The COVID-19 pandemic swept around the globe unlike anything seen before. According to World O Meter, the beginning of October 2020 found more than 36 million cases and more than 1 million deaths from the virus with reports indicating that things will only get worse. As a way to curb cases, many schools sent students home to work online, including those in elementary through high school as well as college. As more students work from home, the preferences of buyers shopping for new homes changed too.
No More Open Layouts
Open layouts and floor plans were popular before the pandemic. You could invite friends over and entertain them as well as keep an eye on your family. As more families entered quarantine, the popularity of open floor plans dropped. Buyers now prefer homes that have more walls and places where they can get some privacy as well as quiet time. According to a Redfin Market Manager, families now want places where they can work and do schoolwork with separate places for relaxing, having fun or sleeping.
Another way that COVID-19 changed the market is that it led to buyers looking for dual-purpose spaces. It's no longer a matter of simply looking for a home that has a set number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Buyers now want houses that have rooms and spaces they can use for multiple activities. This might include a smaller bedroom that functions as a home office or a bonus room where kids can do their schoolwork and then play some video games. There is also an increased need for garages that buyers can use for storage or as a workshop. More buyers are also looking for large backyards for their kids.
The need for move-in ready homes grew as the pandemic swept across the country. While homeowners once liked the idea of saving money and buying a home that needed a little work, they now want homes that they can move into right away. They don't want to deal with painting the walls or replacing a few shingles on the roof. You may notice an increase in housing assignments in your area too where investors will take less for a home that needs more work. They don't want to put more time and money into a house that might not sell quickly.
Small Town Living
Many people shopping for homes now prefer smaller towns and communities. “The New York Times” found that the real estate market in Manhattan was down by 46% in 2020 compared to where it was the previous year. Both families with young children and singles as well as older people looking for homes focus on those for sale in small towns. They don't want to deal with the quarantine restrictions in a big city or the large crowds that can spread the virus. Now might be a good time to find an affordable home in the big city as the preferences of buyers keep changing due to the COVID-19 outbreak.