Living amidst a global pandemic has changed our daily routines, and as many people are spending more time at home, what buyers are looking for across Florida reflects a shift to a more home-based lifestyle. A survey of the country’s top real estate agents from the experts at HomeLight reveals buyers’ interests, to help buyers and sellers alike know what to expect and navigate through their real estate goals.
Give me space
After an extended period of time sheltering in place during the last few months, it may come as no surprise to see that more than 40 percent of HomeLight survey respondents said that their clients see wanting more space as a reason to move into a new home. While two bedrooms and two bathrooms might have seemed sufficient when everyone was out of the house all day at work or school, with more and more people working from home, or taking virtual classes online, buyers are looking to upgrade their square footage to make everyone more comfortable. Rooms for sleeping are not enough anymore, buyers are seeking dedicated areas in a living room or bedroom that can become their everyday workspace. In fact, 17 percent of survey respondents said a home office was an attractive feature for buyers. For sellers looking to modify their homes to better appeal to this need, the survey found that adding office-friendly updates like more wall sockets, a built in desk, or an extra cabinet or bookshelf, could bring an 87 percent ROI.
Amateur cooks have transformed into chefs overnight in the Covid-19 world, with multi-course meals and fresh-baked bread becoming the norm in some homes. That’s right, across the United States, people are embracing their inner Julia Child, spending more and more of their free time cooking, faced with restricted access to restaurants and eating meals out. This puts upgraded kitchens high on the list of amenities that buyers are seeking. You don’t have to go for a complete kitchen remodel to appeal to those eager home chefs. Some of the most desirable upgrades with high returns on investment include a walk-in pantry (76 percent ROI) for those extra spices and flour, a double oven (71 percent ROI) for more efficient baking, and the top of them all — adding stainless steel appliances (141 percent ROI). Going for one or more of these kitchen upgrades could be the ticket to attracting more buyers to your home during Covid-19.
With leisure travel limited due to social distancing, how can people create that vacation-vibe while at home? An outdoor space with plenty of greenery, cozy seating, a fire pit, or even a pool, can all create an attractive staycation oasis. Indeed, buyer trends point to outdoor space as a top feature that Florida home buyers are searching for. More than 30 percent of agents in the survey said that people are moving to get access to more private outdoor space, while 16 percent see their buyers vacating urban areas for the suburbs. If you are looking to update your backyard so that it will better appeal to potential buyers, and bring a high return on your investment, you might consider adding a patio (85 percent ROI), or a fire pit (84 percent ROI).
In the Covid-19 world, home is more important than ever and buyers are seeking upgrades that will improve their quality of life without having to go anywhere.