House prices after coronavirus took a sharp uptick. Qualified buyers increased while the number of homes on the market fell, driving up costs. Now interest rates are also trending upward, adding another hurdle for prospective homeowners.
But today’s homebuyers have something no generation had before: technology. When a global pandemic made it unsafe to leave our homes, much less go touring them, the industry relied on innovation.
As pandemic homebuying picks up speed, the rules are shifting, too. See how technology has changed the homebuying process and what you can do to get in the game.
The Rules of Pandemic Buying
These aren’t your average homebuying trends. The world is a completely different place than it was two years ago. Prospective buyers have made it clear that as their worlds have shifted, so have their priorities.
Rule #1: Homes must have space to work remotely.
According to career experts like Zippa, up to 92% of employees are working at least one day per week remotely. That means their home spaces need to double as work spaces. This is driving demand for dedicated office spaces for those who work in a virtual environment, as well as leisure areas to unwind and connect with loved ones.
Rule # 2: Home tours must be virtual, too.
Video tours are like the dating profiles you view before you agree to meet in person. They often tell buyers a lot of what they need to know before they take the next steps. Though the trend may have emerged at a time when it wasn’t entirely safe to be inside with others, it’s become a fixture in the modern homebuying experience. Shoppers need to look often and early, sometimes making same-day decisions to out maneuver competing buyers. Virtual tours make it possible to look at more homes in a day than would be possible driving from place to place. Just be sure to eventually visit the area and do your due diligence to avoid any surprises.
Rule #3: Homes must have access to amenities and communities.
Especially if you’re not going into an office, or spending the majority of your time where you live, you need opportunities to connect with friends and neighbors. Hillwood Communities makes it easy to develop connections with your neighbors and larger communities. The focus is on individual and collective well-being with fitness centers and group activities that invite organic connections.
Rule #4: Homes must be smart and good environmental stewards.
Smart Home technology can certainly make working remotely easier. And not commuting can be the start to a bigger commitment to stewardship. Hillwood Communities places a high value on both of these common 21st century priorities: home technology and environmental stewardship. Many of the homes in our communities include smart home technology features like video doorbells and smart thermostats. And we are committed to environmental sustainability as a company. That’s why our communities are designed using water wise landscaping and energy efficient building practices to help conserve resources.
Rule #5: Homes must hold their value in a rocky economy.
Inflation may be on the rise, but homeowners understand that investing in real estate is one way to increase their assets and hedge against the economic unknowns. The key is to buy in an area that balances present circumstances with projected future growth. Hillwood Communities develops new home communities that offer a small town atmosphere, proximity to larger cities, are in highly rated school districts, and are strategically placed in growing cities and counties, all of which are essential for home value appreciation.
Modern Homebuying FAQ
Still have questions? That’s understandable. See if these help, and if not, visit our FAQ page.
What Is a Virtual House Tour Like?
The virtual tours on Hillwood Communities’ websites are 3D virtual home viewing options that allow you to see and explore a home without leaving your couch. You can click through the house and see each wall, window, door, and feature of a home, spending as much time as you want. Other virtual ways to view a home include having your real estate agent or builder’s representative send you a video or walk you through the house using video chat.
What Factors Affect Housing Prices?
Housing prices are a complex mix of factors, however the demand for and supply of homes as well as the current economic climate are hugely impactful in influencing how much it costs to buy a home at any given time.
Why Are Home Prices Rising During the Pandemic?
Presently, home prices are on the rise as more people look to take advantage of historically low-interest rates before the federal reserve increased them to help curb inflation. As folks went through lockdown in their homes and started working remotely, many families also quickly discovered that having more space to live and work was critical for their wellbeing.
The Age of the Online Homebuyer
The homebuying process has changed – probably forever. That’s why it’s helpful to look for a new home community using respected builders that adopt virtual tools and play by the new rules of homebuying. For example, Hillwood Communities partners with award-winning builders to ensure that all of our homes reflect fine craftsmanship and that you have access to the online tools you need to see whether a home is right for you. Our builders can work with you to select the right features and build a smart home you will enjoy for years to come. To learn more about our builders and communities, get in touch with us today.