As recently as last year, industry observers saw the real estate market moving further toward smaller homes and predicted the demise of sprawling McMansions and large luxury properties. What a difference a few months can make in changing lifestyles and the types of activities taking place within the home.
Now, for many families, there is a need for wide-open spaces both indoors and out. Whether you have previously downsized and now have regrets or have been trying to make do in a small starter home, the time has come to rethink your space and consider whether more square footage would better serve you and your family. What follows 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 both adults are working, one home office will no longer do. Both of you need space to work, along with privacy for conference calls and Zoom meetings.
In addition, as companies revise their work from home policies in order to accommodate long-term telecommuting, what was a temporary situation is now looking more like a long-term cultural shift. Offices in separate bedrooms, on separate levels in the home, or in a dedicated outdoor space, will become more and more desirable and necessary.
School From Home
Similarly, as schools struggle with reopening plans, many are discussing another year of distance learning. That means even more extensive space requirements, including makeshift at-home classrooms and activity spaces. As some families choose to homeschool long-term, the ability to incorporate spaces customized for their children’s needs may mean separate playrooms and study rooms as a desirable feature.
The closing of camps, country clubs, team sports, and outdoor recreational activities 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 are becoming more and more desirable.
These more expansive outdoor spaces offer the opportunity for socially distanced meetups with trusted friends and family members. In addition, larger lots also offer more privacy and an added feeling of security for many homeowners.
In those larger outdoor spaces, you’ll want to add opportunities for outdoor play and recreation. Private pools, which were once seen as a liability in many markets, are suddenly 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 open space 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 more families spend 24/7 under the same roof, the need for sources of interest and entertainment becomes ever more important. Upgraded amenities can offer opportunities for family fun and a way to change up the same old routines. These may include media rooms for upscale family movie nights with upgraded audio-visual technology for added convenience. You may also be looking for a gourmet kitchen for all of that bread baking and home cooking you’re now doing in quarantine.
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.
For many parents who are suddenly allowed to work from home, this is the time to rethink your location. Did you choose your home because of commute times? Those are no longer an issue. Where would you live if you could live anywhere and still keep your job? Now’s the time for you to consider whether relocating to a new community works for you and your 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 moving to a rural area in order to enjoy more undeveloped land 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 for you. In addition, ask about how to sell your current home while purchasing your new home at the same time. He or she will be able to offer you the insights you need to plan ahead for every step of that process.