In 2019, the hottest features buyers wanted in their homes included things like a large garage for extra storage, walk-in pantries, hardwood flooring and patios. New construction homes featured fewer bedrooms and lower square footage overall.
In 2020, the desired features have changed and many of those changes were made as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. More and more homeowners are taking on remodelling projects and according to HomeLight’s Q3 survey, 76% of the 1,000 real estate agents polled said remodelling is on the rise because clients want a home that is more enjoyable.
So, what are the hottest features buyers are looking for this autumn?
1. Goodbye open floor plans
If you’re a fan of remodelling or house hunting shows on television, you may have noticed that buyers and homeowners wanted open floor plans because the house “flowed” better and it was easier to entertain. And while open floor plans are still a nice feature, 10% of surveyed real estate agents said their clients are moving away from open floor plans. Instead, they clearly defined rooms with doors.
The reason behind this shift? It’s simple – people want privacy! After being stuck in the house for months on end, people just want to be able to go into a room, close the door and have some peace and quiet away from other household members.
2. Outdoor space for entertaining and fresh air
Outdoor living spaces like decks and patios have always been a desirable feature of a home. Thanks to the pandemic and the stay-at-home orders. 20% of agents reported their clients are very interested in homes with patios, decks, and even balconies. New homeowners (especially those who lived in apartments, condos or townhouses) want to sit outside, enjoy the fresh air and maybe watch animals and birds while drinking their coffee; and entertain guests when it’s safe to do so.
3. Space for home office(s) or at-home classroom(s)
All across the country, employers are allowing employees to work from home if their work can be done remotely. Students of all ages are also staying home because their schools are closed and have turned to distance learning due to the pandemic. As a result of this, 7% of real estate agents said their clients aren’t just looking for one office space, some of them want multiple office spaces they can use as a home office or at-home classroom. These dedicated spaces provide a quiet place to get work done, peacefully and distraction-free!
4. Near nature recreation activities
Outdoor living spaces are popular among buyers, but they also want to have access to outdoor recreation activities like hiking trails, bodies of water for swimming and fishing, parks and so on. Access to these outdoor activities gives people the chance to get some exercise, enjoy nature and get away from the hustle and bustle of life.
5. In-law suites for multi-generational living
In-law suites are becoming so popular, 26% of real estate agents reported that this feature is common among buyers for a myriad of reasons. One of the main reasons being a direct result of the coronavirus. Buyers want to protect their loved ones from being infected by the virus, as retirement homes and the elderly are most at risk. Also, it isn’t just the elderly using these suites – college-age students who are unable to go to university are staying home to save money.
Sometimes in-law suites are just a bedroom and a bathroom located at the other end of the house. Others go all out and create mini apartments, complete with a bedroom, a full bath, a living area and a small kitchenette!
Whether you’re looking to buy a house with the latest features or you’d like to list your home, homes with these features and amenities are going to go fast as we go into autumn!