2020 has been a bit of a transformative year, given the world’s experience with COVID-19. While there is a strong promise for widespread vaccination occurring in 2021, it’s no guarantee that things will return to “normal” in the immediate future, nor that another pandemic may rear its ugly head somewhere down the road.
One of the many ways COVID-19 has changed how we live and work is how we look at our homes and what options we want to see in our homes to meet today’s needs and tomorrow.
Whether it’s buying, selling, or plans for renovation, what changes or upgrades are people looking for in their homes in this new world?
Here are some of the most desired features homeowners want in a new home.
Improvements In Energy Efficiency
As people spend more time at home, they see increases in utility bills as they use more electricity for home appliances, entertainment centers, and computers. Similarly, greater control over home heating and cooling (depending on the season) is a concern, along with insulation, air circulation, natural lighting, water, and gas use are also on homeowners’ minds.
Instead of dividing their time inside and outside the home, people find that work, play, exercise, and socializing have become more focused within just the home. Improvements to insulation, skylights, and central heating and air systems combined with the best energy provider can lead to long-term savings and increase the value of a home. For instance, if you live in Texas, you can compare the best Texas electricity providers, that way you can find the best price while saving money.
Home Office and Classroom Space
Even after the pandemic has passed, working from home may still be an option for many people. In that way, COVID-19 has revolutionized the way many people work.
Many large companies are extending their work from home (WFH) policies well into 2021. On top of that, individuals choosing to work freelance or supplement their incomes with “side hustles” find themselves in greater need of home office space.
We’re not talking about a card table set up in the basement, but more actual, functional office space with room to work in comfort and with an environment conducive to video conferencing. Doors that can close are highly prized among WFH warriors, and having an identifiable space for work functions is a benefit for both tax reasons and life-balance reasons.
Alongside a need for office space is also space for remote learning. Families with school-aged children have experienced their own unique challenges in creating a distraction-free environment. That, and it keeps children and parents competing for space as one learns and another earns.
Improving Outdoor Spaces
With people not going out as often as they used to, the desire for a relaxing recreational space is on the rise. This usually means a nice backyard or patio area homeowners can enjoy with family or friends within their pandemic safety bubble.
In addition to tidy landscaping, backyard fireplaces and kitchens, stone walkways, garden areas, and pool or hot tubs have also gained increasing popularity. Even then, homeowners don’t even need to do much—simply create a place where people can relax at the end of the day or on weekends.
Installing a Home Gym
Even as the population begins to experience vaccination, public or member gyms will continue to be more restricted in their operation and a center for higher COVID-19 risk. As a result, people are exercising at home now.
While calisthenics are great and all, a rowing machine or bench press is more in line with what people envision for a home-based gym. Exercise equipment needs room, though. With that in mind, many homeowners are creating dedicated space for exercise and exercise equipment.
The COVID-19 Era Home
Human beings are nothing if not adaptable. As the world changes, we change along with it. Will COVID-19 become a permanent feature in how we see our homes? It’s too soon to tell. But the pandemic has made us value certain aspects of home life that hadn’t been given as much attention.
Things may change again. They may even change back—to a degree.
These popular upgrades are serving current homeowners well. They make life easier during this time of pandemic and add value to the home overall.
There’s no real upside to worldwide pandemics, but there are ways to soften the impact, and often that starts at home.