Buyer Preferences Shift as COVID Changes Our Daily Lives
After months of lockdown, many homebuyers are rethinking what they want in their next home. Although the pandemic will not continue forever, it will have some long-term effects on our lifestyles and how we feel about public gatherings. During the quarantine, many people’s homes became their office, gym, and restaurant. The changes we made to our lifestyles during this time have changed what we want out of our living spaces.
When restaurants closed, we were limited to our homes to indulge in some good food. Luckily, many local restaurants opted for takeout options, even 5-star restaurants like Del Friscos and Capital Grill. However, the ambiance of eating at your dining room table or in front of your TV just isn’t the same. When the weather warmed up, those that lived in apartments or homes with limited outdoor spaces longed to be able to eat al fresco. Many homebuyers are looking for an outdoor space where they can dine and entertain without having to go out to public locations. Patios, backyards, and front porches have made their way onto many buyers’ “must-have” lists.
We have all seen at least one video of a parent on a video call when a toddler accidentally interrupts looking to play. Dozens of major companies had the ability to have their employees work remotely from home to avoid crowded office space. Setting up your laptop on your kitchen counter is less than ideal, is crowded and distracting. Having an office space to work from home has become more important than ever. Many companies plan to have employees work from home until mid-2021 or even permanently. Office space is an absolute must for many of today’s homebuyers and renters. There’s an abundance of people who are buying homes just because primarily they want and need the additional space to make your home all-inclusive.
Typically, we saw young homebuyers looking to live in the cities to be closer to work, bars, restaurants, and events. With work from home becoming the new norm, along with, restaurant closures, and canceled concerts, the gravitation towards large cities has lessened greatly. Many younger home buyers are looking towards smaller cities and even suburbs. Renters and homebuyers alike do not want to be in crowded buildings with elevators and narrow hallways. After being locked down in tiny apartments, city dwellers have wanted nothing more than their space. With downtown prices also being significantly higher, many residents have decided to purchase real estate elsewhere.
Here in Tampa, we expect our population to continue growing as more people seek warmer weather and seek new opportunities. According to urban planner, David Dixon, Tampa has done a good job creating an inclusive and diverse downtown which is a positive trait many are looking for. We hope that the pandemic can be controlled as soon as possible but expect its effects on how we live our lives to last much longer.