Buying a home in 2021 is different than any other time in my lifetime. It's funny how being locked down for the better part of 2 years has a way of making us to rethink our priorities in life. Home buyers preferences have shifted and boy are they willing to pay (and overpay) for their new preferences.
On a personal level, I have experienced my clients tastes change radically and observed a trend where certain homes with certain traits are in far higher demand than others.
Here is what I have observed buyers want and may even overpay for when purchasing a home in 2021.
Inviting Outdoor Space
This has been far and away the most common "must-have" of the last year or so. If we ever end up getting locked down again, buyers want to make sure they have a back yard or outdoor space to escape to. The more inviting your outdoor space is, the more buyers will flock. I've encountered 20+ offers on these types of homes more many times in the past year.
In particular, an appealing deck or interlocking brick paved area is key. Low-maintenance is key so avoid extravagant landscaping and opt for grass or low-maintenance shrubbery instead. Extra points for homes with a covered area like a gazebo or awning for escaping blazing sun or rain.
Most surprisingly, homes with a pool have spiked in popularity. Prior to 2020, it was 50/50 if my clients felt positively about a house having a pool. That number is closer to 75-80% now.
The popularity of smart home products has exploded in recent years. At first, it was only young people who were interested in having a smart home. That's changed lately (see video) with people of all ages enjoying the conveniences of a smart home. I never thought it would be a 'thing' already but it certainly is.
When selling your home, make sure to highlight the smart features in your home. Even better, let them experience it for themselves. If you have automatic blinds, show the buyer how they work and encourage them to try it themselves. Do that for all your smart home features because buyers LOVE IT.
Sales is about emotions. Cool home automation and tech features will help generate an emotional, visceral response from buyers which will lead to more favourable outcomes at the offer table.
I used to sell clients on being able upgrade a kitchen after purchasing for far less than buying something already updated. That was before building material costs skyrocketed, supply chain issues caused massive delays and every contractor worth a damn was booked six months or more in advance.
Now, everyone wants updated and move-in ready homes with the kitchen being the most important room in most buyer's eyes.
A premium is being paid for open-concept kitchens with light-coloured cabinetry and buyers are suckers soft-close drawers.
Don't have the cash for a whole new kitchen? You can give your kitchen a massive makeover by refacing your cabinets and installing new hardware. If your budget allows, install a new quartz countertop with matching backsplash and you'll be amazed at the transformation.
Home Office Space
I just tried booking a tee time for this week and everywhere is booked. For this reason, the work-from-home trend should continue to be a 'thing' because of the flexibility and plausible deniability that working from home provides.
Many buyers are buying 4 bedroom homes and converting them into 3 bedroom homes with a home office. I'm seeing far more competition for 4 bedroom homes than I am for 3 bedroom homes.
Another great way to upgrade your home without sacrificing living space is to create office space from under-utilized space in your home. Your basement is the best for accomplishing this especially in homes built after 1980 where basement heights are more suitable.
- Extra bathrooms for guests. People want their overnight guests to have their own bathroom.
- Unique Design Features- Accent walls, custom millwork, coffered ceilings are just a few examples of what will 'wow' today's buyer. Don't do it yourself, HIRE A PROFESSIONAL! Contact me to know what will make your house stand out from the crowd.
- Workout Space- The amount of homes with home gyms has grown exponentially since the pandemic.
Let me know if I missed anything.
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