The more they stay the same.
This year has really been a doozy so far and looks to stay the same for a while yet. The restrictions put in place to help minimize the effects of the coronavirus pandemic forced many people to deal with various challenges, both personal and professional. For many, the biggest challenge was essentially putting life on hold which led to a lot of uncertainty across the economy. Of course, not all of life’s changes can be put on hold, sometimes life just happens anyway.
Many predicted that the real estate market would come to a standstill. And while that didn’t happen there was a shift in how business was being done. A while back I posted a blog about how the Real Estate business is meeting the needs of people who can’t put their life on hold. http://www.robinbutler.org/blog/selling-and-buying-homes-during-pandemic/
Now as we begin to settle into the “new normal”, a phrase I’m sure we’re all tiring of, many of these business changes are becoming a new permanent way of life.
Stay-at-home orders forced much of the home shopping, and even the closing paperwork, to be done virtually/remotely. It seems many things are moving virtual as technology becomes more ingrained into one's life, so some are predicting that this may be more common even after the need for the change is gone.
Another shift, at least for the foreseeable future, may be a move away from city centers. Younger people had been moving toward the city to avoid long commutes, for access to public transit, and to be where the action is. However, some may now want to avoid large congregations of people and may find the space of the suburbs more appealing. Added to that as more companies consider making telecommuting a permanent option there isn’t the need to live close to work.
The economic downturn may also have people more concerned about another so the higher costs often associated with city living may be a deterrent. And, while they move into the suburbs they may keep their tastes a bit more modest out of an abundance of caution.
Those who do still prefer the city life have also made some changes in what amenities they are looking for. For example, more condo shoppers are looking for in-unit laundry facilities so they don’t have to go to a shared laundry room.
How long term these shifts are is hard to predict. The current pandemic will eventually fade, but will the experience influence future decisions in anticipation of another?
One change that could be an anticipation of another is the Pandemic Rider that has been added to housing contracts. Standard Force Majeure clauses protect both buyer and seller in case of natural disasters, but a new COVID rider has been added to many contracts and some believe it’s here to stay. These riders give the buyer more time to secure financing or schedule inspections. And protect both parties in case of another shutdown which could slow down required paperwork filings.
This is a stressful and confusing time for many, as always I’m here to help in any way I can.
“Your Friend In The Real Estate Business.”