How the COVID-19 Pandemic Changed House Hunting

row of houses

Because of the rise of the COVID-19 cases in urban areas, many people have decided that it’s time to migrate to the suburbs. The population in the suburbs is definitely less dense than in the cities. So it’s ideal for people who are dedicated to social distancing.

More than that, many people have felt that they’ve outgrown their cramped apartments in the city. Since it’s more advisable to stay indoors these days, they feel that they need more space so they could avoid the bouts of cabin fever.

But house hunting hasn’t been the same since the pandemic started. Everyone is putting social distancing first to preserve their health safety. Here are the ways that house hunting has changed in the last couple of months.

A Stronger Monetary Support

People’s financial situations took a huge hit from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Millions of people have lost their jobs. If not, they’ve taken tapered salaries and were assigned less hours or shifts.

This is why fewer buyers are choosing to purchase houses in one go. More people are opting to avail housing loan offers instead. They’re more willing to take a couple of years to pay for their new house. With their experience in their jobs right now, they can’t take risks such as spending all of their savings in one go. They would need to always have back-up funds in case of emergencies.

houses view

People’s Changing Needs

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) found that about 13 percent of real estate agents they’ve surveyed have reported that buyers have changed at least one home feature because of COVID-19. This reflects people’s changing needs to cope with the effects of the pandemic.

Families need houses with more rooms. Because family members are staying at home all day every day, they need rooms to themselves to get some peace and quiet. Parents and young adults need home offices so they could focus properly on work. Kids need a playroom so that they have one place for all of their toys.

Many buyers are also more interested in houses with expansive yards that they can develop into a cozy outdoor space. This would allow them to get some fresh air without needing to go to a public park. They’re also interested in having a yard so that they could develop a vegetable garden. This would lead to fewer trips to the farmers’ market.

Lastly, they desire bigger and more equipped kitchens. Cooking at home has become one of the emerging hobbies since the pandemic started. This is evident in the quickie recipes that have become popular on social media sites such as TikTok.

The Growing Reliance on Digital Services

Because more people are relying on the internet for their daily needs, it makes sense that they’ve also relied on the internet for their house hunting needs. This led to real estate agencies sprucing up their websites and social media pages. They’ve upgraded their online presence by practicing more digital marketing strategies.

And because of the ban on mass gathering, gone are the days of open houses. Instead, people today are opting for virtual house tours. Through the power of virtual reality (VR) technology, they’re able to “visit” houses and inspect if it’s what they’re looking for. All they’ll need are a VR headset and an internet connection. Once they’re all set, they can go visit as many houses as they want in just one afternoon.

Like many things, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people look for houses that they want to buy. We can’t say for sure right now if house hunting will go back to the way it was pre-pandemic. But what we do know is that some of the changes in the whole process are for the better.

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