How the Pandemic Has Changed Home Buyers’ Priorities
Atlantic Home Mortgage
Atlantic Home Mortgage
Published on September 21, 2020
home buyer

How the Pandemic Has Changed Home Buyers’ Priorities

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended every part of life, and the home buying process is not excluded from this. Home buyers have changed their priorities and are now looking for different needs and wants. Here are a few things that are emerging as priorities:

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New Homes Are More Popular

More people who can afford it are opting for new builds. Anxiety over the pandemic is making a house nobody has lived in before seem more attractive than ever, and new homes are also more likely to have advanced air conditioning and ventilation systems that encourage health in general.

The Open Plan Fad May Be Over

Open plan layouts have been popular for years, but now people are realizing that when everyone is stuck at home, an open layout becomes a nightmare. Family members are forced to flee outside or into bedrooms just to get some privacy, and homes that had enough private, closed space for one person to work at home become insufficient when both parents are working…and three kids are trying to do online learning.

People are thinking much more about the need for “me space,” whether for work or for play. Contractors are getting more requests to put up walls and barriers.

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Everyone Is Finding Out What’s Wrong With Their House

Some people who had planned to stay in their home for years are changing their plans after being stuck in it for weeks. Every flaw in a home becomes much more obvious. People who live in apartments are looking to upgrade faster than they otherwise might have.

Outdoor Space is Being Craved

One good thing which might come out of this is a reversal of the trend to build a house that takes up the entire lot. The value of outdoor space for socializing has always been high, but now more people are realizing it. Another thing home buyers are looking for more? Swimming pools. With public pools and gyms closed, having a private pool suddenly seems much more interesting. Landscape gardeners, pool builders and deck builders are all seeing a lot of work and the value of homes that already have these amenities (or at least plenty of room for them) is going up.

Open Houses Have Gone Virtual

Virtual tours were already a bit of a trend before the pandemic. With most people not wanting to travel to check out a home, they have become more popular. This trend may stay; it’s entirely possible that even for more local moves, buyers will expect to be able to do an initial tour of a property online, allowing them to look at more homes before narrowing down.

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Also going virtual…closings and settlements. More documents are being signed electronically.

These trends are likely to stay, and are especially desirable to those contemplating a cross-state move…a number which may briefly go up after the pandemic as many employers decide to allow employees to work from home permanently, and employees decide to move from expensive city property to cheaper and larger homes further out.

Location Matters Less

Which brings us to the last, most sweeping change. Home buyers are less concerned with where there house is than what it has to offer. Amenities, availability of fast internet, views, are all more important than how far you are from your favorite coffee shop.

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This trend will almost certainly partially reverse, but the increased trend towards remote work is going to hold some of it in place for years to come.

Overall, home buyers have a greater need for outdoor recreation and entertainment space and a greater need for space which can be used as home offices. They are, at least temporarily, less concerned with convenience to work, school, and recreation. Finally, home buyers will likely come to expect virtual tours to be available.

With mortgage rates at historic lows, now is a great time to get a loan pre-approval and look for a new home that meets your changing needs. Contact Atlantic Home Mortgage to find out what we can do for you.

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