Before the COVID-19 pandemic, industry observers saw the real estate market moving toward smaller homes and predicted the demise of sprawling McMansions and large luxury properties. So much has changed since then.
Now many families need wide-open spaces indoors and out. Whether you have downsized and have regrets, or you have been trying to make do in a small starter home, the time has come to rethink your space—more square footage might better serve you and your family. Here are some of the most compelling reasons for upgrading to a larger, more expansive property.
Work from home
For many professionals, a home office has often been an afterthought relegated to a spare bedroom or the corner of a basement bonus room. Now, however, the home office is not only important, it’s essential. In addition, in homes where two people are working, one home office will no longer do. Both adults need space to work, along with privacy for conference calls and Zoom meetings.
In addition, as companies revise their work-from-home policies to accommodate long-term telecommuting, what was a temporary situation is now more of a long-term cultural shift. Offices in separate bedrooms, on separate levels in the home, or in a dedicated outdoor space will become more desirable and necessary.
The evolving COVID pandemic has resulted in a mass exodus to suburban and rural enclaves offering larger lots and more outdoor spaces. In addition, in order to give everyone more room to spread out, sprawling terraces, porches, and other outdoor living spaces have become more desirable.
These more expansive outdoor spaces have the space for socially distanced meetups with friends and family members. Larger lots also offer more privacy and an added feeling of security for many homeowners.
You’ll want to add opportunities for outdoor play and recreation in those larger outdoor spaces. Private pools, which were once seen as a liability in many markets, are enjoying new-found popularity. Even homes with private tennis courts are a hot commodity in some luxury markets. For homeowners with small children, desirable outdoor recreational features include large play structures or room for sports and other active-play opportunities.
For homeowners trying to avoid the gym, an indoor workout room or fitness studio may be a coveted feature. You may consider mounting large mirrors and a barre in a bonus room and replacing carpeting with hardwood flooring to create a dance studio or makeshift indoor gym.
As families continue to spend more time together under the same roof, there’s an increased need for sources of interest and entertainment. Upgraded amenities, such as media rooms with up-to-date audio-visual technology, can offer opportunities for family fun and a way to change up old routines.
In some homes, a little more luxury may be called for, with larger, spa-like bathrooms and expansive owner’s suites. In order to give everyone their own space, a larger home with additional seating areas, play spaces, and other enhancements may make every day easier.
Additional outdoor spaces or secondary spaces within the home can provide another way to enhance home life and keep everyone more comfortable. An outdoor she-shed or man cave can offer an opportunity for privacy and uninterrupted relaxation. A pool house or guest suite may be a necessity for returning adult children or elderly parents.
Even children need their own space, so a large playhouse, treehouse, or other child-friendly structure may allow them to exercise their imagination and provide a welcome distraction. For those who are learning to garden, an outdoor potting shed may offer a great place to pursue that new interest. Similarly, a workroom, craft room, or hobby workspace may be a great option.
Parents who now work from home may want to rethink their location. Parents who have shed a commute and now could telecommute from almost anywhere might want to consider whether relocating to a new community works for them and their family.
For some families, upgrading may mean moving to a gated community or a neighborhood with walking trails and more outdoor spaces. For others, it may mean relocating to a rural area to enjoy more open spaces and a slower-paced lifestyle. Whatever your goal, this is the time to make it a reality.
If you’re considering upgrading to a new, larger home, talk to your real estate professional to determine what location, amenities, and features are most important to you. In addition, ask about how to sell your current home while purchasing your new home at the same time. Your real estate agent will be able to offer you the insights you need to plan ahead for every step of that process.