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How Our Perception of the Perfect Home Has Changed in the Past Year
Dated: February 18 2021
2020 has been a year of ups and downs that changed a lot of things that we took for granted. Including how we buy and sell homes, and what we think of as the perfect home, not just in Louisiana, but all over the country.
Ideal location, size, amenities – they’ve all been reshuffled as we’ve collectively re-shifted priorities in the face of an unprecedented life disruption for our generation. Let’s talk about some of the things that have changed in the way we view the perfect home.
We’re Running Far Away from Cities
Perhaps the most notable change has been location. The mass exodus 2020 has brought upon cities is well-documented and understandable. In the face of a life-threatening pandemic, one wants to retreat with their loved ones and keep them as safe as possible, as far away from other people as possible.
Enter the rural areas. With the big switch to remote work, few people need to live near their workplace and the rural areas are still close enough to the city as to not make daily life inconveniently isolated, but far enough that you don’t need to be uncomfortably close to strangers. Rural areas have seen skyrocketing real estate prices and a renewed appreciation, especially from families.
In hindsight, cities had fallen out of favor for a long time, with unaffordable mortgages, high costs of living, and paltry living space, but this push was needed to convince those on the fence to make the big move. Even major cities like New Orleans and Baton Rouge have taken a hit.
In contrast, rural area life means a serene home all your own, more space, a safer neighborhood, hopefully a yard, and nice neighbors that are a safe distance away that you can wave to. For a lot of Lafayette residents, it’s a no-brainer.
We Need Multi-Functional Homes
Due to our change in lifestyle, it’s become apparent that our homes no longer serve the same purpose they used to. Home used to be the place where you went to relax because everything else had its place elsewhere. The pandemic changed the way we use our homes, so our needs and desires also shifted.
We sleep at home, hang out, have dinner, work, go to school, celebrate, watch movies, dance, exercise, play, and have small gatherings. That’s a lot to ask of a single space that wasn’t really designed with all this in mind.
In 2020 and 2021, home buyers have been preferring homes that offer some diverse, multi-functional features. Homes with a pool are more likely to sell for a higher price, as well as smart homes with a strong internet connection, homes with an open floor plan, and homes equipped with gym gear.
Families in the Lafayette area want their homes to serve all of their new needs, whether that’s an at-home gym, an office space, or even a home theatre.
We Need Bigger Homes
It makes sense that all those extra activities require significant additional space. You can’t cram an entire life in 2 bedrooms. Since so many of us have been working from home and just hanging out at home more, that has shown us that what people really need and want is more space. It’s one of the main reasons why people are moving out of cities.
Consequently, bigger homes have been selling like hotcakes. Whether they’re 2- or 3-bedroom apartments or larger houses, people are upgrading in order to make room for all the demands this new lifestyle imposes.
The most popular reason for wanting more space is the need for a home office, but buyers are also looking for guest rooms, playrooms, and just extra living space. If experts are to be believed, this trend will continue into 2021.
We Want Outdoor Space
For those living in apartments, especially, the pandemic has been particularly rough, with no yard or patch of grass to call your own or enjoy the fresh air. That’s one of the reasons that pushed the move to the rural areas of Lafayette: the desire for outdoor space to call our own.
Yards, patios, and outdoor space are some of the number one demands buyers have in a new home in 2021. Not only is it great to have space to just sit outside, enjoy the sun, or lay in the grass without fear of contamination, but it can also serve as excellent outdoor recreation. And who doesn’t like a bit of gardening?
You can add a table and some chairs and transform your patio into a terrace where you can enjoy your morning coffee or a glass of wine in the afternoons. Any change from your kitchen table is nice. A grill is great for dining al fresco in the warm summer months. Not to mention how the addition of a pool can transform every afternoon into a family pool party. A swing and an obstacle course can mean that kids and their dogs also have plenty to entertain themselves with.
We Need Local Entertainment
But even outside your own backyard, local outdoor amenities are important. A lot of families want to live near a good playground for their kids so they can play and safely socialize outside. Pet owners may prioritize dog parks in the area, instead. If anything, this experience has taught us to appreciate alternative entertainment.
Things like local cafes, small boutiques, farmer’s markets, taco trucks, and restaurants are more important than ever, as residents are warier of traveling outside their area for entertainment and socializing. Having that local infrastructure is extremely important to residents, especially if they’re young families.
What’s the bottom line?
It’s obvious that 2020 deeply changed us, not just in the U.S., but globally. It’s also changed the way we think about “home”, what the perfect home looks like, and how we purchase our homes.
In Louisiana, that means a shift away from cities and towards bigger, more functional homes to accommodate all the aspects of our lives we’re now carrying out at home, from work to entertainment. We’re also noticing a bigger concern over local amenities, and a major desire for outdoor space. A home will always be the place where we most want to be, it just looks a little different, now.
About Ted Daigle – Realtor Growing up in Church Point, LA instilled values of hard work and dedication, which has carried over into every aspect of his life, including real estate. This Lafayette r....
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