The pandemic has changed the things Homebuyers want and need now more than ever . How the market demand has shifted to what Buyers need more now than ever and after the pandemic periods.
When the pandemic struck, many people found their entire lives confined to the four walls of their homes.
From working and homeschooling to eating and entertaining, daily life started and ended at home, causing many people to recognize the importance of a comfortable, practical place to live.
As more companies realize that working from home is a viable option and many schools are on a virtual or hybrid learning schedule, these shifts seem to be more than a passing fancy.
1: Homebuyers want more indoor space
What buyers need now: Home office, home gym, well-appointed kitchen, walk-in pantry.
“Our homes are becoming our schools, our shelter, our office and our source of entertainment,” says Jim Tobin a local based custom home builder and member of the of the National Association of Home Builders. This means virtual tours, photos and illustrations for people buying homes.”
In addition, open floor plans may not be what buyers are looking for, so the key is to find areas of a home that are functional for sheltering in place, cooking and providing meals, working from home and homeschooling.
Pat Costello, a broker-associate with Keller Williams Real Estate in Gwinnett County, agrees. “The trend for the past 10-15 years has been more open space, but that’s going by the wayside. Now, buyers want more closed-off, private space, whether it’s a functional home office or a flex room for homeschooling.”
“Even if the property doesn’t have a dedicated home office, any little nook that can be converted into office space would be a big selling point today,” says Bill Wagner, sales associate with Keller Williams Real Estate in Buford.
2: Homebuyers want more private outdoor & entertainment space
Homebuyers want private and spacious outdoor area, pool, backyard, patio.
Homeowners don’t want to be stuck inside, so everything from private sitting areas to pools and outdoor kitchens with a lot of landscaping color are in demand.
“Outdoor space and amenities are a huge asset for today’s buyer,” says Bill. “Private homes are in the highest demand right now. A home’s key outdoor and privacy features, such as the privacy fencing, surrounding trees and shrubs that provide privacy.”
“Covered decks, outdoor kitchens, pools, even fireplaces in Georgia are all popular. These outdoor living spaces make houses feel bigger, great for when you can’t or don’t want to go to restaurants or public places, says Bill.”
3. Homebuyers are moving from urban to suburban
Homebuyers want: Less densely populated location, single-family living.
“The desire to leave a densely populated area is the primary motivator followed by an existing desire to make their way to Lake Lanier or to spend more time in outdoor entertainment settings,” says Wendy Blankenship, an with Keller Williams in Buford. “When the schools closed, people were no longer tethered by geography.” She recommends you look at “the safety and security of your specific properties and communities.”
With telework becoming the new employment standard, drive time to the office becomes unimportant.
“That could eliminate hours of drive time, which saves on gas, time, babysitters and stress. The cost savings can equate to being able to afford higher mortgage payments,” says Bill.
Says Bill, “About 90% of our buyers are coming from metropolitan areas. Many have been renting and this is their first purchase. For those moving to a brand-new neighborhood, this might be an extreme change from what they’re used to. Communities are providing lots of details about the neighborhood. Emphasizing certain community elements, such as ample outdoor space, nearby lakes, walkable restaurants with outdoor patio seating.
4: Homebuyers need more tech-enabled homes
Homebuyers want: High-speed Wi-Fi connectivity, tech improvements/upgrades.
Even before COVID-19, smart homes—tech-enabled homes—were very popular. After all, in today’s market, high-speed internet installed on the property is a given. However, with people working from home and children attending school virtually, it’s even more important.
“Buyers are needing a house that is equipped with strong Wi-Fi and include it in listing descriptions,” says Bill. “Internet and cell service seem to be the biggest “must-haves.” Security cameras are also a huge selling point.” Wendy agrees, “Buyers are looking for security systems (such as Nest). If an existing house has security or cameras, promote that in your listing.” Bill recommends Seller’s illustrate the technology that’s in place in virtual listing tours. “Private home tours have become important, so illustrate the technology that’s in place,” he says. Our market is a tropical environment, the added benefit of being outdoors is compelling, especially for people with kids and people who exercise biking, running or walking in the community.