How has the pandemic shaped buyer preferences?

Going into fall, America was ready to wave goodbye to COVID-19 and all the stay-at-home orders that went along with it. While the pandemic is by no means over, the economy is improving, restaurants have reopened, sports are revving back up, and loved ones are allowed to hug each other again. 

But while the entire country is ready to go back to normal, there’s one thing most workers aren’t ready for: an end to remote work.

After over a year of working from home, employees have realized how much the freedom to work wherever they want has changed their lives. With the new flexibility, they’re able to save both time and money. Who wouldn’t want to keep such arrangements ever after the pandemic is long behind us?

Thankfully, employers are starting to see the benefits of remote work as well, and many companies have already shifted to permanent or hybrid remote environments. 

While this is still a new phenomenon, real estate agents have already seen the shift in people’s daily routines affect the housing industry, especially when it comes to the amenities buyers are looking for in their house hunt. 

Home offices become a top buyer priority 

In a post-pandemic society, real estate agents report that a top list item for buyers is a home office. Approximately 59.6% of realtors — cited in HomeLights Summer / Fall Report — report the feature as a top priority for their clients. 

This should come as a surprise to no one. As remote work becomes the new norm, homeowners need a separate area within their home to focus, especially those with distracting young children. Moreover, most people don’t like to work in the same place they relax, so having an office is only logical. 

Buyers favor space over short commutes

As workers journey into the office less frequently, their need to be close to their office depletes. Agents have estimated that the maximum commute times buyers are willing to tolerate on average has increased. 

Generally, the closer you get to major cities, the higher the home prices. Now that workers no longer need to be close to work, they’re able to forgo easy commutes in favor of cheaper properties with more space.

Outdoor space becomes a number one priority

As this pandemic slowly comes to a close, there’s always the fear of another similar event occurring in the near future. Those who were trapped in tiny apartments have learned their lesson. An outdoor space is no longer a want, but a need.

Moreover, people have come to enjoy intimate time lounging on their patios, grilling for friends and family, and simply enjoying the fresh air. If you’re a potential buyer with an outdoor space, you’ll find simple upkeep and maintenance is all you’ll need to really impress your buyers.

If you’re selling at the same time you’re buying, renovating an outdoor space also gives you a fun place to relax while you’re searching for your new home!

Photo by Tom Rumble