There’s no question America is ready to put COVID-19 in its rear-view mirror. The pandemic might not be completely behind us, but the economy is improving, restaurants have reopened, movie theatres are back in action, sports are continuing with gusto, and we’re finally able to hug the ones we love again.
There is, however, one thing we don’t want to go back to pre-pandemic standards: our work-from-home perks.
After over a year spent working from home, employees aren’t ready to entirely give up their flexible work arrangements. Thankfully, employers have listened to this demand, and many companies have quickly transitioned to permanent or hybrid remote environments.
This is still quite a new phenomenon for most of the country, as most people aren’t accustomed to spending most of their day at home. Naturally, this transition has also sparked a new prioritization of at-home amenities.
Home offices become the forefront of homeowner needs in Covid
Real estate agents report that the top list item for buyers in a post-pandemic society is a home office. In fact, 59.6% of realtors — polled in HomeLight’s Summer / Fall Report — cite the feature as a top priority for their clients.
This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. Naturally, most people don’t like to work in the same area they relax. Moreover, home offices provide some seclusion from unnecessary distractions.
If you’re selling or renovating, adding a space for an office — or even converting a bedroom into office space — can go a long way in attracting potential buyers.
More space wins out over shorter commutes
As people settle into a routine of going to the office less frequently, agents have estimated that the maximum commute times buyers are willing to tolerate has increased.
Generally, the closer you get to major cities, the higher the home prices. Buyers must then make a decision between more space and an easier commute. That decision is made for them when they no longer must commute to work each day.
Families — especially ones with young children — would much rather take more space. Moreover, the pandemic has also made people fearful that another such phenomenon could occur, and they want to make sure they have enough space in case another lockdown takes place.
Outdoor space is key
While most Americans are excited to return to restaurants, people still want to enjoy time spent lounging on their patio, grilling for friends and family, and enjoying time outside. Just because the world is re-opening, doesn’t mean homeowners are any less interested in having a little slice of paradise right in their backyard.
Approximately 50% of real estate agents cite an updated outdoor living space and outdoor kitchen as a top priority for homebuyers in their market, while outdoor living areas rank as the 3rd most desirable feature agents are seeing buyers prioritize.
Keep this in mind if you’re renovating, as you’ll want to spend a lot of time sprucing up your outdoor space — especially if you’re hoping to sell for the most favorable price in the near future!