How COVID changed housing market SanTan Sun News

How COVID changed housing market

January 25th, 2021 Editorial Staff
How COVID changed housing market
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SANTAN SUN NEWS STAFF

The pandemic has accelerated a shift to technological tools that make life easier for everyone involved in real estate transactions while home buyers have found that a lot of features have gone from the “nice to have” to the “essential” column.

Here are all the changes that came to real estate in 2020 that are likely here to stay.

Big-city living loses its cool

This year completely changed the way we viewed our homes and what we wanted from them.

It turns out that sheltering in place is a great way to find out if you really, really love your home and being able to work remotely means there are more options if you don’t.

The biggest wake-up call this year was for city dwellers who had long justified the high expense of tiny apartments with the many perks of urban life – until those suddenly became unavailable.

Realtor.com chief economist Danielle Hale said people now “are looking for space and affordability” and the suburbs are where they can find it.”

As the transplants settle in to their new surroundings, they’re likely to make their mark on the suburbs, as well.

After all, why can’t they have their single-family home with a yard and more options for dining and entertainment?

If employers continue allowing eligible employees to work remotely, this suburban shift is here to stay.

Technology and house hunting

House hunting in the time of the coronavirus means relying on technology more than ever. Cruising for home listings on sites such as realtor.com has been a basic first step for years.

But this year, with orders declaring real estate work essential in some areas, and inessential for others for weeks at a time, folks were forced to move their home searches primarily online.

Some folks ended up buying a home they’d never even seen in person.

There are some things that are harder to perceive in a video tour – so you need to know what signs to look for.

Other aspects of the home-buying process are now commonly facilitated by technology. There’s no need to sit in a mortgage broker’s office to discuss loan options, or sign piles of paperwork in a room at a title company. Remote mortgage pre-approvals, inspections, appraisals, and even closings are becoming the norm.

Buyers expect more from homes

Hopefully, we’ll all soon be able to go back to our gyms, send kids to school, and even, if we want, do our work on an ergonomic desk.

But the lesson of 2020 is that you need to be prepared if those things aren’t possible. And that means buyers are paying close attention to homes with plenty of space for work, school, exercise and enjoying the fresh air.

Millennials, many with young children, are now the largest group of home buyers and their preferences will shape home buying for years to come.

That means savvy home sellers will have to get their homes in shape for a new generation’s expectations. These days, homes with a home office sell faster and for more money, than homes without one.

Sanitary features have come into focus lately, too. Smart, touchless options for faucets, lights and locks are not only convenient, they also cut down on the transfer of germs.

Homeowners getting self-reliant

DIY projects used to seem like something fun to do in your free time, but when you want to reduce exposure to additional people, making simple upgrades and performing basic home maintenance yourself is a necessity. And once you’ve developed those skills, you’re less likely to reach for the phone when you have something that needs fixing.

Plus, homeowners have always known that doing things yourself is great for the bottom line, especially when you target projects that offer a good return on investment.

“Self-reliant” doesn’t just mean keeping everything running, either.

Many people discovered tending victory gardens this year as a way to enjoy fresh air and manage stress while ensuring a supply of fresh produce. As everyone knows, homegrown just tastes better – and once you’ve had it, it’s hard to go back.

Realtor.com provided this report.

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