22 Mar How the Pandemic Changed What People Are Looking for in a New Home
On a scale from 1 to 10 of things that make you reexamine your choices and make
changes in your life, the pandemic is probably at a 15. Nothing can escape its reach,
and real estate is feeling its effects fully. But not in the way you think.
Far from deterring buyers, the pandemic seems to have spurred them on. More people
have bought a home in 2020 than they have in a long time. The only thing that changed
is what people look for in a home. What, exactly, does the perfect home look like, in the
wake of the pandemic? What have we realized we can’t live without?
We want a home far from the city
I’m sure you’ve noticed that people are fleeing cities at an alarming rate. Or at least, an
unprecedented one. You see, no one wants to be stuck in a crowd with the pandemic
raging on out there. But it wasn’t just the fear of the pandemic that drove this
We all know living in the city has its drawbacks, especially if you’re planning on having a
family. Apartments are small, extremely expensive, there’s no yard space, and renting is
just as bad. It’s almost like a significant number of people was just waiting for a sign to
face the music and move to greener pastures. The pandemic may have been the push
And where did everyone go? To the suburbs, where the air is cleaner, neighbors are
friendlier, and there’s space to live, and breathe, and run around with your dog. It also
helps that you get your very own perimeter of safe space away from other people in the
We need a bigger home
Lack of space is a huge issue in the city even in normal times; with the current situation
forcing everyone to stay inside, space insufficiency has been revealed to be a much
bigger problem, no matter where you live.
We’re sleeping at home, eating at home, working at home, hanging out at home, every
day, all the time. Add to that the fact that many of us have been hunkering down with
friends and family, that’s more people in a home that probably wasn’t designed for that.
Consequently, the perfect home is one that is significantly bigger. Buyers are looking for
at least one or two extra rooms to make into a home office, an extra bedroom, a
playroom, or just additional living space.
Even beyond the pandemic, additional space is never unwelcomed, and with so many
employees deciding to work from home long-term, you may need that home office for a
We want a space that’s multifunctional
The other super important feature buyers want in a new house? Flexibility, and the
ability for spaces to serve multiple purposes. With so many different things we need to
do from home, multifunctional spaces can be the lifesavers you need, especially if you
can’t afford extra space.
As working from home is on the rise, with the past year breaking all records, more and
more people are coming up with smart, easy, convenient solutions to fit a home office in
an otherwise cramped space. A small closet can become an office by day, but close the
doors, and you’ve shut away work for the evening. The perfect hide-away office!
A guest room can also double up as an office. In a pinch, your kitchen table or coffee
table can serve as much-needed desk space but put away your laptop and documents
in an adjacent drawer, shelf, or storage bin, and you’ve got your kitchen or living room
back. Room dividers can also come in handy – whether it’s a simple screen or a well-
placed bookcase, it can serve as a much-needed separation between the different
functions of a space.
That’s why open-plan living is so important to buyers – you can create and recreate that
space according to your needs and preferences. Unconventional times call for
unconventional measures, and the pandemic has shown the value and importance of
flexibility and multi-functionality.
We demand more outdoor space
When you’re stuck inside this long, you come to appreciate the small luxury of having a
patch of grass to call your own. This year, more than ever before, people have been
looking to secure a home with a yard or access to outdoor space of some sort.
That’s partly why suburban homes have been so popular – they come with a yard,
which many of us have been missing this past year. Even beyond its utility during the
pandemic, a yard is a valuable part of the home, because it’s so flexible.
Add a table and a grill, and it’s a perfect outdoor dining space. Home-made burgers al
fresco, anyone? Or you can add some lounge chairs and make it a great relaxation
space. A swing set makes it into a perfect play area for the kids. Now imagine putting a
pool out there. Sold!
We’re attracted to developed communities
And since none of us are going anywhere right now, that’s caused a lot of us to turn to
our own communities and keep a closer eye on our local amenities, businesses, and
entertainment. Sure, going into town for a bite to eat or a shopping trip is fun, but it’s
comfortable, more convenient, and, right now – safer – to stay put.
Right now, a great home is one that’s in an up-and-coming location. People want all the
luxury of space and fresh air of the suburbs – but also the convenience of having
nearby leisure and entertainment. And who says we can’t have it all?
From parks to coffee shops, gyms, movie theatres and restaurants, to public
transportation and good internet coverage, buyers want to live somewhere were all their
needs can be met right at home. Buyers are turning to great areas like Grand Rapids for
a location that marries the best of both worlds – a suburban lifestyle with all the
amenities of city life.
What’s the bottom line?
Understandably, the pandemic has encouraged some reflection in a lot of us. From our
lifestyle to our jobs and even our homes, everything is just slightly different. When it
comes to buying a house, people have reviewed their priorities.
Bigger suburban homes with multifunctional rooms and outdoor space are hot on the
market, with buyers realizing that their needs have changed. If nothing else, the
pandemic has pushed us all towards prioritizing comfort and really doing what’s best for
us and our families.