With continued uncertainty around the COVD-19 pandemic, many small business owners are trading commercial offices for at-home workspaces. Working from home (WFH) is a trend that will outlast the pandemic, says Toronto real estate professional Paul Bendavid , of Bendavid Real Estate Group.
“A lot of companies of all sizes have said they aren’t going back to the office model. The commercial real estate market is a lot different than it was a year ago,” says Bendavid. And the residential real estate market? It’s busier than ever after a slower than usual spring.
For small-business owners, self-employed workers and salaried employees who now clock in from home, having the right WFH set-up is key. Are you in the market to move? According to Bendavid, these three WFH home features will make you more productive now, and remain in demand in a post-pandemic real-estate market.
A dedicated home office is the number one WFH feature homebuyers are looking for today, “not an extra bedroom you can use as a makeshift office, but an actual den or home office designed to be used for that and nothing else,” says Bendavid.
Depending on property size (i.e. house versus condo), a home office can range from a full room with closed door, to an office “niche” or alcove off another space, but the common factor is that it is a dedicated space roomy enough for an ergonomic desk, chair and storage. “An office space isn’t a desk in a bedroom or the kitchen. And it’s not being hunched in the living room in front of the TV with a laptop,” says Bendavid.
As of 2020, consider the dedicated home office promoted from “nice-to-have” to essential.
While a dedicated home office space is the most in-demand feature for WFH buyers, in some cases, that space may not be available, particularly in older resale houses. In that case, a finished basement is a solid runner-up, says Bendavid.
“A finished basement can be very quiet and a spare bedroom down there can be used as a home office,” he says.
Over the past few months, outdoor space has proven a priority for some – but not all buyers – says Bendavid. While many WFH office workers have enjoyed taking those Zoom calls in the open air of a condo balcony or soothing backyard, expansive outdoor spaces come at a premium and will impact affordability.
For those who seek a backyard large enough to house an outdoor room (perfect for warm weather WFH sessions!) or for their kids to burn off energy while learning from home, Bendavid suggests looking beyond the city limits. Widening your house hunt to include slightly-more-distant suburbs and towns will increase your purchasing power if space is important to you.
Want to read more about today’s real estate trends? Check out our blog, here.
Trust your 8Twelve Mortgage Broker to help you get the ‘best’ mortgage!