The COVID-19 pandemic quickly brought about drastic changes in the way Americans live and work. For many of us, that meant blurring the lines between those two aspects of our lives. All over the country, we saw record numbers of people quickly transitioned to working from home. Workers were forced to find out (often the hard way) that not all homes are created equal for this lifestyle. Unsurprisingly, the home office has become a dominant real estate trend of the year and this trend won’t be going anywhere for 2021.
A recent study from the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy research found working from home is at an all-time high. 42 percent of the labor force currently works full-time from home. There is early evidence to believe this trend will be permanent. Global Workplace Analytics, a research and consulting firm focusing on the future of work, recently published a report that found roughly 25 to 30 percent of the workforce is planning to work from home multiple days each week in 2021, regardless of what the status of the pandemic is.
Working From Home
We all know location plays an important role in real estate. This remains true in a world where working from home is the priority, but perhaps for different reasons. With proximity to the workplace playing less of a role and the all-powerful commute disappearing, other factors are driving our decisions on where to call home. Many Americans are choosing to leave our nation’s biggest cities in the hopes of finding a better quality of life elsewhere.
Eagle offers a remarkable quality of life, making it well-positioned to take advantage of the work from home trend. According to Niche.com, Eagle has a quality of life rating of “A-“, making it one of the best places to live in Idaho. Eagle ranks particularly high on factors such as the job market, outdoor activities, health & fitness, and suitability for families.
A study from the Wall Street Journal found that from 2007 to 2017, the percent of people who work from home in mid-size metropolitan areas like the Treasure Valley grew quicker than the corresponding percentage for both smaller and larger regions. The shift of workplace dynamics in 2020 is continuing to develop that trend as more and more Americans are opting for medium-sized cities like Eagle rather than larger metropolitan areas.
Structuring the Home Office
Flexible, dedicated home offices are now top of the list for professionals looking to relocate to Eagle. Working from home is no longer something workers are willing to get done with half measures like a small laptop and a phone at the kitchen table or in the corner of the bedroom.
Homebuyers are looking for stand-alone home offices with doors that create privacy for workdays filled with videoconferencing. They are also looking for flexibility, as a home office often needs to moonlight as an exercise space, classroom, or hobby room to get the most out of the space. In addition to a door that fully separates the home office from the rest of the house, functional home office spaces should also feature plenty of electrical outlets, a dependable Wi-Fi connection, and as many windows as possible to fill the office with natural light.
For those selling a home in the Eagle area, properly staging your living space to emphasize home office capabilities is a great way to respond to the current market demands and earn a higher sale price. Looking for potential spaces-perhaps a guest bedroom or finished basement-to create a home office environment might be the finishing touch that convinces a buyer to put in an offer. Local real estate agents can help provide suggestions about how best to market your space to appeal to professionals looking to work from home.
Low interest rates and a range of price points to enter the market make real estate in Eagle particularly appealing for working professionals who are choosing to relocate from other parts of the country. Both buyers and sellers can benefit by keeping in mind how high demand for home offices has become for buyers looking at properties in the Eagle area. Feel free to give me a call to learn more about current real estate trends or to find your perfect home office.
When it is time to select a great Eagle real estate agent, I hope to have the opportunity to speak.