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Dabl At Home Dec 2020
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Dabl at Home

The 5 Major Features Homebuyers Are Looking For In 2022

Whether you are a homebuyer or seller, it’s important to know which trends are making the real estate world go round in 2022!

It’s no secret that the housing market is constantly changing, evolving, and adapting. And even two years after COVID-19 appeared, the effects of the pandemic and trying to return to a new normal continue to impact the real estate market. We’ve seen these effects appear as changes to the trends that define what homebuyers are looking for when they go house hunting. For example, people have begun to prioritize flexible space that can accommodate multiple functionalities instead of simply having more space. 

Whether you are a buyer or a seller, it’s important to stay in touch with the current conditions of the real estate market. You might discover a trend, amenity, or feature that you hadn’t realized was important to you, and you should know where your fellow house hunters place the most value. As a seller, you will want to know what homebuyers are looking for so you can make the proper preparations for your property as you get ready to put your house on the market. With that said, take a look at the 5 trends that have ruled the housing market thus far in 2022. 

Flexible space is better than more space. 

During the pandemic, what homeowners desired most was more space to accommodate doing work and school from their residence with all the members of the family in the home pretty much all the time. Homeowners wanted as much square footage as they could get for things like home gyms and offices, as well as classrooms and playrooms for children who were stuck at home. But now, homeowners have decided that bigger does not necessarily mean better. Instead, homeowners want flexible living spaces to maximize the square footage they do have. Homeowners are looking for ways to give spaces multiple functions, such as using a kitchen as a home office space or utilizing a guest bedroom as a home gym when they don’t have overnight company. 

The move toward flexible living space rather than a larger amount of living space comes as housing prices and mortgage rates skyrocket in early 2022. By deciding to be creative with less space, homebuyers can choose to buy smaller, more affordable homes. Compromising on square footage will be something many homebuyers have to do in today’s market, especially if they want to live in the most desirable locations. However, showing potential homebuyers that your home’s living space is flexible and adaptable might help you seal the deal if you’re planning to list your home this year. 

A quiet neighborhood and usable outdoor space matter. 

After spending so much time at home during the pandemic, homebuyers have a greater appreciation for liveable and functional outdoor space. Homebuyers are looking for outdoor spaces where they can unwind with their friends or family or host guests. Some studies have found Millennial homebuyers who own dogs are looking for properties with a decent backyard patio or outdoor space because it benefits their beloved dogs. In addition, homebuyers want respectful and considerate neighbors who won’t cause noise or disruptions that prevent them from enjoying their new backyards.

If you are about to list your home, this trend doesn’t necessarily mean your backyard needs a complete remodel or you need to invest in a luxurious in-ground pool. However, it may be a good idea to spruce up your backyard, clear out clutter and weeds, and enhance your landscaping or gardening so that prospective homebuyers can easily picture your backyard as their dream outdoor living space. If you do make any upgrades or renovations to your backyard, the current trends make it seem likely that you would get a good return on your investment, although there are no guarantees. If you live in a state that gets cold during the winter, you may also want to invest in a cheap outdoor heater and area rug to stage your backyard in a way that suggests it can be used as an outdoor living room all year. 

Location is always king. 

Anytime you buy a new home, location is always going to be important. Different buyers will always prioritize different factors, such as proximity to good school districts, hospitals, restaurants, or shopping centers. Things like the upkeep of the neighborhood as a whole and possible development in the area could also become important. But what seems to matter most to homebuyers right now is proximity to offices and other places of work. 

Now that many professionals have returned to work in person, they care more about their proximity to their offices and time spent commuting. Even homeowners who have hybrid schedules that allow them to work remotely some of the time are still prioritizing their proximity to the office for when they do have to commute. Therefore, many homebuyers are trying to move to city hubs and popular suburbs to shorten their commutes, causing prices in these desirable areas to rise with the demand. That said, there are still some homebuyers who work entirely remotely or who don’t mind a bit of a commute who are trying to take advantage of less expensive housing by moving farther away from popular suburbs and city hubs. These people are just no longer the majority, like they were months ago when almost everyone in a desk job could work remotely from anywhere. 

Townhomes are growing in popularity. 

Based on what we’ve mentioned already about prioritizing flexible living spaces and a desire to live in popular locations near office buildings and city hubs, it should be no surprise that townhomes are becoming increasingly more popular. According to NAHB, Townhome construction jumped by 38% in the third quarter of 2021 because they make good housing options for people who want to live close to urban cores. 

When you think about it, the only real difference between townhomes and single-family homes is that townhomes share walls with other units. But for first-time homebuyers or cash-strapped buyers on a budget, townhomes are a much more affordable path to homeownership in a desirable location. Meanwhile, single-family homes in comparable areas are frequently more expensive and often end up in bidding wars that only serve to drive prices even higher. 

Upgraded kitchens are a big selling point. 

Last but not least, you may want to put some time and money toward updating your kitchen before you put your home on the market. According to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry and the National Association of Realtors, kitchen remodels and kitchen upgrades were ranked as the two most likely home renovation projects to appeal to potential buyers and bring the most resale value to a home. In fact, 20% of real estate agents who were surveyed said that completing a kitchen upgrade played a significant part in closing a home sale for at least one of their clients. And it makes sense. The kitchen is where most of us spend the majority of our time when we’re at home. 

That said, don’t put yourself into debt to pay for a kitchen overhaul if it’s not in your budget. Depending on when your home was built or last updated, you might not need any major remodels or renovations. That said, there are smaller renovations and fixes you can undertake to make your kitchen more attractive to potential buyers. First, fix anything that is broken, replace outdated appliances with modern options if you can, and clear out the clutter. Taking down old wallpaper and applying a fresh coat of paint to the walls, cabinets, and trim can also completely change the atmosphere of the room. 

Learn more tips and tricks for buying or selling homes at the Dabl Real Estate Hub!

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