Need more space? Here’s what to look for
In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, many more people are going to be working remotely – this is, from their homes – for the foreseeable future, and are going to need a home office or other dedicated space to do so.
At the same time, notes Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group, schooling and after-school activities are also unlikely to get back to “normal” for a long time. “And as many parents have already discovered, this means that their children now also need more space, for online lessons, homework and play, that is preferably separate from their own home workspace.
“Indeed, having insufficient space to comfortably accommodate everyone’s needs when the whole family is at home most of the time, instead of out all day at work or at school, has been a common frustration during the lockdown imposed to try to curb the spread of the virus, and has already prompted many relocations to bigger homes.”
He says the features most in demand among parents who are making this kind of move are:
- A safe and spacious garden where their children can play and where they can continue to entertain more at home;
- Larger bedrooms for the children;
- An additional room or space that can be used either as a home office or as a playroom / media room where children can do online lessons, play online games, listen to music, watch TV or movies, and interact with their friends;
- Extra bathrooms; and
- Accommodation for a full-time au pair or nanny to care for very young children.
Writing in the Property Signpost newsletter, Everitt says there are a couple of other trends also influencing current home-buying decisions in favour of homes with more space or with “granny” suites, garden cottages and outbuildings than can be converted into home offices or additional accommodation.
“The first is the tendency of grown children to now stay on in their parents’ homes well into their 20s instead of moving out and establishing their own households – or to “boomerang” back to their parents’ homes in their 30s when they hit a financial bad patch, as many have done during the pandemic.
“The second trend is the return of multi-generational living that sees three and sometimes even four generations of the same family sharing the same property. This has also been escalated by the pandemic which has induced many families to pool their resources of both time and money in order to cope.”