New Times - New Expectations

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The pandemic has changed all of our lives in so many ways. We have had to pivot in how we socialize, work, and play with one another. Baby boomers are rethinking their decision to downsize, and investment real estate is booming with opportunities. Little has been left unchanged by Covid-19, including our homes and how we live in them.

The market is down slightly from 2019, but we are seeing prices holding steady and moving up in some cases. The lack of new construction, low-interest rates, and increased demand continues to keep the market stable.

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Buyers are looking for homes that can accommodate separate rooms for all the activities once enjoyed in shared spaces.

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Architects are beginning to have discussions that move away from the open "great room" concept to more separate rooms. As homeowners adapt to working from home, learning from home, exercising at home, and recreating at home, we need spaces for those activities. We need private areas that don't conflict with other things going on in the house. At-home gyms, spaces for online learning, and creative projects are essential, and the working from home Zoom space is becoming part of our crucial considerations in home purchasing.

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Our beloved baby boomer generation that downsized in recent years are having second thoughts. Moving from 5,000 square feet to 2,000 square feet Boomers are finding their new surroundings to be a touch claustrophobic for sheltering in place. We might see some bounce from that segment of the market, moving into something slightly larger to accommodate more activities and separation at home.

Property Investments

Lastly, and this surprised me. High net worth individuals are looking at specific desirable markets and investing in rental properties with the express intent to rent them for 30 days at $30,000/month and upwards. In Malibu fo instance, some investment homes are renting for as much as $49,000/month! We have seen this happen before in Sonoma County, but the fires and COVID have exacerbated the trend.

We are living through historic times. We are bound to continue to see many fluctuations in the market and adjustments to homeowners' expectations. It is an ever-changing situation that will have a lasting effect on how we live and socialize with one another.

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