In the first days of the COVID-19 pandemic, economists predicted that the market for goods and services would grind to a halt for months or even years to come. However, in reality, the real estate market, including both the selling of homes and the improvement of existing properties, has grown in strength over the intervening months. Even for homeowners who aren’t thinking about selling, home renovation projects are experiencing unprecedented interest and generating robust economic activity.
Why is the pandemic driving home renovation?
From learning to make homemade baguettes to planting elaborate gardens, homeowners have responded to the pandemic in a variety of interesting ways. Why is home renovation one of the most popular responses to this time of uncertainty?
More time at home
One of the main reasons that home renovation is on the rise is the simple fact that people are becoming more aware day by day of the things that drive them crazy about their homes. In the first weeks of the pandemic, it was all about the squeaky door or the broken hinge. But as we continue to spend more time in our homes, even as the pandemic evolves, homeowners are finding that they just have to take care of some of their residential pet peeves.
Work from home
In terms of logistics, a home that normally accommodates a family for only a few hours each day has become for some a round-the-clock workplace, plus entertainment and recreation venue. That puts a lot of added pressure on spaces to perform.
For dual-career couples, the need for two offices suitable for conference calls and Zoom meetings with appropriate levels of storage, comfort, and privacy is reason enough for a home renovation.
More space-use versatility
In smaller homes, there’s a need for spaces to perform double-duty, with added flexibility and the ability to make a room work for the family’s changing needs. While wide-open floorplans have been popular for many households, families need spaces that can also accommodate the need for privacy, focus, and increased daily use. In addition, outdoor and bonus spaces are being put to work in order to expand the possibilities for each member of the family.
Top home renovation trends for 2022
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we live and work in many ways. Here are some of the trends that we’re seeing now—and that may be popular for the foreseeable future.
Homeowners want better ventilation and air quality, along with features like mudrooms to create a middle ground between the outside world and the home’s interior. These spaces provide a place to deposit packages and help keep dirt and germs from entering the home as home delivery of goods and services remains popular.
With more time at home comes the desire for smarter homes to facilitate everything from greener living to added amenities. Smart home integration in the kitchen is popular with newly motivated bakers looking to perfect their bread recipe, as well as harried parents doling out a quick snack before busy after-school activities. Proper installation and a fully integrated suite of services can add value to the home, both now and in the future when it’s time to sell.
Security and privacy
Home security continues to be an important feature for consumers. Twenty-nine percent of US consumers are interested in having a home security system, according to Consumer Reports. The increasing demand for security upgrades is motivated by a variety of factors, including more time at home and a greater need to supervise children while working.
Expanded outdoor spaces
According to Forbes.com bringing the inside out, or adding accessories to outdoor areas to create more living space, was a big trend in 2021. New decks and new landscaping designs are popular, creating a variety of outdoor spaces for families to stay active and staycation.
Dual home offices
The need for dual home offices is currently one of the largest drivers of home renovations, with Zillow reporting that the number of real estate listings that highlighted a home office increased by 48.5 precent in the fall of 2020 . On top of that, homeowners are looking for ways to accommodate increased high-speed internet access and implement soundproofing to make offices more private.
Space for another home office can come from a variety of places, including small bump-outs within a larger space, spare bedrooms, or even repurposing a walk-in closet. In addition, some homeowners are going further afield, converting small outbuildings or garage apartments into private spaces. Think about your home’s traffic patterns and look for those empty spaces that never get used. These may be likely candidates for a new home office.
As always, discuss home renovations with a real estate agent to find out what is popular in your area and what improvements have the potential to make your home more attractive to buyers down the road. In addition, a real estate agent or broker knows all of the best professionals in your area, from contractors to help you plan your renovation to lenders who’ll help you tap into your home’s equity to finance the work.