Blog Buyer COVID-Inspired Home “Must Haves”

COVID-Inspired Home “Must Haves”

By Sharon Bloudek, October 23, 2020

“We really want an open floor plan.”

I have heard that a lot in all my time as a REALTOR®! And no shade—when we remodeled our home five years ago (a complete, down-to-the-studs gut job), we too opted for an open floor plan. It made a lot of sense for our young family, and in many ways, it still does. We like to have a general sense of what the kids are doing and where they are in the house. I like that I can keep an eye on my first-grader while I’m loading the dishwasher.

However, since last spring, say, oh, mid-March, I have definitely noticed that an open floor plan is not what it once was. A functional door—one that opens and closes and blocks out noise and locks is suddenly a hot feature! The truth is, life has changed since last spring. We all know it; we all feel it. But humans are adaptable, and the way that people are approaching home buying is evidence of that.

So what are people looking for in homes, and how drastically has it changed? The biggest thing I have noticed is that people want flexible spaces in their homes. A den or a family room is great; a den or a family room that can serve as a home office (complete with a door that closes) is better. When families look at kids’ bedrooms, they want ample space for a bed and a dresser, but they also want to be able to comfortably fit a study space that can accommodate online learning.

A home’s entryway is no longer just the door through which one enters or leaves the house. Now, it’s a barrier between the safety of home and the germ-ridden outside world. People want to be able to take off and store their shoes, bags, and coats, and to sanitize the things they bring into their homes—groceries, packages, and so forth. A powder room near the front door is no longer merely a space for guests; it’s now a handwashing and sanitization station.

Storage has always been high on the must-have lists of home buyers; now storage is crucial. People want ample space to keep back stock (toilet paper! canned goods!). Cupboards, walk-in pantries, under-the-stairs storage closets, fridge and freezer space—the more, the better.

And of course, outdoor space is at a premium. People have realized the correlation between time spent outside and mental health, and easy access to the outdoors is very high on wish lists. Some people are now in search of large backyards; others want space to garden and grow food. Some people are content with a small deck or patio space.

How has the pandemic made you view your space? What changes or modifications have you made in the way you live in your home? What would you look for in a new home? Are you considering buying or selling your home to accommodate changes in your life since COVID began? I would love to help; please reach out if you’d like to discuss buying or selling (or both!) your home.

Sharon Bloudek


Sharon was recently recognized as the #1 Individual Agent in the #1 Real Estate office in the State of Oregon. Recognized as a FIVE STAR Real Estate Agent in Portland, Oregon for 9 years. Sharon has been named top 1% in the RMLS, and has been a member of PMAR's Masters Circle Diamond Platinum Level. Also a Neighborhood Favorite on Nextdoor and a Zillow Premiere Agent. Having lived both in the city & the suburbs, she is a great resource for relocation clients. She has worked extensively with first time home buyers & first time home sellers, upsizers, downsizers and investors. She also has experience in multi-family units, plexes, and timberland. She is the third generation in her family to be in the real estate business. Sharon graduated from the University of Oregon with a MBA in Marketing & International Business, and from Loyola Marymount University with an emphasis in Business Management. She lives in SW Portland with her husband and three kids and enjoys volunteering in the community. She is a proud supporter of Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest, being a former Jesuit Volunteer in Woodburn, Oregon as well as a previous Board Member. She loves hiking, traveling and going to the beach. Basketball and softball were her favorite sports to play, and while she never played soccer - her husband and kids do - and now she appreciates the beautiful game. Sharon would love the opportunity to work with you!
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