SAN ANTONIO – The coronavirus has affected nearly every aspect of daily life for Texans and that includes the kinds of homes that homebuyers are looking for.
KSAT reached out to several Realtors in the San Antonio-area and the Texas Hill Country and while the needs of homebuyers vary greatly from family to family, there was some common ground in homebuyers’ preferences.
1. Location - This is more important now than ever with people searching for the best schools and what the policies are for COVID-related learning. Candy Cargill, a Realtor in the Texas Hill Country said buyers want to live in an area with availability to doctors, dentists, grocery stores and the like.
“This also helps with what they will be taxed for in certain areas,” said San Antonio Realtor Terry Gill. “Buyers are also looking to be in close proximity to things to do in their area.”
2. Study or Office - “Work from home, online learning with multiple children means multiple Zoom appointments going on all at once can be close to impossible to manage from the dinner table. A dedicated area away from all of the chaos, but close enough to the living space and with good light is something homebuyers are looking for in a post-COVID world,” said San Antonio-area Realtor Paul Bonner.
3. High-Speed Internet - This goes hand in hand with the study/office request. “Many [people] work from home, or more recently teach from home,” said Cargill. Access to high-speed internet may be limited in certain areas and it’s become very important for new homebuyers to ensure their area has good internet service.
4. Outdoor/Backyard Oasis - “Whether it is room for a pool, or a new deck, or possibly a garden - an area to get away from the stress and mess, get some exercise and sunshine, or just have a margarita or glass of wine is very important to many buyers looking to make a move in this environment,” said Bonner.
This sentiment was shared by Gill who said “outdoor backyard size is important. With more people at home, they want to have an oasis to forget their day.”
5. Open Concept - This isn’t just something HGTV homebuyers are looking for. With COVID-19 restrictions closing many local watering holes “everyone is looking to entertain more from their home, so they want a good open entertainment feel,” Gill said.
“The kitchen has always been the heart of the home and the open living style adopted by builders and made popular by TV renovation shows isn’t going away,” said Bonner.
The coronavirus pandemic has also affected home remodeling. Some of the Realtors KSAT spoke with noted that the interest in fixer-uppers has temporarily declined because some buyers don’t want people in their home working on weeks-long remodeling projects.
The flip side to this is that many contractors are now available for home improvement projects due to a slow-down in the remodeling industry.
Ultimately, Bonner said it boils down to space. With so many people now working and learning from home “homebuyers are looking for more space in their daily lives and how they might use it.”