When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, it threw a wrench in many people’s plans for the future. Anyone with hopes of finally listing their home for sale this year felt this keenly as they were forced to shelve their plans for the time being. But while there may still be no clear end in sight to the pandemic, the real estate market is showing signs of life. New buyers are coming in with expanded wish lists for what they want in a home, both now and in the future. For any homeowner still planning to list their home, this is the perfect time to prepare for the market.
Every successful listing requires thorough planning and preparation. Here we outline the top home upgrades every buyer is now looking for in the COVID-19 era. If you really want your home to stand out when it hits the market, this is what you should focus on.
A Home Office or ClassroomA Home Office or Classroom
A major change for many of us has been learning to work from home. This change to working from home may very well remain long after the pandemic has passed by the looks of things. This has led to a new interest for buyers in acquiring homes with a dedicated home office. Those with children are also looking for dedicated classroom space to use for homeschooling or virtual learning. Anyone with the space to do so would be well advised to stage their spare rooms to show off their potential as a home office or classroom.
If you don’t have a spare room to use as an office, try the next best thing and create a localized space to work within a larger space like the living room. All it takes is a comfortable office chair, a functional desk, and perhaps a screen to close the area off from distractions. If you’re concerned about noise pollution, always an issue in New York City, then take steps to mitigate it. Install thicker windows, add draft guards to your doors, and buy sound-proofing curtains. Even a heavy bookshelf placed in the right spot can provide some sound insulation while also adding a nice touch to the room décor.
Upgraded Outdoor SpaceUpgraded Outdoor Space
While New York homes aren’t exactly known for their abundance of outdoor space, those that do have it are now going for a premium. Time spent in quarantine has opened many people’s eyes to the need for more outdoor space. Any New York homeowner with the option to do so should invest in expanding and improving what they have. Even a few small improvements and additions can make a big difference.
Consider adding an in-ground fire pit or an outdoor kitchen to expand the useability of the space. Hire some professional landscapers who can plant new trees and beautiful flowers. Add a new lighting setup or a Pergola to create an enchanting outdoor dining area. In short, make your outdoor space shine, because you can be sure the competition will be doing the same.
Add Separation of SpaceAdd Separation of Space
The long reign of open-floor plans may finally be coming to an end, at least for the time being. Anyone who’s spent that last few months cooked up with a roommate or family member will know the value of a space to call your own. This has led to a lot more buyers than usual expressing interest in homes with traditional layouts. A well-segmented home makes it far easier for everyone to stay out of each other’s hair. If that’s not a term that applies to your home, then take some steps to rectify that.
This needn’t require building new walls; you can achieve a similar result by using dividers and adding pocket doors. Give a distinct purpose to each divided area you create. These days people want each area of their home to feel a little different, so they don’t feel stuck in all the time.
Create a Home Gym SpaceCreate a Home Gym Space
As with home offices, home gyms are another feature that’s seen a spike in popularity. With most public gyms still closed or considered too risky, having your own one is now more important than ever. This will mean carving out a space for weights, yoga mats, and a treadmill or stationary bike. If you don’t have room to spare for this, then you’ll need to create a separate area for it in whatever corner you can find. The important thing is that buyers see the potential of a space to serve as a workout area.
Create an Additional Living SpaceCreate an Additional Living Space
Anyone fortunate enough to have a multi-level home should consider turning one of its levels into a separate living space. This means adding a small kitchen and bathroom so that it’s almost a separate apartment. Apart from making visits by the in-laws much easier, it’s just an all-around good investment.
Revamp the Laundry RoomRevamp the Laundry Room
A space to work from and another to sweat from are high on buyer’s lists now but don’t overlook the more practical needs of the moment. Homes with dedicated laundry rooms are now a top priority for buyers. Having one not only makes it possible for homeowners to launder their linen, but it also makes the job easier by providing a space to iron, fold, and store.
Revamp your current one so that it’s both utilitarian and aesthetically pleasing. Few people like doing laundry, so try to make the room look inviting and pleasant to be in. When all else is equal, a customized laundry room will make your home stand well above others.