5 Ways Covid-19 Has Changed the Way We View Our Homes

Dated: February 25 2021

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From a real estate perspective

When we think back to the early days of this past “Year of Living Carefully”, we were just beginning to understand the impact of Covid-19.  I know I was.  As I mourned the absence of friends, outings, and wearing shoes, every change was fresh and new.  Then, as each aspect of everyday life was cancelled, my understanding grew.  We were not going to go back to whatever we consider normal any time soon.

Since then, our homes have become our whole worlds.  We work, play, homeschool, entertain ourselves and each other within these walls.  Here are 5 ways Covid-19 has impacted how we view our homes.

1.       Many people redecorated and/or renovated.  Spending all or most of our time in our homes shed a light on the little improvements we never got around to making.  Unfortunately, the increase in home renovations and the impact of Covid-19 on the industry has made it challenging to book a contractor or buy a new appliance.  Making modest changes we can accomplish with little assistance can provide us with much-needed respite.  When bored by the lack of change in scenery, rearrange furniture, paint a wall, or tidy a closet.  I swapped out my bedside tables – sold them on kijiji and purchased a “new” set in the same way.  The sanding, staining, and sweating provided me with bonus stress relief.

2.       The necessity for a home office sparked some rearranging of furniture, re-claiming areas for privacy, and changes in cleaning habits.  Thank goodness for Zoom virtual backgrounds.  The top 3 keys to a productive environment are:  make it a distinct space, limit the clutter, and have adequate lighting.  Also, a plant helps.

3.       Some decided they need more space for comfort or relationship preservation and purchased a different home.  With interest rates at record lows, many people could afford to buy a home for the first time.  Others sold their condos in favour of investing in multi-level townhomes, semi-detached or detached houses with more square footage.

4.       Outdoor space became more precious with a renewed focus on decorating our balcony, deck, or terrace as we spent more time outside on our own properties.  Pools and trampolines became the new toilet paper.  According to Royal LePage, the increase in cottage purchases seen over the past year is expected to continue, with buyers motivated by internet quality over sunset views.  An interesting crossover between #3 & #4 on this list are the homeowners opting to sell their home, downsize to a smaller home in the city and purchasing a cottage or other recreational property with the proceeds.

5.       Some left the big city for smaller towns and larger homes altogether.  Toronto lost over 50,000 people last year.  Suburban markets saw as much as a 2% increase in the number of home sales as city-dwellers no longer needed to commute downtown and sought greener pastures with wifi.  Even with those numbers departing our city, however, we still have buyers trying to get into the market, outnumbering the number of homes for sale.  It remains a great time to sell a home.

Connect with me to learn how much your home might be worth or visit my website to browse through current listings.  As always, your questions are welcome, and your referrals are much appreciated.

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Deborah Fletcher

I have ALWAYS loved “nesting”! Growing up I couldn’t wait to do my own nesting – starting with my first apartment. Now, as a homeowner, I still continually go through open houses, admiring ho....

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