COVID-19 Has Many Rethinking Their Homes
“As seen in the Real Estate Reality Column in the San Leandro Times & Castro Valley Forum, written by Carl Medford”
With no effective end in sight for COVID-19, many are rethinking their living situations. Forced to stay at home for work and with the additional challenge of educating children from the dining room table, a significant number of households are deep into crisis mode.
It is bringing new meaning to the adage, “Pain doesn’t just show up in our lives for no reason – it’s a sign something in our lives needs to change.”
We are seeing change in three separate areas:
- We are experiencing a wave of decluttering. Officials from the Goodwill of Greater Washington state that donations have jumped 20% over last year. It seems that many, forced to be on ZOOM calls for hours a day, do not like the camera showing all the junk behind them. Additionally, since everyone is confined to their homes all day every day, any extra stuff laying around is just getting in the way. Now that local donation centers have reopened, they are facing a tsunami of items flooding in.
- Renovations are surging upwards. Every contractor I have talked to has stated their phones are ringing off the hooks with requests for quotes on upgrades. Since homeowners are being forced to stay at home, they have decided it makes sense to get their homes fixed up to make their living experiences more comfortable. This also applies to back yards: countless numbers of homeowners around the Bay are seeking to improve their yards so they can move as much of their time outside as possible. Local home improvement centers are doing a landslide business to keep up.
- Many are deciding it is time to move up. Some, especially those with children, have decided they are tired of bumping into each other all day long and are consequently looking for larger homes. While this is understandable, current move ups have a new twist: they are looking for larger homes out of the area. Since they will not be returning to their offices anytime soon, and with many companies realizing that their employees can work from almost anywhere, we are seeing a migration out of the Bay Area into regions where they can buy substantially larger homes at significantly lower prices.
These are strange, ambiguous days. There is, however, one certainty: when the dust settles at the end of this pandemic, the way we live in our homes will look fundamentally different.
Carl Medford is a licensed Realtor with Keller Williams Realty and a licensed general contractor. This article is sponsored by the Central County Marketing Association.