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In the period of a couple of months, COVID-19 has drastically shifted our relationship with the home. Working with clients during this time, it is clear that the preferences in both home design and amenities has also been significantly altered.
As we spend more time at home than ever, we’ve witnessed a growing fatigue of confined spaces as well as a desire for more amenities and outdoor space. From the home office to the meditation room, both builders and sellers are now incorporating some of these new priorities to suit the needs of today’s buyer.
As real estate professionals continue to guide clients through these times, here are four home trends that are so 2020.
The home is not just a showpiece
The new luxury in home design is practicality. Today, we’re working, studying and exercising from home. The home, and especially certain spaces within such as the lesser-used formal dining room or guest bedroom, is no longer just a showpiece.
Due to COVID, we are experiencing and expecting much more from our homes than ever before. When working with your clients, make sure you touch on their latest home needs. It is more important than ever to make the home as much of a sanctuary as possible.
Today, people want an area to exercise, not just on their exercise machine but also in a room that offers ample natural light and mental clarity. With work having gone digital, now people need a dedicated home office with an elegant backdrop for all their Zoom calls. Look for these finer details while showcasing potential properties with your clients.
In the case for smaller homes with limited space, one room can be designed to serve multiple purposes. For example, a living room can seamlessly convert into a meditation space and a guest room can also transform into an office, all with a great deal of ease.
Depending on your client’s preferences, when touring through properties, help determine all the potential uses of each area of the home from the start.
Improved home amenities
Homes have served as offices, school classrooms, gyms and more since March. Instead of the open floor plan, today, families are seeking the right space for each activity as well as privacy while doing so.
Dedicated spaces like the home office will likely continue to be in high demand for the future, especially as companies continue remote work from home full time. In some families, there is the need for multiple dedicated home offices or at least ones that can be easily adapted. In home offices, strong must-haves are good lighting, fresh air, high-speed internet and tech infrastructure.
Additionally, while gyms across the country are closed, people are converting unused home space into areas where they can exercise from home. Whether it be the guest room or the garage, people are setting up home gyms and accessorizing with plant life, yoga mats and mini-fridges with cold water.
There is also a desire for more kitchen space, as homeowners are spending more time cooking and preparing meals. When viewing a property, clients are envisioning how to make it spacious enough to cook and hang out in, while being equipped with top-of-the-line appliances. Amenities like these are crucial and not just things we desire to impress or make a statement.
Health in the home
Health and wellness are more important to homeowners than ever before, especially as many cities and states aim to progress into the next phases of re-opening. These days, there is a high demand for antimicrobial materials in the home. People are also seeking finishes that are easier to clean such as unique stone surfaces rather than porous, delicate wood floors and cabinetry.
Also, we’re seeing a new trend with people desiring an “Amazon” room. For example, at The Agency’s listing, 160 Pinehurst in Toronto, the developer designed the property to have a UV closet by the mudroom for disinfecting outdoor apparel, packages and any other items right when they come in the door.
The demand for an Amazon room is centered around a desire to keep the home as healthy and safe as possible, and these days, that starts from the entrance of the home. Additionally, people are seeking out higher-grade filters, for both air and water, as well as smart lighting to better mimic our natural environment. With the home being our sanctuary, it is important to make it as healthy as possible.
Expansion into the great outdoors
Pandemic life has been lived largely outdoors, so homes with ample outdoor space are selling fast. Homeowners are seeking spaces that offer pools, cabanas and outdoor living rooms with features like fireplaces or fire pits, alfresco dining and even TVs with surround sound for catching the game with family.
In addition to using the outdoors for entertaining, people are also seeking out quiet nooks to “escape” without actually leaving home. Having ample outdoor space allows us to not feel too cooped up while socially distancing at home. Access to the outdoors and fresh air is one of the greatest amenities of all during this time.
These latest must-haves are important to keep in mind while helping your clients find their next home. The pandemic has made people question what life is like inside your home “bubble” and as a real estate professional you need to ensure you are able to help your client find the most practical, accessible and beautiful home to suit all their needs. From Amazon package rooms to outdoor space with alfresco dining, these amenities are in hot demand for 2020.
Mauricio Umansky is the founder and CEO of The Agency in Los Angeles. Connect with him on Instagram.