How has the pandemic changed what homebuyers will be looking for in the coming year?

 I answered the question for the SoundOff! section of SF Gate for Sunday, January 17th. Here is a somewhat expanded response:

In a word, most buyers simply want MORE than pre-pandemic, and the following trends are expected to continue:

  1. More space within the home: With families spending most of their time at home, they want more space, and more separation of space within the family for home classrooms or offices. Everyone wants their own Zoom room! Those open floor plans that were so popular a while ago? Not so much now. Big kitchens are increasingly valued as folks improve their cooking skills!
  2. More separation from strangers to stay safe. Common areas in condos are now less desirable, as are dependence on elevators. Shared pools and exercise rooms, normally an asset, are largely closed or restricted right now. This could change as vaccines become widespread.
  3. More outdoor space. Areas for outdoor dining, safe exercise, and socially-distanced gatherings will continue to be in demand. Victory gardens have returned: space for growing edibles, even raising chickens. Swimming pools, previously considered expensive white elephants in our temperate climate, are now valued.
  4. More affordable options. With so many employers extending work-from-home indefinitely, many buyers, especially tech workers as well as retirees, are looking to move to less expensive areas of California, if not to other states. Families who are pulling together multiple generations and moving to either rural areas, or moving out of state to form family compounds. I’ve helped two families relocate to Texas in the past few months. But for many of us, this beautiful Bay Area is still too special to leave!
About the author