The top 5 ways COVID-19 has changed what home buyers want.

It’s an extremely rare and powerful occurrence where an event like this pandemic has shifted and changed almost everything, to some degree, in modern society. 

And perhaps, more than ever, such a great emphasis has never been put on our homes. 

Where we live. Where we were told in the depths of the pandemic time and time again, “stay home”. 

Spending so much time at home, now, and for quite some time to come, has really changed our perspectives. It has of course made us grateful for what we have, but also shone a new light on what we want. And what we want has changed, due to this shift. 

In this short overview, I will cover my personal top 5 ways COVID-19 has changed what home buyers want.

1.Office space. 

Work from home, anyone? Large companies like Shopify and Twitter, to name two big tech employers in particular, have stated a long-term approach of availability for employees to work from home. 

Office space has always been on the radar, for many home buyers, to some degree. However, before now, many people had never worked from home but always went to the workplace. Some have preferred this, some haven’t. In a business, here is the thing: office space costs money. We have seen a shift in the retail industry away from costly brick-and-mortar shops to more online shopping etc. etc. etc. So, when a business is trying to increase profit and cut expenses, one area may be less office space and more employees working from home. It could be a win-win. Either way, this shift has placed home office space as a top priority for many professionals. It is not just the tech sector. Right now, even teachers are working from home! While this won’t exactly be a long-term thing, it just goes to show the impact office space, and its importance, will have going forward in the housing market. We will always think back to this time regardless, and think of how important it is to have office space…even if at the bare minimum it is, “just incase!”. 

2. Yard space.

Spending more time at home? Have kids? Whatever your situation, home owners are loving their yard space. Or maybe they aren’t. Too close to neighbours? Too small? Too loud? Live in a condo or renting an apartment with no yard? Staying inside a lot has taken a toll on our mental health. It’s so good to get outside, to enjoy the sunshine, to move around, to let the kids run around in a safe environment. 

Gardening, anyone? Gardening has also been such a popular hobby; now, it is even shifting to more of an essential to some degree. A lot of people love the privilege to be able to grow their own food, as able. It’s a great thing. And for sure, there is a huge shift, where people want a yard space that fits well for them and their goals and renewed priorities. Waterloo Region has so many awesome neighbourhoods with large lots and private yards. Happy to help you focus in on what you are specifically looking for. One of my clients has a home with a 100 by 300 lot that I helped them buy a couple years ago. They just bought a John Deere riding lawn mower; living the country dream! 🙂 (Minutes to Kitchener too!!) They are truly enjoying it more then ever. 

Lastly, on this point, with more people staying close to home, backyards have become the main event for staycations! Pool season anyone? If you have a pool, you are in a great place to enjoy some summer fun, without having to go anywhere! Amazing! I’m a little jealous. 😉 

3. Location.

If you’re working from home and not in, say, downtown Toronto, you may be able and have the freedom to go into the office less. This could afford you the ability to move out of the city to buy a home in a more affordable area, like Waterloo Region. It’s normal to have to live close to work. Well, this new normal is giving us some freedom to spread our wings a bit more in where we choose to live and work while still having a great job. Waterloo Region also still has a very strong, well diversified, thriving economy. 

4. Kitchens. 

The kitchen has always been the heart of the home. Well, now people have rekindled their love of baking, or, even started newly down this path! A lot of people like a fancy kitchen, even if they don’t cook 😉 With cooking more at home now, and enjoying a fresh home-cooked meal, the kitchen will have even more emphasis! And yes, we will enjoy even more going out too, that will always be special. Cheers to the kitchen. 🙂 

5. Get your fitness on. 

Home gyms! With special attention to germs and cleanliness, home gyms are here to stay as an important tool in staying healthy, fit, and germ-free. Yes, people will still go back to the gym, as able, however, with sweat and heavy breathing, many people will choose to opt out of such a public event. There isn’t the same camaraderie as a typical gym can have, but some people want to be left alone to do their thing anyways. Even personally, I find I save a lot of travel time working out from home. The key is keeping up motivation and effort. Part of that key is having the right equipment at home and a space, of course, for it all, so you can get your fitness on at home in an effective and healthy environment. 

— And that’s a wrap! These are my top 5 ways COVID-19 has changed what home buyers want.

It makes sense for it to be 5 ways, because we have 5 fingers on a hand, and this list, I think, definitely packs a punch!! 

Of course, we all have different goals and priorities and lifestyles, but overall, these 5 major shifts will change things for years to come. We won’t be forgetting the changes that have taken place in 2020 anytime soon!!! 

Looking to sell a home, buy a home, or invest in real estate? 

I know a guy! 🙂 

Brian Ellis

Real Estate Broker

Keller Williams Golden Triangle Realty



Direct: 519-500-9417

Office: 519-570-4447

Friend, family man, REALTOR® 

Only the BEST for you & your family! 

— Thank you for your business and referrals!

#1 Individual at Keller Williams Golden Triangle Realty 2018, 2019