These days, a significant number of people are working from home, and for some, the move away from the office will be permanent. This major change has led to a shift in buyers’ priorities. According to a recent Gallup poll, 35% of people who have worked remotely would prefer this arrangement, and another 30% want to work from home because they are concerned about COVID-19.
From the city to the suburbs
In the past, people were willing to live in cramped, expensive apartments if it meant that they had a very short commute to their office. But now that remote work has become a viable option, many people are considering moving to a bigger house in a nearby suburb, where they can have a bigger space for a lesser cost.
Expect demand for properties like single-family houses, garden-style multifamily houses, and townhouses to rise, leading to a higher demand for new properties in lower-density markets.
Private space is key
The modern, open-plan layout has been popular for a long time, but now that a lot of people are working from home, many buyers searching for homes for sale, whether in San Francisco or elsewhere, are looking for homes with separate rooms that will allow them to designate specific spaces for work and leisure.
A home that has multiple, flexible, enclosed spaces makes it easier to carve out space for a home office. This is why there has been a renewed interest in homes with a finished attic or basement, or an extra bedroom. Some buyers are also willing to convert a home gym or home theater into an extra-large home office or a separate children’s classroom. Buyers will also be looking for private spaces with soundproofing and optimal lighting.
But homebuyers who have fallen in love with a home with an open floor plan don’t have to give up on it just yet! Partitions, mobile floor screens, and acoustical panels can be used to demarcate a private space.
Staying at home doesn’t mean being stuck indoors. In today’s pandemic world, buyers are gravitating to spaces with private outdoor options such as a garden, patio, well-landscaped backyard, or even a balcony. They also have more time to spend on sprucing up their outdoor spaces. Now that lunch hours and coffee breaks are also spent at home, people are eager for areas where they can wind down, take a quick breather, or dine al fresco.
Features such as outdoor seating, trellises, a canopy, or a pool are also becoming more in demand. If the outdoor space is flexible enough to serve as a space for various activities such as work, leisure, and exercise, even better!
A premium on health
While some buyers will want to convert a home gym into a private office, others will place a premium on a home that enables them to carry out good health practices. This might take the form of a guest room with a separate bathroom and its own fridge, where a family member can safely quarantine.
And now that people are cooking at home more often, expect even more attention to be paid to the kitchen. There’s rising interest in surfaces made out of materials like quartz, granite, and porcelain tiles, as these are antibacterial and antimicrobial. Other antibacterial finishes like Krion™ and copper are also becoming popular options for bathroom and kitchen use.
Manufacturers now offer touchless toilets and faucets, which can further boost a home’s appeal for health-conscious homebuyers.
Expect mudrooms and garages to be renovated with health concerns in mind as well. Some buyers might want to use their mudroom as a safe space where meals, groceries, and packages can be delivered without making contact. Mudrooms can also be used as a place to disinfect outdoor gear and clothes.
Part of the garage could become a sanitary station, where there will be a sink for washing hands, and storage for masks, disinfectant wipes, and disposable gloves.
While a pandemic’s raging outside, homes have become the ultimate sanctuary for many of us. Buyers will be looking for houses filled with natural light or homes with gorgeous outdoor views. Spa-style bathrooms featuring luxurious soaking tubs and meditation areas could also prove to be popular.
Find your dream home in San Francisco today
The pandemic has reconfigured homebuyers’ priorities, and savvy realtors are now on the lookout for homes that will suit their clients’ new needs.
Want to work with the top real estate agent in San Francisco? Get in touch with Nina Hatvany and her team of experienced San Francisco Realtors today by calling 415.710.6462 or by sending an email to team(at)teamhatvany(dotted)com.