If you’re anything like me, you’re ready to get back to a somewhat normal way of life. After weeks of sitting at home with little in-person contact with friends and family, enjoying the company of others is something I’m sure we’re all looking forward to. It’s no secret that the coronavirus pandemic has changed our way of living. Our priorities have shifted from working non-stop to learning to stop and enjoy the little things. Even with the states reopening, the effects of the virus could be long-lasting.
For those considering entering the real estate market, the virus has made them rethink what they want in a house. Last month, Realtor.com conducted a survey of what homebuyers are seeking, and if your house offers some of these features, now could be the perfect time to list it for sale. Here are five features today’s homebuyers want in a house.
Lots of Privacy
When the shelter-in-place orders first came into effect, I don’t think any of us believed they would last for as long as they did. For those who are creative, staying at home with your loved ones could almost be turned into a staycation. But the longer the orders dragged on, the more we realized we all need a little privacy now and then. Larger families that once considered separate bedrooms for all their kids a luxury now realize that even their children need alone time. Whether it’s bedrooms for everyone, an extra den or bonus room, or even a finished out basement, when you’re with someone all the time, having an escape becomes necessary.
Outdoor Living Space
I remember driving through a neighborhood right after the shelter-in-place orders came down. Taking a drive was an outlet I used whenever I needed a change of scenery. The neighborhood had streets lined with houses that offered little to no backyard but had several parks throughout the community for children to play. However, during the lockdown, the parks were closed. Yellow police tape was wrapped around the swings and slides to keep people from playing on them. Now, having personal outdoor space is even more important to homeowners.
Over the years, a number of Americans began working from home, whether it was for their full-time job or as a part-time side gig. Through the shelter-in-place orders, many businesses removed their employees from the office and had them working remotely to minimize contamination. When it was thought it would only last a few weeks, most just set up a spot at their kitchen table. Now that’s it’s lasted several months, homeowners want a separate space for work. They’re looking for a balance between home life and work life, but when work is staring at you while you’re cooking dinner, it's easy to lose that balance. Buyers are seeking a designated area in the house that allows them to stop work when it’s time.
Large Kitchen with Newer Appliances
If the coronavirus has taught us anything, it’s that many of us have become newly acquainted or reacquainted with our kitchens. When the shelter-in-place orders came down and we found ourselves not being allowed in restaurants and with limited take-out options, cooking several times a day became the new norm. While large kitchens have always topped the list for many buyers, large kitchens with newer appliances and lots of storage space are what buyers are looking for in a post-virus world.
Bring on the Sunshine!
No one likes sitting in a dark room, and, while you can always add more light fixtures or purchase brighter bulbs, none of these take the place of sunlight. Those who have had limited natural light in their living spaces are now seeking homes with more windows and skylights. I wouldn’t be surprised if we started to see a trend toward light and airy houses with views of something other than the back alley.