The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly reshaped our lives in countless ways. From the way we work and learn to how we socialize and travel, every aspect of our daily routine has been affected. As we spend more time in our homes, we have come to realize the importance of having a safe and comfortable shelter for ourselves and our families. This newfound perspective is expected to significantly influence the priorities of future homebuyers in Silicon Valley.
1. Reimagining the Home Office Space
With remote work becoming the new normal for many professionals, the demand for homes with a dedicated office space has skyrocketed. Buyers are now looking for a comfortable and functional workspace that promotes productivity. According to Realtor.com, listings featuring an office command a more than 3 percent price premium and sell 9 days faster than listings without this feature.
Whether it’s a full-fledged room or a creatively carved-out space, such as an office nook in the kitchen or an upstairs landing, having a designated area for work is essential. Buyers are looking for features like ample electrical outlets, space for a computer and office necessities, built-in bookshelves, and a quiet atmosphere. Highlighting these characteristics when listing a home for sale can significantly attract potential buyers.
2. The Rise of the Dedicated Entryway
The fear of bringing the virus into our homes has made having a mudroom or a dedicated entryway more important than ever before. These spaces provide an ideal area to stash dirty shoes, hang up jackets, clothing, gloves, and masks for disinfection. They can also serve as a decontamination station for potentially infected packages, reusable grocery bags, and takeout bags, preventing dirt and viruses from entering the living quarters.
In homes without a mudroom or entryway, creative solutions can be implemented. A dedicated area in the garage or on the front porch can be transformed into a practical space for sanitization. Installing a pegboard wall with hooks, shelves, and storage bins for sanitizers and cleaning supplies, along with a bench or seating area with cubbies, can enhance the functionality and appeal of the entryway.
3. The Kitchen as the Heart of the Home
The pandemic has forced us to rely more on our kitchens as we prepare and cook several meals a day at home. With limited options for dining out or ordering takeout, buyers are increasingly interested in spacious kitchens that can accommodate the whole family and provide a comfortable space for cooking and gathering. High-quality and efficient appliances, such as refrigerators and ovens, are also becoming key considerations.
Additionally, having a larger pantry has become essential for storing more food and non-perishables, reducing the frequency of grocery store trips. The ability to stock up on supplies and minimize contact with the outside world has become a desirable feature for homebuyers.
4. Embracing Outdoor Living Spaces
The pandemic has taught us the value of our outdoor living spaces as a refuge for fresh air and sunlight without leaving our properties. Buyers are now seeking homes with extra yard space, patios, or balconies, regardless of the property’s size. In a survey conducted by Realtor.com® and Toluna Insights, 9% of respondents expressed a desire to add a yard or patio to their homes.
Having ample outdoor space not only allows for mental breaks and relaxation but also provides opportunities for activities like urban gardening. The ability to grow one’s own vegetables and herbs has become increasingly appealing, and even small balconies in condos or townhomes can offer a valuable outdoor retreat.
5. The Importance of Additional Bathrooms
The pandemic has made us more aware of the need for separate and easily accessible bathroom facilities within our homes. Sharing a bathroom with potentially infected family members can be risky, emphasizing the importance of having multiple bathrooms or at least one bathroom for every bedroom. This allocation helps contain germs in one area and minimizes the risk of transmission.
Even half-bathrooms, which were once seen as unnecessary, have now become valuable assets. They can serve as a designated handwashing station for visitors before entering the main living spaces or as an alternative bathroom for guests while keeping the family bathroom private and hygienic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly left a significant impact on the priorities of future homebuyers in Silicon Valley. The demand for homes with functional office spaces, dedicated entryways, spacious kitchens, outdoor living areas, and additional bathrooms has soared. Buyers are now seeking properties that offer a safe and comfortable environment for remote work, disinfection practices, family gatherings, and outdoor activities. As the world adapts to the new normal, the real estate landscape in Silicon Valley is set to undergo a transformation, with these emerging buyer preferences shaping the future of home design and development.