The unique challenges of 2020 transformed home-buying trends, and space became king. However, simply saying that buyers sought out larger homes doesn’t quite capture the core of this shift. For the first time in a very long time, people began pushing themselves to find creative and practical ways to optimize every space in their homes—a mindset that will likely persist in 2021. Here are the top five home features that buyers in our market gravitated toward in 2020:
1. Kitchens. This gathering space has always been an integral part of a home, but why did it become even more important this year? Well, first of all, we were all using it more; with restaurants closed, cooking at home became essential. Throughout 2020, we noticed buyers being more upfront with their inquiries about a home’s kitchen: ”Does it have everything I need? How spacious is it? Does it have an island?”
2. Home office spaces. Given the major work-from-home shift, buyers began putting a premium on properties with extra bedrooms, nooks/reading areas, and even backyard sheds big enough to accommodate a desk and a computer—and a lot of coffee. It wasn’t just the adults who needed space for productivity, though; buyers sought out spaces that could be transformed into dedicated study zones for their kids who were enrolled in remote learning.
3. RV parking. Thanks to COVID, we’ve been witnessing an RV renaissance of sorts; for the better part of 2020, it wasn’t uncommon to hear of RV dealerships completely selling out of their inventory. People wanted to get out of the house, and with airline travel posing serious risks, “traveling local” became a huge trend.
4. Outdoor living. I spent most of my time last year out in the backyard, so I get it. Putting a cover over the patio, adding a fire pit, creating a haven for barbecuers, installing a pool, or simply having a quiet area for reading on a nice day—all these things helped sellers fetch top dollar in 2020.
5. An “escape” room. No, not one of those game rooms where you and your friends have to put your brains together to find a way out—I mean a place in your home where you can retreat to whenever you start to feel overwhelmed by everybody and everything around you. It could be an extra living area, a basement, a shed, an oversized garage (perhaps with a workshop) or something else entirely; as long as it allowed for some quiet, reflective time, buyers wanted it.
Hopefully you found this list enlightening. If there are any extra features you think should be added on, I’d love to hear them! Also, don’t hesitate to reach out by phone or email if you could benefit from a more in-depth chat about what you’re looking for in a home. I’m always ready to help in any way I can.