Now Is The Time To Get Serious About Post-Pandemic Retirement Living
Written by Karen Hutchinson, REALTOR® and Seniors Real Estate Specialist®
The Covid-19 crisis most certainly has caused people to reconsider all sorts of things in their lives — how and where they live, what’s no longer a priority, and the lifestyle changes they’ll make in a post-pandemic world.
Rethinking Your Home
After spending so much time at home during this pandemic, you’re probably seeing all the flaws in your house. Sure, there’s the normal stuff, including that dripping faucet, the cracked bathroom tiles, and that carpet that needed replacing years ago.
But there are often bigger issues. Maybe the house no longer fits your needs, especially if you anticipate spending vast amounts of time at home even after the stay-at-home orders and suggestions expire.
Making a Plan
Consider what’s happened during this global health crisis as a wake-up call and give some serious though to your retirement housing — envisioning your future, weighing your options, looking at what’s available, examining your finances, and making a plan.
Though thinking about such topics is easy to put off, making such big decisions is best done in a calm, thoughtful way, well before you’re forced to do so because of a health crisis.
Where Should You Go?
Many people have noticed their home’s shortcomings, according to a REALTOR.com survey. It looked at consumer preferences and how the Covid-19 lockdowns have changed their perception about their wants in a home.
Though survey participants were based in the United States, the feelings are shared by people well beyond the U.S. borders, given that so many also have been hunkered down for months.
It’s no surprise that with parks, restaurants, and other gathering places shut down, people are treasuring outdoor space. That’s reflected in the survey. When respondents were asked about the features that have gotten more important to them during the pandemic, a wish for a patio or yard took the number two spot, accounting for 13.2 percent of responses. A quiet neighbourhood topped the list at 13.4% of responses.
One in five respondents said that more space is the most desired change in their current living situation. Updated kitchens (13%) and home gyms (11.3%) ranked second and third.
Wished-for amenities vary by age, gender, parenting status, and whether respondents were renters or owners.
For instance, renters would like a quiet neighbourhood, storage, and a spare bedroom.
Parents with young kids value flexible space like craft areas, game rooms, a home office, and workout space. They’re also interested in either an in-law suite or an accessory dwelling unit for nannies, long-term guests, or in this new reality: self-isolating quarters!
Kitchen updates and house style ranked higher with those over the age of 55.
With so many working from home, along with staying in close contact with friends and family, consumers also say they’d appreciate better technology like faster WIFI and smart home features.
Respondents in the 55-plus age group were the most likely to be content with their current home, yet in a future property, they’d value an updated kitchen, and better technology.
One of the most challenging aspects of the stay-at-home orders during this pandemic has been the isolation and separation from family and friends.
Perhaps no group has experienced these feelings of isolation more acutely than seniors.
It’s made worse when some seniors’ access to and ability to operate technology is limited. That may be a bit of a generalization, but lack of connectivity has never been as noticed as it has recently been.
Post-Pandemic Real Estate Outlook
It’s only natural that real estate transactions had virtually ground to a halt in Canada during this pandemic. Now that restrictions are slowly and responsibly easing, real estate transactions are making a strong comeback.
We are all now looking forward to the real estate market recovery, with business getting back on track over these next months and years.
While the market continues to pick up, you can expect visible changes in how real estate is conducted. For example, real estate agents likely will rely more heavily on technology to market and sell houses. That could include more virtual tours, live streaming, online buying, and virtual signatures via secure email software.
Do you have questions about how to take the next steps you need to find a more suitable home? That’s where I come in! I can answer your questions which will help you decide whether this is the time for you to move. The more information you have the easier your decision-making process will be. Easily contact me by clicking here https://karenhutchinsonrealtor.ca/contact-us/ and we can start a conversation about how I can help you make your next move!