in place has forced us all to spend more time in our homes than ever, and it has changed what we now see to be necessary in our current home or a new home as we browse the market.

The first change that many workers saw was the need to make space in their homes for a home office.  While many did not have the space already available and set up in their homes, they quickly created the space and went with what they were able to construct.  However, a functioning home office was not all that was necessary.  In a world of Zoom meetings and webinars, workspaces also needed to look presentable and professional.  As buyers begin their search process for their new home, this will now certainly be on their list of requirements for their new living space.

In addition to the home office, being unable to go to the gyms and exercise the way in which we prefer led to another demand for open space.  As workout classes shifted to online, space for a good workout quickly became necessary.  Therefore, buyers are changing their preferences in today’s market.  “HomeAdvisor is also seeing more interest in so-called flex rooms, or rooms that serve multiple functions. “The room might be your staging area for the home office, but it also serves as the home gym, with room for the Peloton bike or yoga mat”, says Dan DiClerico, home expert at HomeAdvisor.  In new constructions, some builders are even reducing the size of the garage to make room in the floor plan for these essential flex spaces.

Another in-home area of focus has also become important is organizational spaces such as closets and kitchen pantries.  Eliminating clutter became a popular topic as things began to pile up as we stayed at home for months and consumers will look to make their spaces neat and functional.

Finally, as people spend more time in their outdoor spaces, they have seen with new eyes what is appealing and what is not.  This space is now an important extension of our living spaces and homeowners are looking to transform these spaces into a place in which they want to spend time.  And again, this space needs to serve multiple purposes.  It needs to be a place where you can grill burgers, eat a meal outside, and maybe even be a space for kids to do their schoolwork or serve as an outdoor exercise area.

With all the time spent at home, we are sure to see these new preferences reflected in the requirements of homebuyers as they return to the market and resume their home searches.

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